The Essl Foundation (Martin and Gerda Essl Sozialpreis Gemeinnützige Privatstiftung) is a private, not-for-profit foundation established in 2007 by Martin and Gerda Essl, and their children, for social purposes. The foundation has been provided with sufficient financial resources to support its activities in the long-term.
Its mission is to support social innovation, social entrepreneurship and persons with disabilities.
Currently the Essl Foundation is focusing its activities on:
- Zero Project;
- The annual Essl Social Prize;
- The support of social projects in Austria, with an emphasis on people with disabilities and for training and employment models for disadvantaged peoples;
- "Sinnstifter", a joint effort of Austrian philantropists to support social innovation and philanthropy in Austria.
The Essl Foundation ist a member of the European Foundation Centre (EFC), the European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA) and has ECOSOC status of the United Nations.