About us

Through its work, the Association aims at supporting the continued development of the foundation sector as a whole, as well as raising public awareness about the importance of foundations in a modern civil society.

To foster a foundation-friendly climate

The Association of German Foundations is committed to enabling foundations to implement and realise their work and objectives more effectively, now and in the future. This includes efforts to improve the general conditions of foundation law and foundation tax law, and to foster a foundation-friendly climate. By remaining in constant contact with public decision makers and opinion formers, as well as through statements and proposals and motions, the Association incorporates practice-oriented expertise into political decision-making processes and public reporting obligations.

Through the diversity of its events, the Association facilitates dialogue, and in particular the exchange of experience as well as the networking of foundations amongst their peers. In its role as the centre of excellence for German foundations, the Association collects information – for example within the German foundation database –, presents this in publications and uses the data in scientific investigations.

Service for our members

For the Association, being the overarching umbrella organisation for the non-profit German foundation sector also means – alongside representing interests "to the outside world" – supporting foundations with their specific issues and challenges. In addition to providing individual advice, the Association's member services also include print and electronic communications, the agreement of numerous discount contracts for foundations with commercial service providers (sponsoring partners), as well as an array of training courses.

International Networks

At the European level, the Association cooperates with other national foundation associations (e.g. via DAFNE), as well as with the European Foundation Centre (EFC).

The more foundations and foundation administrations join forces in the Association of German Foundations, the better the opportunities are in nurturing the foundation spirit and increasing the interaction of foundations in Germany, thereby successfully advocating foundations' interests.

Private giving and the work of non-profit oriented foundations have grown in importance due to the increasing challenges of our society.
The growth of the foundation sector is an expression of stronger private engagement for current and future problems facing the common good.Foundations are more and more responsible for stimulating and sustaining important social functions. It is precisely the variety in size and aim of these foundations which means that the Association of German Foundations has a special role to play, namely in co-ordinating, providing services and representing interests across the board.

Against this background, the Association of German Foundations sees itself as:

  • a modern service provider that informs, advises and supports its members
  • a non-profit initiative financed by its member foundations and partners of the foundation sector, which, through targeted media work and public outreach, champions the development of civil society and the strengthening of sustainable private engagement in and by foundations, thereby promoting the foundation spirit
  • the umbrella organisation for German foundations and donors mandated to: represent their interests vis-à-vis the government and the public; campaign for the improvement of the legal and fiscal framework for foundations; contribute comprehensively towards the creation and improvement of a foundation-friendly atmosphere, thereby facilitating the improvement of foundations’ effectiveness, as well as structures in the foundation sector; foster dialogue between foundations, politics, the public sphere, science and the economy.
Anke Pätsch

Director International Relations

Phone +49 (0) 30 89 79 47-27

International Networks