01. October: European Day of Foundations and Donors

At the initiative of the Association of German Foundations, foundations throughout Germany celebrate the European Day of Foundations and Donors (Tag der Stiftungen) on 01. October. They will show that foundations are committed to helping society – especially in crisis situations such as the coronavirus pandemic.

Berlin, 11 September 2020. The European Day of Foundations and Donors will demonstrate the diversity of foundations and the impact of their engagement. Foundations will give society a better understanding of their work by presenting their projects and events. The website www.tag-der-stiftungen.de lists all activities in connection with 1 October.

Promotion day by foundations for foundations

“Together we will show that especially in challenging times such as the corona pandemic, foundations are system-relevant for society. Notably now, solidarity in society as a whole is a precious good which foundations can strengthen through their work”, according to Kirsten Hommelhoff, secretary general of the Association of German Foundations. “We are also sending this message with this year’s slogan, ‘We together ('Wir zusammen')’.”

Foundations from Flensburg to Freiburg will present a diverse programme on the European Day of Foundations and Donors. They will represent different aspects of the active commitment of foundations: there will be a special “Radio Show” where various foundations air podcasts, taking turns every hour. In addition, the House of Brunswick Foundations (Haus der Braunschweigischen Stiftungen) is organizing a speed dating event, the Zukunftslabor Ost initiative is inviting East German initiatives and foundations to a digital exchange of information, and the Paria Foundation is offering a Creativity Workshop. The Association of German Foundations will also be represented at the European Day of Foundations and Donors with several events.

The"Tag der Stiftungen" is the German contribution and inspiration to the Europe-wide action day which is organized by the Donors and Foundations Networks in Europe (DAFNE).

Foundations in Germany

Foundations have a long tradition in Germany, with the oldest foundations dating back no less than 1,000 years. They promote research and youth projects, protect natural areas or support education initiatives. Through their engagement, they want to give something back to society. The number of civil-law foundations with legal capacity in Germany is currently 23,230. In addition to these there are many other legal forms. In 2019, a total of 576 foundations received a certificate of recognition, which represents a 2.1 per cent growth to the previous year.

Most foundations promote projects in the areas of society (52 per cent), education (35 per cent), art and culture (32 per cent) and science (24 per cent). Würzburg is number one among the German foundation capitals, followed by Darmstadt and Oldenburg. Hamburg remains the federal state with the most foundations per number of people living there: it has 78 foundations per 100,000 inhabitants.

More facts and figures on foundations

Foundations in Europe

More than 140,000 foundations in Europe spend about 60 billion euros a year for cultural, social, environmental, health-related and other charitable purposes.