"Paths to the Future: Endowing Knowledge" / Foundations present various forms of social commitment
In order to be able to keep up in the international competition for the brightest minds, German universities are reliant on joint civic responsibility and participation more than ever before. Private donor commitment has already contributed significantly to making research and teaching at German universities operate at the highest international level. Thus, the Johannes Gutenberg University Foundation and the Founders Day 2011 are both set with the motto "Paths to the Future: Endowing Knowledge." Twelve foundations provide approximately EUR 95,000 for research and teaching projects at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz; eight of these foundations use this year's Founders Day to demonstrate the great diversity of themes and forms of sponsorship by presenting their awards to young researchers.
Cutting-edge research on the one hand and the qualification of intelligent minds on the other – these are the core functions of universities today, which act as engines of a knowledge-based economic and cultural space. However, given the tight financial margins, German universities can fill the spheres of activity necessary for this less and less, and have thus increasingly become dependent on private initiatives and investments. "Our universities need joint civic responsibility and participation to be able to compete with international institutions of higher education and research for the brightest minds now and in the future," says Dr. Klaus Adam, chairman of the Johannes Gutenberg University Foundation. "Foundations serve as initiators and catalysts, project sponsors, and breeding grounds for innovation."
Against this backdrop, the Johannes Gutenberg University Foundation was established in late 2004 under the auspices of the Minister-President of Rhineland-Palatinate. This umbrella organization provides private people as well as institutions and companies with a variety of unbureaucratic opportunities for efficient endowment commitments. "Donations and endowments do not require a large fortune. Even small endowment contributions, when added up, have a large impact on education and science, and thus promote the future potential of our country," Dr. Klaus Adam continues. "It would be a great pleasure for us if this Founders Day thus encouraged imitating or supporting one of the foundations present."
The Johannes Gutenberg University Foundation enables donors to support concrete and lasting projects in research, teaching, learning, continuing academic education, and artistry – according to their individual aims and interests in life. As the sixth largest university in Germany with approximately 37,000 students and 2,900 scientists in more than 150 institutes and clinics, Mainz University offers an attractive range of projects across all disciplines worthy of support.
Preserving knowledge – Conveying knowledge – Generating knowledge
In addition to absorbing materials expenses for equipment and research projects, donors also have the opportunity to support and help qualify young academic talents by investing in scholarships, graduate schools and training groups, or stays abroad for young researchers. "A special advantage of the umbrella organization is that donors can personally choose the specific projects they wish to support and can actively follow their progression," explains Professor Dr. Georg Krausch, President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. "Through close contact with the scientists and students they support, the donors receive constant insight into how their money is being used, and they can follow the development and results of their actions on a long-term basis." Currently, the Johannes Gutenberg University Foundation manages 29 dependent foundations. The total assets of the Johannes Gutenberg University Foundation amount to approximately EUR 6 million.
The donors decide themselves on how they would like to contribute – by participation through external donations (no minimum contribution), by setting up a foundation fund (minimum contribution of EUR 10,000), or by setting up a dependent foundation (minimum contribution of EUR 25,000). "The Johannes Gutenberg University Foundation makes it easy to donate and provides many advantages," explains Götz Scholz, Chancellor of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and chairman of the Johannes Gutenberg University Foundation. "Expert consultants accompany the foundation process and help with the necessary steps in cooperation with the authorities involved. In addition, the University Foundation assumes the administration and management of the umbrella organization and ensures competent asset management."
The following foundations demonstrate exemplary donor commitment by presenting their awards during the Founders Day 2011 at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz: the Adolf Todt Foundation, the Antonie Wlosok Foundation, the Blanke Foundation, the Dr. Georg Scheuing Foundation, the Prof. Dr. med. Lothar Diethelm Memorial Foundation, the Professor Dr. Friedrich Schubel Foundation, the Sibylle Kalkhof-Rose Foundation, and the Sulzmann Foundation.