Sources of innovation and inspiration: Foundations present various forms of social commitment to the university
Showcase of the commitment to Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU): On Founders Day 2012, donors once again provided insight into their private initiatives at and investments in the university under the motto of "Paths to the Future: Endowing Knowledge." Eleven foundations provided approximately EUR 50,000 for research and teaching projects. They used the JGU Founders Day to present their awards to young researchers and thus illustrate the wide range of themes and forms of support at JGU. "In international competition, foundations serve as valuable project initiators and sources of innovation as well as inspiration. They have thus become indispensable to our universities," says Dr. h.c. Klaus G. Adam, Chairman of Johannes Gutenberg University Foundation. "Private donor commitment has contributed significantly to the fact that research and teaching at German universities is conducted at the highest international levels. In order for our universities to keep up with the brightest minds from around the world both now and in the future, joint civic responsibility and participation are vital."
Against this backdrop, the Johannes Gutenberg University Foundation was established in late 2004 under the patronage of the Minister-President of Rhineland-Palatinate. This umbrella foundation manages 29 (from 2013: 30) legally dependent foundations with over EUR 6.1 million in capital, the proceeds of which allow for EUR 100,000 to be used as support funding in 2012. The Johannes Gutenberg University Foundation opens numerous non-bureaucratic opportunities for innovative and efficient endowment commitments of private persons, institutions, and businesses. "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. h.c. Klaus Adam continued. "Therefore, on our annual Founders Day, we would also like to further promote the idea of providing endowments for science and research along with learning and teaching at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. We place a particular focus on promoting the idea and concept of funding and for thus making a lasting contribution to future generations."
The Johannes Gutenberg University Foundation enables donors to support very specific and sustained projects in research, teaching, learning, continuing education, and artistic training based on the donor's individual life goals and desires. As one of the ten largest universities in Germany with approximately 37,000 students and 4,150 scientists in more than 150 institutes and clinics, Mainz University offers an attractive range of projects across all disciplines. Cutting-edge research on the one hand and the skills of intelligent minds on the other – with these core functions, universities today are the engines of a knowledge-based economic and cultural space. However, given the tight financial restraints, universities can fill the spheres of activity necessary for this less and less and have thus increasingly become dependent on private initiatives and investments.
Preserving knowledge – Conveying knowledge – Generating knowledge
In addition to supporting the material expenses for individual equipment or research projects, the donor also has the opportunity to support and help qualify young academic talents by investing in scholarships, graduate schools, 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 the project’s progress," explained Professor Dr. Georg Krausch, President of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz. "Through close contact with the scientists and students they support, the donors gain constant insight into how their money is being used and can track the development and results of their activities over the long term."
The donors can 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 numerous advantages," explained Götz Scholz, Chancellor of Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz and Chair 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 have demonstrated exemplary endowment commitment by receiving awards as part of Founders Day 2012 at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz: the Adolf Todt Foundation, the Alfred Teves Foundation, the Alumni Foundation of Mainz Publicists, the Prof. Gustav Blanke and Hilde Blanke Foundation, the Philipp Haupt – Dr. Gisela Spennemann-Haupt Foundation, the Dr. Lothar Diethelm Memorial Foundation, the Dr. Friedrich Schubel Foundation, the Sibylle Kalkhof Rose Foundation, the Foundation for Jewish Studies – Foundation in Memory of Dr. Günter Mayer, the Sulzmann Foundation, and the Susanne Marie Sofie Haufen Foundation.