Development of the foundation sector in Germany, 2000-2023

The foundation sector in Germany is a dynamic field. Since the 2000s, the popularity of establishing foundations has remained strong, with both the number and density of foundations continuously increasing nationwide. Eastern German states started out with a lower initial number of foundations than western German states. Traditionally, most foundations with legal capacity under civil law pursue public-benefit, charitable or religious purposes. Over the past 20 years, the most common areas of activity for foundations have been social services, education and training, and arts and culture. Foundations recently established often include not only tax-privileged but also taxable foundations, such as family foundations. To ensure that establishing charitable foundations remains attractive in the future, improvements to the framework conditions for foundations in Germany are being sought.