Facts and figures

The documentation and research of the foundation system is a central task of the Association of German Foundations.

Number of foundations with legal status
3 %
Increase of the number of foundations
nationwide (rounded)
New foundations
in 2021
90 %
Percentage of foundations with tax-deductible purposes
in Germany

By the end of 2021 there were a total 24,650 foundations with legal status according to civil law in Germany. 88.6 percent of these are based in the country’s western states. In terms of the increase in the number of foundations, Hesse is the leading federal state at 9.9 percent, followed by Brandenburg with 7.8 percent and Rhineland-Palatinate with 6.0 percent.   

The highest number of foundations is to be found in North Rhine-Westphalia (4,795). However, Hamburg remains the federal state with the most foundations by size of population: it has 79 foundations per 100,000 inhabitants. The lowest density of foundations is to be found in two states in eastern Germany: Brandenburg and Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania each have 11 foundations for every 100,000 inhabitants.  

Top 50 among the Cities

Darmstadt has earned itself the title of Germany’s foundation capital for the second year running. This major city in Hesse ranks top of the list of German cities, boasting 232 foundations for every 100,000 inhabitants. As was already the case the year before, Würzburg in Lower Franconia follows in second place (104 foundations/100,000 inhabitants). Oldenburg and Frankfurt am Main share third place (85 foundations/100,000 inhabitants) behind Würzburg.   

Miniatur Globes
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International co-operation

The Association of German Foundations is part of an international network; it supports and advises German foundations that work internationally, many of them in the development cooperation sector.

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