SOCIAL FINANCING FOR ANTHROPOSOPHICAL INITIATIVES
Your money works here
The Vidar Foundation is a registered Canadian charity which connects individuals wishing to use their money in positive ways with borrowers needing money to grow socially responsible enterprise.
The Vidar Foundation is administered by a board of directors inspired by the socioeconomic ideas of Rudolf Steiner. The founder of Waldorf Schools, biodynamic farming, anthroposophical medicine, Christian Community, Camphill and other initiatives
Vidar Foundation – A Brief History
- by Ingrid Belenson
In 1979, when Ernst Wilhelm Barkhoff, the founder of the GLS Bank in Bochum, Germany, introduced his audience in Toronto to a new way of working with money, e.g. community supported agriculture, loan and/or pledge communities in support of Waldorf Schools and other initiatives that are not self-serving, Helmut Krause established the Vidar Loan Community which he kept active until shortly before his untimely death. His wish had been to hand it over to a registered organization.
At the same time, a group of members and non-members met to explore various possibilities for working with money; and establishing a credit union was one of them. Another visit of GLS Bank members in the mid 90s at the Sunnivue Farm near London, Ontario, fanned new interest in establishing a vehicle for a money initiative and a new study group began, but both attempts remained in the theoretical realm.
During the 1997 Ann Arbor conference I decided to take a mini-sabbatical to pursue this idea. I spoke with Rolf Kerler, our treasurer at the Goetheanum at that time. He made it possible for me to visit over a period of two months the Goetheanum and the anthroposophical bank (BCL) in Dornach as well as the GLS Bank in Bochum, and to work and travel with the treasurer of the Anthroposophical Society in Germany to visit various initiatives that needed financing.
Rolf Kerler suggested that I start with a project and when I returned to Canada, moving to Ottawa in August 1998, the first project presented itself: The Ottawa Waldorf School needed to expand and the community decided to start with the first phase of its permanent building. Since an additional $40,000 needed to be raised, I suggested forming a pledge and loan guarantee group that over three years would pay back the loans obtained against those pledges and guarantees. For a small school with 55 students it was quite an achievement to reach that goal. Finding the loan money was an easy task, and as this project became known, more loan money was offered than the school could accept. The kindergarten wing was built; the enrolment of the school more than doubled within a year.
In April of 2001 Vidar Foundation registered as a Non-Profit organization and received its Letters Patent from Industry Canada. Its initial directors were: Chris Heintz, Timothy Nadelle and myself. Hamo Hammond and Reinhard Rosch joined the following year and we began the process of receiving charitable status with the Federal Government which was granted in November of 2003.
We are very grateful to the friends who have put their trust in Vidar, supporting our work with loan and gift money.
Who was Vidar and why is he an inspiration for Vidar Foundation?
The question of who exactly Vidar was to the pre-Christian Norse and other Germanic peoples is essentially unanswerable.
In Norse myth, Vidar is the son of Odin and the giantess Grid. He is the god of silence and revenge, the second strongest of the gods. At the destruction of the world, Odin will be killed by the wolf Fenrir, or Fenris, and Vidar will avenge his father by killing the wolf with his bare hands. He will press one foot on Fenrir's bottom jaw, and will take hold of his other jaw and tear the wolf apart. He is one of the gods that will rule the new world when it is created
The gods rely on him in times of immense difficulties.
Vidar’s "thick shoe" is described as consisting of all the extra leather pieces that people have cut from their own shoes at the toe and heel, collected by the god throughout all time. Therefore, anyone who is concerned enough to give assistance to the gods should throw these pieces away.
ABOUT VIDAR FOUNDATION
Vidar Foundation provides a channel for individuals who wish to assume full responsibility for the way in which their money works by assisting projects that are creating social benefit.
Vidar Foundation facilitates communication between investors and/or donors and project initiators, fostering collaboration and partnership.
Vidar Foundation invites inquiries regarding opportunities for investing funds and supporting a qualified project through donations, loans or planned giving such as a legacy.
Vidar Foundation offers assistance in formulating a business plan, applying for loans, and setting up pledge or loan guarantee communities.
Vidar Foundation’s aim is to build trust in cooperative efforts by establishing openness with transparency and respectful negotiation.