Funding program for changemakers2020-08-30T13:26:16+00:00

Build­ing bridges
to the future — together!

Your project makes the world a bet­ter place.
And you are brave enough to start on your own.
But isn’t it much more fun with some support!?

Get funding

and save the world

We are con­vinced that some peo­ple out there have extra­or­di­nary ideas. Ideas that can change the world. Are you one of them? Would you like to spark hope and make the world a bet­ter place?

bridgebuilder is a fund­ing pro­gramme that helps you to real­ize your social, eco­log­i­cal or cul­tur­al projects.

This is how it works:

  • A small basic income makes sure your essen­tial needs are met, so that you can focus on your char­i­ta­ble project!

  • Mar­ket­ing, com­mu­ni­ca­tion & orga­ni­za­tion devel­op­ment are the key to suc­cess. We will active­ly sup­port you in these areas.

  • Together we are build­ing a net­work for change­mak­ers who sup­port each other.

Please note our fund­ing con­di­tions.

A chance

to shape the world together

The mon­ey for bridgebuilder has not just appeared out of nowhere. We have nei­ther inher­it­ed it nor won the lot­tery. We gen­er­at­ed it with­in the tra­di­tion­al eco­nom­ic sys­tem, so sav­ing up enough to start bridgebuilder Foun­da­tion e.V. required a lot of hard work and effort.

The mon­ey can now become effec­tive in the way it was always intend­ed to: with your help it ought to shape the world.

  • Mon­ey is the means — not the end.

  • Only char­i­ta­ble projects will be funded.

  • Apply now — alone or together with your team!

Our mission:

find a way into a liveable future

What kind of world do we want to live in?
While we are busy con­nect­ing the world with cables, destroy­ing ecosys­tems and mak­ing our­selves redun­dant in the face of arti­fi­cial intel­li­gence, we often for­get this ques­tion. All of this can be quite frus­trat­ing — and you may be won­der­ing where this will lead?

In our vision, the col­lec­tive over­load of cli­mate change, unjust dis­tri­b­u­tion of resources and dis­rup­tive tech­no­log­i­cal devel­op­ments is part of a gigan­tic devel­op­ment process. It is forc­ing us humans to reor­ga­nize our coex­is­tence and devel­op at a breath­tak­ing speed. Imag­ine the pos­si­bil­i­ty to trav­el freely through many coun­tries, equal access to edu­ca­tion for all sex­es, free­dom of expres­sion, a social sys­tem, work­ers’ rights, free choice of part­ner, same-sex mar­riage… All these social achieve­ments have devel­oped only recent­ly in human his­to­ry and we often take them for grant­ed (at least us Europeans).

But the sta­tus quo is far from per­fect — and for fur­ther devel­op­ment we need to under­stand the following:
Humans are not only com­posed of their phys­i­cal bod­ies and their intel­lects - their emo­tions and their spir­i­tu­al­i­ty are equal parts with­in them.

About spir­i­tu­al­i­ty and meaning
Maybe the word “spir­i­tu­al­i­ty” makes you imag­ine hip­pies in sack­cloth sit­ting together in a cir­cle and talk­ing about their feel­ings. How­ev­er, we are con­cerned here with the entire world of life and work, which nowa­days often seems com­plete­ly soul­less: peo­ple are locked into auto­mat­ed process­es like cog­wheels and any­one who does not run smooth­ly is removed.

Recent­ly, how­ev­er, more and more “seri­ous” busi­ness peo­ple in suits are real­is­ing that remain­ing suc­cess­ful in this increas­ing­ly com­plex sys­tem requires new per­spec­tives. Being aware of the mean­ing of one’s own activ­i­ties and hav­ing access to one‘s emo­tions are becom­ing increas­ing­ly impor­tant in this con­text. After all, those who learn to recon­nect with their own and oth­ers’ emo­tions can deal more empa­thet­i­cal­ly with chal­lenges and together find solu­tions that could not be achieved cog­ni­tive­ly on their own.

Those who devel­op their own spir­i­tu­al­i­ty can estab­lish an active con­nec­tion to them­selves and all life and draw from this an enor­mous strength and moti­va­tion for their work.

Our task as bridge builders is to shape our lives and our work in a holis­tic and sus­tain­able way and thus open up new paths for oth­er peo­ple. We do not have ready-made solu­tions for this — but we do have tools that have been tried and test­ed in prac­tice! We use them to build exam­ples that com­bine tech­nol­o­gy and intel­li­gence with empa­thy and mean­ing. In this way, we trans­form rigid cog­wheel sys­tems into organ­i­cal­ly grow­ing liv­ing environments.

For a bet­ter under­stand­ing of how we envi­sion an orga­ni­za­tion of the future, we rec­om­mend Fred­er­ick Laloux’s book “Rein­vent­ing Organizations”. Have a look at this short video to get an idea of what it is about.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are you won­der­ing who is and under which con­di­tions we will finan­cial­ly sup­port you? Have a look at our FAQ section.

Ques­tions about the organization

Who are the peo­ple behind bridgebuilder Foun­da­tion e.V.?2020–04-20T16:31:09+00:00

The ini­tia­tor of bridgebuilder is Matthias Lind­ner. Matthias is a polit­i­cal cam­paign­er and exhi­bi­tion design­er as well as the own­er of ARac­tion GmbH, a soft­ware com­pa­ny for aug­ment­ed real­i­ty projects.
Together with an inter­dis­ci­pli­nary team, Matthias found­ed the bridgebuilder Foun­da­tion e.V. (a reg­is­tered association):

  • Sebas­t­ian Adler (Nau­ti­cal offi­cer, B.Sc.)
  • Veroni­ka Czies­lik (Ener­gy and Process Engi­neer­ing, M.Sc.)
  • Katha­ri­na Wies­ner (Busi­ness Admin­is­tra­tion and Eco­nom­ics, B.A.)
  • Nike Schödl (Eng­lish and Amer­i­can Stud­ies, BA)
  • Christoph Lind­ner (Dr. jur., lawyer and lecturer)

As part of the bridgebuilder Foun­da­tion advi­so­ry board, we will decide together on your fund­ing appli­ca­tions. In addi­tion, hav­ing many years of pro­fes­sion­al expe­ri­ence, we will pro­vide you with the best pos­si­ble sup­port in imple­ment­ing your projects.

Where do you get the mon­ey for your sup­port pro­gram?2020–04-20T16:40:32+00:00

The start­ing bud­get of bridgebuilder Foun­da­tion e.V. was main­ly earned and saved by our founder, Matthias Lind­ner, in 13 years of work­ing as an inde­pen­dent design­er and entre­pre­neur. For Matthias it was always clear that this mon­ey should one day be used in a more mean­ing­ful way than sim­ply for pri­vate consumption.

To ensure that bridgebuilder con­tin­ues to func­tion in the long term, it is our goal to inspire oth­er suc­cess­ful peo­ple with the idea and to col­lect fur­ther funds for future fund­ing cycles. If you would like to donate some­thing, please con­tact us here. Dona­tions will be tax-deductible as soon as our reg­is­tered asso­ci­a­tion is rec­og­nized as non-prof­it by the tax office.

Why not sim­ply sup­port an exist­ing foun­da­tion or NGO?2020–09-24T10:02:15+00:00

We have been think­ing for a long time about whether it makes sense to set up our own ini­tia­tive. After many years of expe­ri­ence in NGOs such as Green­peace, the Econ­o­my for the Com­mon Good and after dis­cus­sions with the soci­ol­o­gist Har­ald Welz­er and mem­bers of Fri­days for Future, we decid­ed to take this step. Since we have a lot of expe­ri­ence in found­ing our own com­pa­nies, we believe that this is the way we can achieve the most.

Is bridgebuilder a com­pa­ny, a reg­is­tered asso­ci­a­tion or a foun­da­tion?2020–04-20T16:43:13+00:00 is an ini­tia­tive of Matthias Lind­ner and his com­pa­ny, ARac­tion GmbH. The reg­is­tered asso­ci­a­tion bridgebuilder Foun­da­tion e.V. was found­ed on Feb­ru­ary 21st, 2020 and we are now wait­ing to reg­is­ter as a non-prof­it asso­ci­a­tion. The non-prof­it asso­ci­a­tion will imple­ment the con­cerns of bridgebuilder and cre­ate the nec­es­sary legal frame­work for our commitment.

What is the mean­ing of the cog­wheel and the leaf in your logo?2021–10-20T15:00:15+00:00

The cog­wheel stands for the sys­tem log­ic of the “old” eco­nom­ic sys­tem: In too many com­pa­nies and cor­po­ra­tions, peo­ple are treat­ed like machines, like “cogs in the sys­tem”. They have to func­tion smooth­ly, or they will be force­ful­ly replaced.
The leaf in our logo sym­bol­izes the “new” social sys­tem, in which work and life are seen as an organ­ic process. Here, peo­ple and organizations devel­op in self-gov­­ern­ing struc­tures and nat­ur­al hier­ar­chies, com­pared to a com­plex ecosys­tem.

The cog­wheel and the leaf are also intend­ed to express our desire to con­tribute to a rec­on­cil­i­a­tion between tech­nol­o­gy and nature. What would a world look like in which nature and tech­nol­o­gy are sym­bi­ot­i­cal­ly linked and do not exploit or fight each other?

What tools does a bridgebuilder use?2021–10-20T15:01:14+00:00

Net­worked technology:
Project man­age­ment soft­ware (Click­Up), data clouds, mes­sen­ger, ver­sion con­trol tools, Cre­ative Cloud, 2D and 3D visu­al­iza­tions, Aug­ment­ed Real­i­ty, Word­Press, tools for online col­lab­o­ra­tion etc.

Organ­ic Organization:
Non­vi­o­lent Com­mu­ni­ca­tion (NVC), Sys­temic Kon­sens­ing, Sozioc­ra­cy / Holacra­cy, “Sense & Respond” instead of “Pre­dict & Con­trol”, Iter­a­tive Design instead of the water­fall mod­el, Spi­ral Dynam­ics, Design Think­ing, Drag­on Dream­ing etc.

Spir­i­tu­al tools:
Med­i­ta­tion, Bin­au­r­al Beats, expres­sive dance, Holotrop­ic Breath­work, Pos­si­bil­i­ty Man­age­ment, Yoga, Play­fight, Con­tact Impro etc.

What makes you dif­fer­ent from oth­er fund­ing pro­grammes or change-mak­er net­works?2020–04-05T09:43:30+00:00

In many sup­port pro­grams, the require­ments are much more restric­tive and the bureau­crat­ic effort much high­er than with bridgebuilder Foun­da­tion e.V. In some change-mak­er net­works it is even nec­es­sary to invest a large sum of mon­ey and/or time to attend sem­i­nars before you can become part of the network.
At bridgebuilder we believe that you already have the nec­es­sary skills and can best devel­op them in the prac­ti­cal process. We want you to start act­ing imme­di­ate­ly and that noth­ing will dis­tract you from your project! That is why we turn the prin­ci­ple around:
Instead of tak­ing mon­ey from you for our net­work and sup­port, we pay you for let­ting us sup­port you. Not too bad a deal, right?

I would like to order a high­way bridge. What is the cur­rent deliv­ery time?2021–10-20T15:02:43+00:00

Er… sor­ry, wrong website … 😉
Together with its project part­ners, bridgebuilder builds bridges into a bet­ter future. So, it’s more of a metaphor­i­cal bridge we’re talk­ing about.

For sus­tain­able wood­en bridges we rec­om­mend an inno­v­a­tive com­pa­ny from Upper Aus­tria: Wiehag. And if your teeth are bro­ken, there’s an excel­lent den­tist in the neigh­bour­ing vil­lage who can pro­vide you with a bridge.

Can I become a mem­ber, donate or found some­thing?2020–04-20T18:17:44+00:00

We’d appre­ci­ate it very much if you decid­ed to sup­port bridgebuilder finan­cial­ly! You can do this in the fol­low­ing ways:

  1. You will soon be able to donate here via an online form. (We are only wait­ing for the open­ing of our bank account at GLS Bank.)
  2. You can become a sup­port­ing mem­ber accord­ing to arti­cle 4 of our statutes and the valid con­tri­bu­tion reg­u­la­tions.
  3. You can donate a larg­er sum of mon­ey to our asso­ci­a­tion, there­by ensur­ing your con­tri­bu­tion lasts for a long peri­od of time.

If you are inter­est­ed, please con­tact Matthias Lind­ner, bridgebuilder’s initiator.
You can do this via email or mail to bridgebuilder Foun­da­tion e.V., Auweg 6, D‑83224 Staudach-Egerndach.


Ques­tions about the funding

What are the fund­ing con­di­tions?2020–04-20T16:47:50+00:00
  • There is no legal claim to funding.
  • The advi­so­ry board is free to decide who, when, how long and to what extent bridgebuilder Foun­da­tion e.V. sup­ports some­one in the con­text of their char­i­ta­ble commitment.
  • The statutes of the found­ed bridgebuilder Foun­da­tion e.V. define the deci­­sion-mak­ing frame­work for the fund­ing committee.
  • Sub­mit­ted fund­ing con­cepts will not be remunerated.
  • All sub­mit­ted ideas and con­cepts are “Open Source”. They are hand­ed over by the author under the license CC0 1.0 Uni­ver­sal (CC0 1.0) Pub­lic Domain Ded­i­ca­tion. Fur­ther infor­ma­tion:
  • All doc­u­ments, ideas and sub­mit­ted media may be freely used and pub­lished by bridgebuilder Foun­da­tion e.V.
  • The fund­ing amounts stat­ed are the amounts we are aim­ing for. We can devi­ate from them at our own discretion.
  • Fund­ing amounts received can be reclaimed if the recip­i­ent does not ful­fil his oblig­a­tions as project man­ag­er or uses the mon­ey for oth­er pur­pos­es than described in the fund­ing application.
  • The grant can be ter­mi­nat­ed by either par­ty at any time with­out giv­ing rea­sons and with imme­di­ate effect. (How­ev­er, we will always talk to you first if prob­lems arise!)
  • bridgebuilder Foun­da­tion e.V. may change the terms and con­di­tions of the spon­sor­ship at any time with effect for the future.
  • Please also read the FAQ arti­cles about the fund­ing peri­od, fund­ing amount and your oblig­a­tions.
  • Detailed terms and con­di­tions, in a legal­ly water­tight ver­sion, are cur­rent­ly being pre­pared and will be pub­lished here as soon as they are ready.
Who can apply for fund­ing?2020–02-06T13:00:44+00:00

Any­one, regard­less of age, gen­der, ori­gin, reli­gion, edu­ca­tion­al back­ground, skin colour, nation­al­i­ty or favourite food can apply — as long as they already lead a char­i­ta­ble project or are about to start one. It is impor­tant to us that you work pro­fes­sion­al­ly, are high­ly orga­nized and deter­mined, and have expe­ri­ence in your field. It would be great if you are self-con­­fi­­dent, yet real­is­tic and reflec­tive and have already spent some thoughts on your pur­pose and vision of life. We assume that you are inter­est­ed in polit­i­cal, social and maybe even philo­soph­i­cal ques­tions any­way — oth­er­wise you prob­a­bly would­n’t be on this page. 😉

Do you already have the € 100,000?2020–01-30T22:25:14+00:00

Yes, but we are cur­rent­ly look­ing for sup­port­ers so that we can finance the next fund­ing peri­ods and spread the finan­cial com­mit­ment over sev­er­al shoulders.

How long will I be spon­sored?2020–02-11T13:19:58+00:00

You will most like­ly be fund­ed for at least 1 year and a max­i­mum of 3 years. After each year, the advi­so­ry board will decide on the con­tin­u­a­tion of your sponsorship.

Can I only apply alone or also with a team?2020–01-30T18:12:10+00:00

Both is pos­si­ble. If you are apply­ing for a team, your appli­ca­tion should clear­ly state whether only one per­son should receive the fund­ing, or whether sev­er­al team mem­bers need finan­cial sup­port. Remem­ber to give a good rea­son why you need the mon­ey and give us an idea of what you want to build with our support.

Is the € 500 per month a fixed fund­ing amount?2020–01-31T12:39:14+00:00

We think 500 € per month is a good basic sup­port in the foun­da­tion phase of your project. You will also have to orga­nize your own funds or oth­er grants and financ­ing pos­si­bil­i­ties to secure it for the long term. We ask you, if pos­si­ble, to give pri­or­i­ty to oth­er fund­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties, e.g. start-up grants.
In well jus­ti­fied excep­tion­al cas­es, we are gen­er­al­ly free to increase the amount of fund­ing slightly.

Does bridgebuilder sup­port peo­ple or projects?2021–10-20T15:13:03+00:00

We sup­port activists, social entre­pre­neurs, cam­paign­ers, start-up founders and oth­er com­mit­ted indi­vid­u­als on con­di­tion that they use the fund­ing received for non-prof­it projects. The use of the funds must be doc­u­ment­ed, e.g. by doc­u­ment­ing the hours worked for the char­i­ta­ble project.

Do you expect some­thing in return? What com­mit­ment do I enter into?2020–04-20T17:02:05+00:00

We do not expect any finan­cial or mate­r­i­al con­sid­er­a­tion. The return of invest results from your com­mit­ment to soci­ety as a whole.
How­ev­er, if you make use of our sup­port, we expect you to invest a large part of your work­ing time in your char­i­ta­ble project and to doc­u­ment this in a way that is acces­si­ble to us. Fur­ther­more, it is necessary,

  • that you inform us open­ly and trans­par­ent­ly about the progress or pos­si­ble prob­lems in your project;
  • that you dis­close fig­ures, cash flows, staff struc­ture and con­nec­tions to oth­er pri­vate or pub­lic actors in a trans­par­ent man­ner;
  • that you sup­port oth­er bridge­builders in their projects as far as possible;
  • that you get involved in the bridgebuilder net­work and con­tin­ue as “bridgebuilder-alum­nus”;
  • that you sup­port us in the fur­ther devel­op­ment of the bridgebuilder Foundation

We would like all bridge­builders to see them­selves as a large, joint team that works together sym­bi­ot­i­cal­ly: every­one has their focus, roles and respon­si­bil­i­ties, but we sup­port each oth­er where we can.

Your Application

Con­vince us of your spe­cial project — and your personality.


regarding project and personality

  • You already start­ed your project or are about to start it. Your project is ambi­tious, real­is­tic, prac­tice-ori­ent­ed and already ful­ly developed.*

  • We have no age lim­its. How­ev­er, our key tar­get group is between 22 and 33 years old.

  • Your per­son­al­i­ty is that of a founder: you are will­ing to take risks and respon­si­bil­i­ty, and you are famil­iar with self-man­age­ment and self-motivation.

  • You have at least 3 years of prac­ti­cal expe­ri­ence or you have com­plet­ed pro­fes­sion­al train­ing or hold a degree in a field rel­e­vant to your project.

  • You know your strengths and your weak­ness­es and have devel­oped out­stand­ing exper­tise in your field of work.

  • You have already proven your skills in prac­ti­cal projects and you can pro­vide evi­dence of this with a port­fo­lio or references.

  • You are flu­ent in Eng­lish (if we fund peo­ple who don’t speak Ger­man, we will pri­mar­i­ly com­mu­ni­cate in English).

Application period: to be announced.


This is how the application process works:

  • Step 1:
    a) Poster** (DIN A3) with a sum­ma­ry of the main points of your project.
    b) 3‑minute video of you (and your team), in which you present your­self, your moti­va­tion and your goals.

  • Step 2:
    Com­pre­hen­sive con­cept (15 pages) in which you high­light all aspects of your project and team in detail (sim­i­lar to a busi­ness plan).

  • Step 3:
    Per­son­al intro­duc­tion and inter­view over cof­fee and cake or dur­ing a hik­ing tour. 🙂

  • After each step, the advi­so­ry board will make a selec­tion. In any case, you will get feed­back on your application.

  • Appli­ca­tions open: to be announced.
    Sub­mis­sion dead­line for step 1:  to be announced.

* We only sup­port peo­ple who are will­ing to real­ly get start­ed with their project and who want to help oth­er peo­ple, the envi­ron­ment or soci­ety direct­ly and prac­ti­cal­ly. We do not sup­port any vague ideas or the­o­ret­i­cal con­cepts, nor do we spon­sor projects for a tar­get group that is not in need of help. To give an exam­ple: We think com­mu­ni­ty projects such as ecov­il­lages or liv­ing com­mu­ni­ties are great, but we could only sup­port them if they inter­act­ed extra­or­di­nar­i­ly strong­ly with the soci­ety sur­round­ing them, are rec­og­nized as non-prof­it and inte­grate dis­ad­van­taged peo­ple. Your appli­ca­tion should explain why you need fund­ing for your project, or how the mon­ey will help you achieve your char­i­ta­ble goals.
** Here are a few sug­ges­tions for points that your poster could contain:
Your idea in one sen­tence, type of char­i­ty & field of work, mis­sion state­ment, men­tion­ing the SDGs your project is work­ing on, a short team intro­duc­tion, the most impor­tant steps for the next 5 years, chances & risks, hur­dles & solu­tions, avail­able resources, loca­tion, … keep it short & simple.
We know from our own expe­ri­ence that such appli­ca­tions are a lot of work — and we will prob­a­bly not be able to pro­vide fund­ing for all appli­cants. We have there­fore struc­tured the appli­ca­tion process in three stages in order to lim­it the ini­tial effort for you. In any case, you should design your doc­u­ments in such a way that they add val­ue to your project and pro­vide clar­i­ty and focus — regard­less of whether your appli­ca­tion is suc­cess­ful or not.
Please note our fund­ing con­di­tions.

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