Scholars' Association News
Issue 38
May 2016


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The Onassis Foundation: strategic partner in the act4Greece programme

The Onassis Foundation is strategic partner in the crowdfunding programme act4Greece, an initiative taken by the National Bank of Greece, that is the first major public benefit crowdfunding platform in Greece. The programme was officially unveiled on Monday, 1 February 2016 at the Mela Mansion in the presence of Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras, as well as Louka Katseli, President of the National Bank, Leonidas Frangiadakis, CEO, Antonis Papadimitriou, President of the Onassis Foundation, and representatives of various public benefit institutions and organisations. Addressing the event Antonis Papadimitriou said that,

"At the Onassis Foundation we are particularly pleased today, along with and in parallel with major public benefit foundations, to accept National Bank’s invitation to participate in the act4Greece initiative, the first major public benefit crowdfunding platform to be set up in Greece. The Onassis Foundation was founded in 1975 and last year celebrated 40 years of work, assisting in vital sectors such as health, education, culture and social solidarity. We recognise that private initiative ought to work in partnership with the state, assisting it to generate multiplier effects for the public good, especially when we are talking about public goods.

The Onassis Foundation's vision and long-standing mission has been and is to liberate the forces within Greek society. Using our support as a springboard, various organisations, individuals and ideas are creating a better present and a more ambitious future for our homeland. By liberating forces in the health sector, we managed to build and donate the Onassis Cardiac Surgery Centre to the Greek State in 1993; even larger forces were unleashed in the fields of culture and education with the establishment of the Onassis Cultural Centre in 2010, and this is also true in relation to a range of other measures we have taken such as the 6,500 scholarships which we have provided so far.

It is within this same context that the Onassis Foundation took up National Bank's invitation to participate as a strategic partner in the act4Greece initiative. We view this initiative as offering the public a tool that will allow everyone to contribute, to the extent that he can, to combating the crisis and the problems which have amassed. Each of the organisations collaborating in this effort is contributing its own special experience and know-how so that all those who participate in crowdfunding can be certain that their contribution will go where it needs to, in a completely transparent manner under the watchful eye of the National Bank.

With 40 years of experience the Onassis Foundation and the Onassis Cultural Centre are contributing their know-how in an important aspect of this entire endeavour, in the culture sector. It goes without saying that we will also provide financial support, building on important foundations, and providing a starting point for the collection of monies from the public for this important objective. As various bodies come together in an unprecedented manner, we would like to inspire our fellow citizens to rally round and support the act4Greece initiative and contribute what they can to any cause that resonates with them.

Participating in the act4Greece programme, the Onassis Foundation undertakes to support bodies that operate in the culture sector, and above all the Greek Art Theatre Karolos Koun; a cultural player which has made an undisputed contribution over the years, a real hotbed of theatrical talent, whose input to Greece's cultural identity and heritage is invaluable. It is only through education and culture that we can ensure that the values of humanism and democracy will continue to be vital ingredients of social cohesion for us, especially given present conditions.

As a strategic partner, and deeply aware of our responsibility we firm believe in the power of partnership. As a result, the Onassis Foundation foresees a new age for charities in Greece emerging from its participation act4Greece. The collective experience of organisations that know what society needs and the best ways to meet those needs, coupled with the sensitivity of our fellow citizens towards those needs, who will be contributing what they can, can breathe a breath of fresh air, the air of hope, into the development of this land and liberate forces".

For more information visit the programme's website:

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