The purpose of the Lotta Svärd Foundation
The Moscow Armistice, signed in the autumn of 1944, had unprecedented effects on the practising of the freedom of association and freedom of speech in Finland. The practical application of Article 21 of the Moscow Armistice meant that Finland was subjected to external measures aimed at directing the country’s domestic policy. On the grounds of the armistice, hundreds of associations and organizations were disbanded in Finland, including the Lotta Organization.
In the autumn of 1944, Finnish Women’s Aid Foundation was founded to contunue the relief and aid work of the Lotta Organization. In 2004, the Finnish Women’s Aid Foundation was renamed the Lotta Svärd Foundation.
In its time, the Lotta Organization focused on social aid and relief work, and the Lotta Svärd Foundation continues on that path even today. In accordance with its rules, the foundation provides rehabilitation and assistance to Lottas and Junior Lottas, but it also promotes voluntary civil defence work with the focus on everyday safety, and carries on the tradition by maintaining the Lotta Museum. The purpose of social responsibility at the Lotta Svärd Foundation today and in the future, is to promote caring, support those in need of support, and provide a channel for doing good, while respecting the work and values of the Lotta organization and its members.
Assets of the foundation
The original assets of the Lotta Svärd Foundation comprise the 36.1 million Finnish Marks that was donated and received from the Lotta Organization in 1944 (around EUR 5.7 million in today’s money). After the Lotta Organization was disbanded, the Finnish Women’s Aid Foundation raised funds by setting up businesses to employ the Lottas returning from the war. The most significant of these enterprises was Work Site Maintenance (Työmaahuolto Oy). Funds received in the 1970s from the sale of the business operations of the Finnish Women’s Aid Foundation have been used, and are still being used, to provide rehabilitation for members of the disbanded Lotta Organization, Lottas and Junior Lottas.
In the 2016 accounts, the value of the Lotta Svärd Foundation’s assets is around EUR 65 million, with the fair value at around EUR 75-80 million. Roughly 80% of the assets is invested in rental housing and 20% in stocks.
Use of the assets and the future of the Lotta Svärd Foundation
In the 2000s, the Lotta Svärd Foundation has spent around EUR 50 million in total on rehabilitation and assistance to the Lottas and Junior Lottas and on community grants. Every year, a total sum of around EUR 3.5 million is spent on rehabilitation, assistance and other support measures for Lottas and Junior Lottas. The annual cost of running the Lotta Museum, maintained by the foundation, is around EUR 800,000.
The activities of the Lotta Svärd Foundation are regulated by the rules of the foundation and the Foundations Act. According to the rules of the Lotta Svärd Foundation, there is no fixed term for the foundation’s activities; they will continue in the future. After the rehabilitation and aid work among the Lottas and Junior Lottas is finished, the focus of the foundation’s activities will shift to training women for various crisis situations, to relief work and to fostering the Lotta tradition. This was the wish of the Lottas.