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
Foundations for every 100,000 inhabitants
nationwide (rounded)
New foundations
in 2023
90 %
Percentage of foundations with tax-deductible purposes
in Germany

637 new foundations were established in 2023. This brings the number of foundations with legal status according to civil law to 25,777. The foundation sector in Germany thus grew by 2.1 percent (2022: 2.5 percent), meaning there are currently 31.0 foundations on average for every 100,000 German citizens.

Federal states with the most foundations

North Rhine-Westphalia is home to the largest number of foundations (4,992). With 4,460 foundations, Bavaria is in second place, while Baden-Württemberg is in third place with 3,719 foundations.

However, if the density of foundations is considered, that is to say the ratio of foundations to the number of people who live there, it is clear that Hamburg continues to lead the field, with 80 foundations for every 100,000 inhabitants. On this basis, Bremen ranks second (with 51 foundations per 100,000 inhabitants) and Hesse third (with 43 foundations for every 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 per 100,000 inhabitants. The low number of foundations in the eastern German states is testimony to the fact that the east German foundation sector has yet to catch up with its counterpart in the west. 

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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