The Bikuben Foundation strategy

Creating new opportunities for young people on the edge and for art with a current relevance

In 2016, the Bikuben Foundation changed its strategy. In the future, the objective of the foundation will be the creation of new opportunities to encourage young people on the edge of society and artists and cultural institutions to find new ways. This will be accomplished by embracing a broader spectrum of philanthropic tools than simply that of signing a cheque.

Over the last few years, the Bikuben Foundation has undergone significant change. Earlier, the foundation practised a more traditional approach, focusing on conventional donations. Now, with the Bikuben Foundation’s new strategy for the philanthropic area, the foundation is – to an even greater extent – moving in the direction of operating as a proactive, co-operative and concerned foundation.

With collective annual grants, equal to well over DKK 70m, the Bikuben Foundation belongs among the minor of the prominent Danish foundations. The objective of the new strategy is to work more focused and to use the funds even more constructively.

The Bikuben foundation strategy is based on the mindset that philanthropic foundations are in a unique position with respect to create change in cooperation with the civil society and private and public players and, also, to act on the basis of a willingness to take risks and long-term thinking. The focus of the foundation is on the development and testing of innovative initiatives targeted at creating the best possible social value and artistic quality.

Creating new opportunities

The Bikuben Foundation strategy takes its point of departure in a desire to create new opportunities within the cultural and social spheres. Constituting the foundation’s starting point, “creating new opportunities” signifies a commitment to work in innovative ways and to create new opportunities for the people, organisations and initiatives supported by the foundation.

The philosophy is that, within both the social and the cultural fields, there is a need for change and a new departure that may not always be feasible to realise via isolated initiatives. The method for more comprehensive initiatives will frequently be the same across the two highly different focus areas. First, new and relevant focus areas in interaction with the professional field must be identified. Secondly, the foundation intends to collect and produce new knowledge and, next, enter into cooperative relationships with the surrounding world, focusing on the design of these initiatives.

Art with a current relevance

Within the cultural area, the focus of the new strategy is targeted at supporting professional artists and cultural institutions in finding new ways and in realising their potential. The foundation will back up the development of the inventiveness and quality existing on the art scene.

The strategy within the cultural area is based on an explicit view of art, namely that art cannot – nor should it – be valued from a use-value point of view. Rather, the Bikuben Foundation works on the basis of a strong conviction about the significance of art: Art need not necessarily be used for any specific purpose. Art may generate new realisations and reflection about one’s own life and the surrounding world. Art may represent space for sense perception, tell a story or generate debate. Thus, art does not have a particularly defined purpose but many, and it should be patently independent of the political agenda of successive governments.

Based on this strategy, the foundation opted to focus on the performing arts and visual arts with the objective of working even more targeted. The strategy thus demonstrates the pronounced choice to opt out of the entire culture-historical area that was previously an objective of the Bikuben Foundation’s support.

Young people on the edge

With respect to the social area, the Bikuben Foundation works on the basis of a firm belief in the individual being’s resources and a desire to provide socially disadvantaged young people on the edge of society with an opportunity to go new ways and realise their potential.

The point of departure for the Bikuben Foundation’s work is to mobilise the individual being’s potential and inherent strength and, thus, enable individuals to assume co-responsibility for their own lives. The foundation wishes to make an effort to help young people troubled by complex issues within many different scenes of life – family, network, job, education and leisure life. In the future, the foundation’s focus will be directed towards vulnerable young people between 13 and 30 years of age such as e.g. young homeless, unaccompanied refugees or criminal young people. The planning of the initiative will depend on the uncovering of the actual crux of the matter.

This new strategy means that, in the future, the foundation will no longer support initiatives exclusively targeted at children or initiatives focused solely on the vulnerable family.

A focused strategy of significant deselection

Collectively, the Bikuben Foundation’s new strategy is a movement towards a more proactive and forward-looking philanthropy. In its future activities, the foundation intends to contribute with more than money and to change its focus from activity to development. In practice, this will often mean larger grants and longer time horizons. Moreover, the foundation will – to a much greater extent – involve itself in following up on the effect and significance of the launched initiatives and, also, in ensuring a capacity building of the social and cultural collaborative institutions as well as the economic sustainability of the individual initiative.

Creating new opportunities

We believe in social commitment and in the significance of art. This is why we are committed to re-create opportunities for young people on the edge and for current art.


The Bikuben Foundation
Otto Mønsteds Gade 5
DK-1571 Copenhagen V


Tel.: +45 33 77 93 93
Fax: +45 33 77 93 83

Central Business Registration no.: 13 29 06 44

Telephone hours:
Monday to Thursday 9:00 - 16:00
Friday 9:00 - 15:00