The Lars Windhorst Foundation provides disadvantaged young people with experiences and opportunities that empower them to reach their full potential. It also engages in projects that promote culture and the arts and supports healthcare initiatives.
The Foundation provides single and multi-year grants to charities, social enterprises and other organisations to achieve this mission.
The Foundation also partners with charities with relevant expertise to bring its own initiatives and projects to life.
At its heart, the Foundation is driven by a fundamental belief that to reach their full potential young people need to be exposed to a range of enriching experiences and opportunities, whether that is through academic education, business and enterprise, sports, art and culture, or something else entirely.
To reach their full potential young people need to be exposed to a range of enriching experiences.
The Foundation believes young people have the right to be supported to learn new skills, develop themselves and connect with new people, and, most importantly, to challenge their preconceptions of themselves and what they can achieve, and remove barriers to success.
The Foundation’s work focuses on four core themes — education; enterprise and development; the arts and culture and healthcare — but it has an open mind about future projects, and believes firmly that solutions to the challenges it seeks to address often come from diverse and unexpected places.
The Foundation provides both single and multi-year grants to the organisations it supports, and does not have a standard size of gift, driven more by the project’s needs rather than pre-set guidelines.
The Foundation generally takes an active role in shaping the projects that it chooses to get involved in. The Foundation also welcomes both solicited and unsolicited requests for support.
The Foundation was founded by the German entrepreneur, Lars Windhorst, in 2017. He passionately believes in supporting young people and giving them opportunities to thrive. Mr Windhorst strongly believes in the power of philanthropy to drive positive social change and started his foundation to help bring together charities and organisations to support this endeavour.
What We Fund
The Foundation was established in the UK in 2016 to formalise the giving of Lars Windhorst and the Windhorst family.
The current Foundation builds on the work the family previously undertook individually, corporately or through other organisations.
The Foundation’s current mission grows out of the family’s initial experience through charities that recognised the power of education, outreach and engagement to transform young people’s life outcomes.
In 1997, Windhorst joined the Board of Geneva-based The Mentor Foundation, which provides education, assistance and mentorship to teens and young adults at risk of drug abuse. It provided young people with the education and mentoring they needed to make decisions for a responsible and healthy lifestyle.
The family subsequently chose to extend the range of activities it would support to provide young people with a broader range of enriching experiences. The family has provided gifts to arts organisations and galleries, such as The Serpentine Galleries in London and the C/O-Gallery in Berlin, to provide more young people, and the wider public, with access to contemporary art and photography.
In 2015, the family purchased part of the Christo and Jeanne-Claude collection, which provided a photographic record of Christo’s ‘Reichstag Wrapped’ project, and loaned the works to the Bundestag for 20 years, so they could be seen by young people and the wider public.
The Foundation remains committed to sponsoring projects that enable young people to become great leaders in their communities.
The family also worked with the Sapinda Rainbow Fund and the Clipper Round the World Yacht Race to give a team of young underprivileged South Africans the opportunity to participate in ocean racing, helping them develop their leadership potential and instill crucial life skills such as teamwork, communication and coordination.
Through to today, the Foundation remains committed to sponsoring projects that enable young people to become great leaders in their communities and a source of inspiration and motivation to bring change to their peers and the community as a whole.