ERSTE Foundation currently holds 20.13% 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.
The funds used by ERSTE Foundation for project work can be classified as either (i) funding of project partners, i.e., payments to non-profit organisations for the implementation of projects or (ii) direct project expenses, i.e., costs incurred by ERSTE Foundation for the research, development and implementation of projects in the frame of its 3 programmes Social Development, Europe and Culture. In 2006, ERSTE Foundation provided the nominal capital for the founding of Zweite Sparkasse, the bank for the unbankable, and in 2008/2009 of good.bee, an initiative to overcome financial exclusion. These were extraordinary expenditures, which are not incurred on a regular basis. The charts below give you more information on how ERSTE Foundation uses its funds for project work.
The funding of project partners makes up for the vast majority of ERSTE Foundation’s total expenditure. From 2005 to 2011, 68.3% of ERSTE Foundation’s funds were paid to non-profit organisations for the implementation of projects. Only in 2006, when ERSTE Foundation invested in the establishment of Die Zweite Sparkasse, a substantial amount was used for non-project related purposes.
In the period 2005-2011, start-up financing for Zweite Sparaksse and good.bee made up for 15.42% of ERSTE Foundation’s total expenditure. Direct project expenses accounted for 16,29% of total expenditure.
ERSTE Foundation’s expenditure for project work in the period 2005-2011 — calculated as total expenditure minus the founding costs of Zweite Sparkasse and good.bee — amounted to a total of 43.3 million euros. Chart 3 shows the share of ERSTE Foundation’s programmes (Social Development, Culture, Europe and General Funding) in total funding and direct project expenses in this period.