Foundations are non-governmental institutions that work for a specific social goal, and their existence is based on the property of the founder. Foundations do not profit from their activities. They can be established both by natural persons, i.e. every living person, as well as by legal persons – for example private companies.
The foundations themselves also have legal personality. The purpose for which a specific foundation works must meet certain conditions. These conditions include:
– social and economic utility,
– legal compliance,
– inability to support from those in power.
Moreover, the goals of individual foundations fall into certain categories related to the areas of social life that these foundations serve. Foundations can therefore act to help the needy, protect the environment, develop science, promote culture, develop the economy or protect health.
Helping those in need
Helping people and animals in need is a category of activity with which foundations are probably most often identified.
Hearing about foundations, we strongly associate them with helping, and especially with various forms of direct help, to sick and disabled people, children and youth in need, the elderly, the poor, the homeless, refugees, victims of hunger and wars, as well as preventing animal suffering and promoting their responsible adoption.
Foundations whose goals are focused on helping others are the so-called philanthropic foundations. They can finance their own aid activities as well as other organizations.
Foundations dealing with environmental protection are the so-called environmental foundations. Their activities are focused on the care for the natural environment through, among others: ecological education of the society, promoting and supporting sustainable development, protecting wild nature, striving to preserve biodiversity, promoting renewable energy sources, implementing actions for responsible tourism, promoting responsible business, supporting local initiatives for environmental protection, conducting publishing activities.
The development of science
The next group are foundations that support the development of science, and thus pursue goals such as: supporting the development of science both in a given country and abroad, as well as its popularization and dissemination.
These foundations organize competitions, support and promote the best scientists, conduct publishing activities, popularize research and scientific works, and finance research equipment. They can also support the activities of other organizations, as well as scientific institutions and societies.
Promotion of culture and art
Foundations which, through their activities, promote and support the development of culture and art, mention among their goals: education in the field of culture and art, restoring and promoting access to cultural and art resources, artistic activity, patronage of selected cultural initiatives, supporting selected projects related to creativity, promoting national heritage.
Foundations operating in the area of economic development have the goal of, among others: developing entrepreneurship, education in this area, taking actions for the benefit of the unemployed, people at risk of losing their jobs and social exclusion, developing and promoting an attitude of independence in society, educating employees in accordance with the needs of and the requirements of the labor market, education in the field of running a business and management, promoting innovation, modern solutions, professional and social activation.
There are also foundations whose goals are focused on broadly understood health protection. These foundations pursue goals such as: equipping health care facilities with modern equipment, educating in the field of preventive examinations, implementing therapeutic programs, counteracting addictions, financial aid for people who incur high costs in connection with the purchase of drugs and rehabilitation equipment, education of disabled people, qualifications of medical personnel.