The WGZ BANK Foundation aims to offer fresh impetus for the principle of helping people help themselves. It was set up in 2009 by the former WGZ BANK, which merged with DZ BANK in 2016, to celebrate its 125th anniversary. The WGZ BANK Foundation, which is endowed with €5 million, supports education in sociopolitical and economic subject areas in line with the cooperative principle. Above all, it endeavors to promote early education in economics in schools and other institutions as well as training and development in economic subject areas. The activities supported by the WGZ BANK Foundation complement those supported by the DZ BANK Foundation and vice versa.

In 2016, we provided total funding of some €79,000 for projects, including the Leuphana summer academy and our annual sponsorship prize.The Leuphana summer academy was set up to provide special training for young people in their final years of less academic German high schools (Hauptschule, Gesamtschule and Realschule plus). During an intensive three-week camp held in the summer holidays, which is combined with sustained educational support over a period of one year, the schoolchildren are able to develop their skills and personalities. This improves their chances of gaining a good school-leaving qualification and going on to a career.

In 2016, and for the sixth year in succession, the WGZ BANK Foundation invited entries for its sponsorship prize, this year under the tagline ‘Uncovering potential – initiatives that challenge and nurture’. The prize is endowed with €15,000 and supports the projects of schools, fundraising organizations, local foundations, and other educational initiatives that aim to improve education in sociopolitical and economic subject areas. The projects are nominated by the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbanken – the local cooperative banks – in the Rhineland and Westphalia. A panel of judges comprising members of the Board of Managing Directors and the board of trustees of the WGZ BANK Foundation decides on the winners. The sponsorship prize was presented to four initiatives at a ceremony held on the day of the Annual General Meeting of WGZ BANK on June 21, 2016.