The Aurora Foundation was created by the couple Ingibjörg Kristjánsdóttir, landscape architect and her husband Ólafur Ólafsson, Board Chairman of Samskip. It was formally established on 23. January 2007, Ólafur’s 50th birthday.
The primary aim of the foundation is to enhance and strengthen cultural and humanitarian activities in Iceland and abroad. Emphasis is focused on supporting projects that can make a difference, that inject hope and optimism into a community. The charter states that the foundation‘s role involves “...financial support to individuals, associations, organisations and communities, and to provide assistance to those living in hardship as a result of sickness, accidents or other misfortune.“
The Aurora Foundation aims to participate actively in providing support and development aid in close cooperation with governments, aid agencies and residents of communities in need. Aurora also intends to be a staunch supporter of cultural activities in Iceland. Projects will be carefully selected and monitored as far as possible. The Foundation emphasises providing substantial support to each project, thereby strengthening the likelihood of a successful outcome. In some cases, Aurora will initiate projects in cooperation with the parties involved.
A five-person board was elected at the foundation’s first general meeting. The board is responsible for developing policy and operating the foundation, and has adopted operating procedures.
The Aurora Foundation was initially capitalised with ISK one billion, which was provided by the founders. The foundation’s annual contributions will derive from interest and other profits from the initial funding, in addition to any money that may be donated.