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.
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!
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?
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are you wondering who bridgebuilder.eu is and under which conditions we will financially support you? Have a look at our FAQ section.
Questions about the organization
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.
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.
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.
bridgebuilder.eu 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.
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?
Project mangament software (ClickUp), data clouds, messenger, version control tools, Creative Cloud, 2D and 3D visualizations, Augmented Reality, WordPress, tools for online collaboration etc.
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.
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?
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.
We’d appreciate it very much if you decided to support bridgebuilder financially! You can do this in the following ways:
- 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.)
- You can become a supporting member according to article 4 of our statutes and the valid contribution regulations.
- You can donate a larger sum of money to our association, thereby ensuring your contribution lasts for a long period of time.
Questions about the funding
- 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: https://creativecommons.org/publicdomain/zero/1.0/deed.en
- 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.
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. 😉
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.
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.
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.
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.
We support activists, social entrepreneurs, campaigners, startup 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.
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.
Convince us of your special project — and your personality.
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.
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