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 2020
92 %
Percentage of foundations with tax-deductible purposes
in Germany

By the end of 2020 there were a total 23,876 foundations with legal status according to civil law in Germany. 88.6 percent of these are based in the western states. In terms of the increase in the number of foundations, Hesse is the leading federal state, recording a growth of 8 percent compared to 2019, followed by Rhineland-Palatinate with 5.9 percent and Brandenburg with 4.9 percent. The highest number of foundations – that is 4,685 – is to be found in North Rhine-Westphalia. However, Hamburg remains the federal state with the most foundations by size of population: 78 foundations for every 100,000 inhabitants. The state with the lowest density of foundations is still Brandenburg with ten foundations per 100,000 inhabitants. 

Top 50 among the Cities

A glance at the top 50 cities with the most foundations reveals that Darmstadt has become Germany’s foundation capital for the first time. This major city in Hesse now heads the list with 152 foundations for every 100,000 inhabitants. Würzburg – which led the field last year –is now in the second place (101 foundations/100,000 inhabitants). Oldenburg (85 foundations/100,000

inhabitants) is once again in the third place behind Würzburg. The top 50 also include large cities in East Germany, such as Potsdam, Jena and Dresden.

Miniatur Globes
© gumpapa — fotolia.com

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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