ERSTE Foundation

ERSTE Foundation
ERSTE Foundation evolved from the Erste Österreichische Spar-Casse in 2003. In 1819, this savings bank association opened the first bank in Vienna for individuals who previously had not been able to provide for their future themselves.

ERSTE Foundation develops social infrastructures that encourage people and help them take charge of their lives. This balance of social and individual responsibility is an exciting challenge, which the Foundation deals with in every aspect of its work, using sometimes daring strategies.
As an active foundation, it develops its own projects within the framework of three programmes: Social Development, Culture and Europe. At the same time, it's open to ideas proposed by others. ERSTE Foundation constantly aims to find a balance between long-term development strategies and their implementation by using region-based knowledge. At the ERSTE Foundation Library, this knowledge is preserved for the future and is publicly accessible.

ERSTE Foundation believes in the concept of a common Europe. After 1989, a divided continent grew together again. ERSTE Foundation focuses its work on the cultural region of Central and South Eastern Europe. It supports social participation and civil society engagement; it aims to bring people together and disseminate knowledge of the recent history of a region, where the Schengen area and the European Union have established new dividing lines, but have also given rise to new hopes and expectations.

ERSTE Foundation puts little stock in rash measures and try not to allow itself to be satisfied with short-term successes. It aims to have an enduring impact and place emphasis on interdisciplinary and transnational cooperation, by promoting a culture of listening and collaborative work when identifying problems and developing solutions. 

ERSTE Foundation currently controls directly and indirectly* 29.28% in the stock of Erste Group Bank AG, one of the largest financial services providers in Central and South Eastern Europe. ERSTE Foundation invests its dividend revenue in the development of societies in Austria, Central and South Eastern Europe: it supports social participation and civil-society engagement, it brings people together and disseminates knowledge of the recent history of this region that has been undergoing dramatic change since 1989.

In addition to carrying out its own projects, ERSTE Foundation offers grants for practical, innovative projects.

The purpose and implementation of any subsidised project must serve the public good. In order for ERSTE Foundation to make a grant for your project, it needs to understand how it meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • Ideas concerning current and future societal challenges in Central and South Eastern Europe
  • Having content that develops from a local need that has potentially cross-boarder implications
  • Innovative contributions dealing with current local, national, and trans-national issues
  • Ideas that foster respectful encounters with and awareness of other cultures
  • Identifying transformative processes in societies and their effects on different generations
  • Initiatives supporting sustainable development in the civil society of Central and South Eastern Europe
  • Projects that support and encourage the future-oriented visions of young talents in local and global contexts

Source: ERSTE Foundation

  • Agency/Fund
Geographical focus
  • Europe
  • European Union (EU 27)
  • SEE
  • Western Balkans
Scientifc field / Thematic focus
  • Cross-thematic/Interdisciplinary
  • General

Entry created by Anna Sirocco on May 18, 2016
Modified on May 18, 2016