A wide range of philanthropic activities makes a difference

29 January 2018

VILLUM FONDEN and VELUX FONDEN support both the young and the old. Young researchers and established professors. Schoolchildren and active senior citizens.

Research in technical and natural sciences, humanities, marine environment, culture, society and support for social projects in Denmark and internationally. The articles in the new Yearbook present a small section of the projects made possible by a total of DKK 1,263 million in 2017, divided into 916 grants.

Some of the stories in our Yearbook:


Youngsters gain courage, purpose and self-esteem as fire cadets

VELUX FONDEN has supported the creation and development of fire cadet corps in Denmark. A total of 450 youngsters are trained to become fire cadets over a period of four years.

Keywords for the success of the fire cadets are "Action – Activity - Appreciation"; it's exciting and fun and the young people are making a real effort, they feel appreciated and are praised for doing an important job.

Curious investigators are given the opportunity to pursue a wild idea

The founder of the foundations, Villum Kann Rasmussen, was an innovative and industrious person with many inventions on his resume. He praised the good ideas and the wild experiments. This perspective is supported by the foundations when they encourage researchers in technical and natural sciences to pursue a wild idea they wish to test or when they encourage the experienced researchers to immerse themselves in the research in which they have produced the most significant results.

In 2017, 66 researchers received grants for their research in the technical and natural sciences: 11 experienced top researchers - the so-called VILLUM Investigators, 16 young researchers - the VILLUM Young Investigators and 39 unorthodox researchers who will work with their wildest idea – the VILLUM Experiment.

Denmark's marine environment – bladderwrack and sustainability

Als Stenrev (new boulder reefs in the waters off Als). Photo: Bo Mammen Kruse

Over the next five years, the foundations’ focus within the Environment grant area is solely on Denmark’s  marine environment.

This has among other things resulted in grants for projects about the recovery of lost boulder reefs, bladderwrack, sustainable coastal fishing and analysis on the true state of the marine environment.

Photo: The Danish Food Bank

Active senior citizens are key contributors to community life

Many older people still have the resources to volunteer when they retire. This large potential is supported by VELUX FONDEN.

The grants support very diverse projects. For instance, a project in which an association of senior citizens in Frederiksberg has established a furniture depot and bicycle workshops. The furniture and bikes are donated to and delivered by refugees, which then helps them to become integrated into the Danish society. 
A retiree has become a driver for the Danish Food Bank and distributes surplus food to deprived groups in Denmark whilst preventing food wastage.
A group of active elderly citizens works together with veterans to renovate five rare military vehicles in Fredericia. 
And an activity centre now has a new kitchen with the help of a group of active elderly citizens. This provides the elderly with a meeting place in the local area. A place where lonely elderly people can enjoy social activities and become part of the community.

Where do the grants come from?

Over 15,000 employees in the VKR Group's many companies make a great effort every day, which enables VILLUM FONDEN and VELUX FONDEN to support a wide range of philanthropic purposes each year.

Some of the profits of the companies are part of the assets of the foundations which are managed and invested every year to ensure that grants can be given for philanthropic purposes. The Yearbook also contains an article on this asset management.

The founder of the VKR Group, Villum Kann Rasmussen, wanted to give back to the society that had given him so much. Therefore, he established the two foundations; VILLUM FONDEN and VELUX FONDEN which for more than 47 and 37 years respectively have fulfilled his wish through grants that benefit many people.

Key numbers 2017

If you have any questions please contact:

Charlotte Korsager Winther
Head of Communications, THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS
+45 51 17 67 74
Signe Krabek
Communications Adviser, THE VELUX FOUNDATIONS
+45 20 49 68 69