The Foundation fulfils its purpose by supporting Åbo Akademi University. In addition, the tasks of the Foundation include maintaining and funding institutes, museums and establishments within research and culture, and awarding scholarships, grants, contributions and prizes. The Foundation owns and manages university properties, commercial properties, and rental flats in order to further the purpose of the Foundation.
With the founding of Åbo Akademi University, private individuals were inspired to follow the international practice of making donations to the university, to be used for teaching and for scientific purposes.
Åbo Akademi University Foundation has a large art collection. The art collection goes back to the early days of Åbo Akademi when members of the staff were portraited. Over the years, the collection has grown through donations. Portraits and Finnish art from the 19th and 20th centuries form the bulk of the collection. The art collection is administered by curator Ulrika Grägg.
The Foundation maintains four museums: The Museum Ett Hem, The Sibelius Museum, Kankas Manor and Casa Haartman.
The maritime collections are deposited at the Forum Marinum maritime centre in Åbo where the Åbo Akademi Maritime History Institute is also situated. The coin and medal collection has been deposited with the City of Turku historical coin and medal cabinet since 1987. The geological-mineralogical collections are administered by the Åbo Akademi Department of Geology and Mineralogy. The biological collections are deposited at Turku University’s botanical and zoological museums.