Philanthropy that makes an impact

23 January 2019

In 2018, VILLUM FONDEN and VELUX FONDEN made a total of DKK 888 million in philanthropic grants. 


The two foundations received 2,638 grant applications in 2018, from academics, NGOs, grass-roots organisers, active seniors and long list of others. A total of 1,015 projects received funding, elevating them to the ranks of grant recipients.

The 2018 Yearbook profiles some of the individuals and the projects, the foundations have supported.

Grants at work

‘Grant recipient’ is our term for the individuals and the projects that obtain funding from the foundations to conduct research, undertake a ground-breaking project, set a new idea into motion or make a long-held dream come true.

The term may have a formal ring to it, but grant recipients are our reason for being. They put the foundations’ money to work, and ensure that it benefits the lives of everyday people.

130 pages of projects and grants + facts and key figures. 

We bring stories about:
  • Six projects connecting the maritime environment, coasts, fishing boats and sustainable fisheries
  • ​Our new major funding area, Children, Youth and Science, which seeks to make science and technology relevant and inspiring at school and in life generally; during leisure time and as a future vocation
  • How dedicated senior volunteers are digitising pictures and stories from their local area as a way to preserve our collective memory
  • ​A Hungarian chocolatier who is helping young people with autism enter the job market

VILLUM FONDEN and VELUX FONDEN are two of six Danish foundations making sizeable grants to research, and our yearbooks profile the individuals and organisations to examples of the wide range of research we support. In this yearbook, we hear about the work being done by:

  • Henrik Lauridsen, a biologist whose research into the eyes and blood vessels of icefish may help us understand our own eyesight better
  • The Museum of Southwest Jutland, whose studies of historic skeletons are providing valuable insights into people of the past
  • 2018 Annual Award recipient Ivan Damgard, who delivers a report from the forefront of cryptology
  • Villum Investigator Jens-Christian Svenning, a leading ecologist studying the savannah in search of answers about how climate change is affecting plant and animal life
  • David Budtz Pedersen and Frederik Stjernfelt on their work documenting how humanities research influences our lives and society at large
  • A collaborative project looking into whether seniors are being over-medicated
  • A mobile museum helping modern city-dwellers understand what it was like to live in a Scandinavian city in the Middle Ages
Where does our money come from?

The companies of the VKR group employ 16,000 people in 41 countries. Their hard work, day-in and day-out, makes it possible to generate the surplus that, over time, has formed the basis for the foundations’ philanthropic work.

A portion of the VKR group’s annual profits are turned over to the foundations, which invests the money into a diversified portfolio in order to achieve the highest possible returns, and in so doing enabling us to maximise our philanthropic grants.

In the 2018 Yearbook, Anders Kristoffersen, the foundations’ Head of Impact Investments, explains our focus on socially responsible investing.

In 2018, VILLUM FONDEN and VELUX FONDEN made a total of DKK 888 million in philanthropic grants to projects in Denmark and internationally. 
Our founder

The VKR Group was founded by Villum Kann Rasmussen, inventor of the roof window. Motivated by a desire to give back to the society that had given him so much, he established two philanthropic foundations, VILLUM FONDEN and VELUX FONDEN. Since 1971 respectively 1981, they have been honouring his wish by donating money to the people and the projects that can improve our lives and the society we live in.

Questions about our foundations, feel free to contact us

Charlotte Korsager Winther
Head of Communications, THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS
+45 51 17 67 74
Signe Krabek
Deputy Manager, Communication, THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS
+45 20 49 68 69
Emil Kaas Rasmussen
Communications Adviser, THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS
+45 29 66 67 32
Eva Beckmann
Communications Adviser, THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS
+ 45 20 84 20 85
Dinah Fellah
Communications Coordinator, THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS
+45 29 41 81 99