Botín Foundation-Building for the future

Botín Foundation, building for the future

The Botín Foundation is a family-run initiative created in 1964 by Marcelino Botín Sanz de Sautuola and his wife Carmen Yllera, to "mitigate the needs and promote the social development" of Cantabria.

Today, nearly 50 years later, and still faithful to the spirit of its founders, the Botín Foundation is Spain´s number one private foundation in terms of the volume of its social investments. At the helm of the Foundation is Emilio Botín, who is also the President of Banco Santander.


The mission of the Botín Foundation is to contribute to the development of the society on all levels, detecting and promoting creative talent and exploring new ways to generate cultural, social and economic wealth.


    To do so, the Foundation has one artistic and cultural development programme, and three socioeconomic development programmes: education, science and rural development. Moreover, it also has a programme for social action in Santander that targets those in need of aid here and now, as well as a trend observatory in Madrid, which aims to provide a deeper and more complete understanding of the society and to discover keys that serve to generate wealth and conduct its development.

    1. Four of its own action programmes in strategic areas to create wealth:

      • An Artistic and Cultural development programme. Because cultural development is essential for human development, while also generating social development. At its heart is a visual arts programme that centres on research in the area of the Spanish drawing, training through grants, scholarships and workshops, and promotion, with exhibitions that display the results of the training and research and make it possible to bring the work of international artists to the people of Santander. This programme also aims to preserve cultural heritage and includes a series of conferences and concerts.
      • And three economic development programmes:
      • Education. The Foundation works in more than 100 schools in Cantabria and cooperates with institutions and experts from all around the world to improve education for children and youths, enhancing the educational system with initiatives to develop creativity and social and emotional intelligence. This programme embodies a commitment to an educational model that promotes the healthy growth of children and youths, through the reinforcement of their talent.
      • Science. To improve the transfer of technology from basic research to the society. Since 2003 the Foundation has been working with some of the top biomedical research groups in Spain, on an ambitious programme designed to help researchers convert their ideas and discoveries into products and services that generate wealth.
      • Rural development. To generate ongoing and sustainable development in the rural world, drawing on the natural, cultural and human heritage of each region as its base. The Foundation has undertaken action in the Nansa valley, in Cantabria, where it carried out a systematic study of the resources and where it is now implementing a plan of action in collaboration with the public institutions, to promote economic and social development and to create an intervention model that can be applied in other places.

        2. A Social Action programme that targets people and groups in Cantabria with urgent needs, providing them aid here and now.

          3. And a Trend Observatory headquartered in Madrid. This is a meeting place envisaged to provide a deeper and more complete understanding of the social reality and to discover keys that serve to generate wealth and conduct its development. This Observatory explores any issue considered to be strategic in reaching that objective, and focuses its activity on education, science and the environment, placing particular emphasis on issues relating to water and energy management.

            Moreover, from the Observatory, the Foundation carries out specific programmes that aim to detect and develop talent in the public, private and social sectors.

            Chairman´s Letter

            Tel.(+34) 942 22 60 72 - Fax: (+34) 942 36 04 94. Contact

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