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
2 %
Increase of the number of foundations
New foundations
in 2019
93 %
Percentage of foundations with only non-for-profit purposes
in Germany

In total, there are 23,230 foundations with legal status according to the Civil Law in Germany. 88.6 percent of these are based in the western states. On top of the list in terms of the increase of the number of foundations, though, are the states in the east of Germany. Saxony leads the list with 4.9 percent. The average increase in the new federal states is with 2.7 percent slightly above the average of the whole of Germany which is 2.1 percent. 80 of the 576 new foundations were established in East Germany including Berlin.

Hamburg remains the federal state with the most foundations compared to the number of inhabitants: 78 foundations for every 100,000 inhabitants. The state with the lowest density of foundations continues to be Brandenburg with 10 foundations per 100,000 inhabitants.

Taking a glance at the top 3 of the foundation capitals, Darmstadt is on course to the top of the list and will shortly be the German foundation capital. Würzburg is the only city to date that has even more foundations per 100,000 inhabitants. Oldenburg comes in third clearly after Darmstadt.

Foundations worldwide

Networks, umbrella initiatives and foundation associations and institutions: Find out more about foundations in Europa and worldwide.

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