Wanda Moser-Heindl receives 'Founder of the Year'


SozialMarie Award

The Austrian association of non-profit foundations named Wanda Moser-Heindl as Founder of the Year. Congratulations to the founder of SozialMarie!

The 5th Annual Foundation Day Conference on "Philanthropy & Sustainable Development Goals" took place in Vienna in the Reitersaal of the OeKB on September 29. Foundations that are active in the non-profit sector can play a number of roles towards achieving the Sustainable Development Goals of the United Nations.

During the conference, the Association honoured Wanda Moser-Heindl as Founder of the Year 2022. In her laudation, the President of the Association, Katharina Turnauer, emphasised: "Wanda Moser-Heindl has done pioneering work in the philanthropic sector. When she started her engagement at the beginning of 2000, Wanda was the first to work across national borders in the CEE region. While doing so, she also paid special attention to small initiatives. The Unruhe Private Foundation, which Wanda co-founded, hosts the ‘SozialMarie - Prize for Social Innovation’, which has been honouring impactful social innovations since 2005. As co-initiator of the ‘Sinnstifter’, a platform for a current 13 Austrian foundations, Moser-Heindl was able to create an important impetus. Many actors in the Austrian sector have been able to learn from and through Wanda's commitment. For her work and her exemplary role, it is with great pleasure that we are awarding her the title of Stifterin 2022 today."

Moser-Heindl was very pleased about the award and explained: "Our goal is to find projects that have the courage to try out new things in order to create solutions in response to changing frameworks and conditions. What pleases me most is when award winners get to know each other at our events and develop new projects together. For me personally, at the start of SozialMarie, it was about initiating something that could be a role model for others and popularising the topic of social innovation."

In 2024, SozialMarie will celebrate its 20th birthday. Pre-empting that, Wanda Moser-Heindl's 20-year plan will be realised this year with the inclusion of Slovenia into the SozialMarie submission area. Winning first prize for social innovation in Europe means that SozialMarie has helped ensure that the concept of ‘social innovation’ is now a central tenet of society and is specifically researched and promoted by research institutes and the public sector. Projects from the non-profit, public and private sectors can apply for a SozialMarie Award. Over nearly two decades, the organisation has established itself as an important networker for social initiatives from Central and Eastern Europe. In addition to its annual award ceremony, SozialMarie promotes international exchange between project representatives and advances public discourse on social innovation. But how will the future of SozialMarie develop over the next 20 years? How do social innovations emerge in times of crisis and how can we strengthen them? After 20 years of existence, SozialMarie will address these questions and dare to do something new.