We are a foundation that believes there should be no "us" or "them". There should only be "we".
Our objective is to diminish social inequality and exclusion of children, youth and families in Finland. Every child and teenager should have equal access to a safe environment in which to grow up, develop and live a good life, regardless of family background. The core purpose of the foundation is to support ventures that will increase such equality in our society. We also support environmental protection in Finland. Our founders, Mr. Ilkka Paananen and Mr. Mikko Kodisoja, are both serial entrepreneurs, who are founding members of gaming companies, such as Supercell and Sumea. In addition, they are both financing Finnish start-ups through the Lifeline Ventures fund. The We Foundation was registered in the spring of 2015 under its Finnish name Me-säätiö; “Me” is the Finnish word for “we”.
We are happy to support
The ideal venture for us to support meets the following criteria:
- We aim to be the best in the world. Whatever the project’s objectives, it must have a worldwide perspective and high standards. We strive for excellence in everything we do.
- Broad influence and scalability. Each project we support must aim to have a maximum effect and reach as many lives as possible. In order to attain the best results, each successful venture ought to be implemented in other corresponding fields as well.
- Clear and measurable objectives. We expect each project to have clear and measurable objectives.
- Experiments and risks. New ideas are very welcome. We are happy to get involved in high-risk ventures, where the goal is to achieve an entirely new solution to an existing problem, for example through new technology or a novel approach. We are not afraid to fail, since only through error can we develop something new!
- Working together. The impact is maximized when working together with many different agents for a common goal. We are not trying to reinvent the wheel and therefore, it is crucial that municipalities are one of the key agents involved in the majority of our projects.
The projects we support can, for example, be related to the following areas:
- Providing services
- Technical solutions
How to apply for support
The We Foundation does not have an application form or set deadlines. Informal applications can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Socially responsible investing
The foundation’s investment policy is particularly concerned with socially responsible investing. On top of the traditional financial criteria, a company’s environmental and social responsibility views are also at the core of the selection process. Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) are also considered.
The We Foundation can function as an investor in Social Impact Bond (SIB) projects, where the main objective is to strive for a positive societal impact on top of the actual investment returns.
Socially responsible investment policies are stressed in the possible selection of external asset managers, as this is key in the investment process. The asset manager is also required to sign the UN’s Principles for Responsible Investment.
The We Foundation would like the principles of social investment to become more common in Finland, and aims to play a role in their promotion. Networking with other agents in the field is also an objective.
Board of Directors and CEO
The Board of Directors of the We Foundation has the responsibility to ensure that it operates according to rules and regulations and that the objectives established in the foundation’s regulations are met. It is the responsibility of the Board of Directors to define a strategy for the foundation. The Board has appointed Ms. Ulla Nord as CEO of the We Foundation from January 12, 2015 onward.
The CEO and Board are in charge of all the We Foundation activities.
Board of Directors
Ilkka Paananen, Chairman of the Board
Mikko Kodisoja, Vice-Chairman
Authorized Public Accountant Ms. Heidi Vierros serves as accountant for the We Foundation.
We are a member of the Council of Finnish Foundations, which is an association of Finnish grant providers whose members follow generally accepted policies for the ethical governance of foundations.