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Every year, more and more people decide to establish a foundation. The Bertelsmann Stiftung actively supports this development. These efforts are increasingly important, given that charitable work today requires strategic leadership and effective management skills that take the current legal framework into account. The Bertelsmann Stiftung thus promotes exchange among foundation managers and facilitates a transfer of competencies on the national and international level through its publications and workshops. The foundation is a strong advocate for enhancing professionalism in the philanthropic and charitable sector. It also offers philanthropists and founders practical tips and information about service providers in the philanthropic and charitable sector.

Focus Areas

Guide to Philanthropy and Foundations – Practical Tips for Philanthropists

Starting a foundation needs careful preparation because many decisions are irrevocable or difficult to reverse after inception. The Bertelsmann Stiftung's Ratgeber Stiften (Guide to Philanthropy and Foundations) series is designed for both beginning and experienced donors. It contains sample articles of incorporation, resource lists and informational materials.


The StifterStudie (Philanthropist Study): Content and Objectives

Up to now, philanthropists have been a mostly unknown quantity. Despite the boom in philanthropic activity in Germany, little information has been available about the people behind the foundations. Our StifterStudie (Philanthropist Study) fills this gap. In a far-reaching empirical investigation, the Bertelsmann Stiftung examined what motivates philanthropists to give and the experiences they have had with giving. The results refute common misconceptions and can help charitable organizations increase the professionalism of their work.


Facts and Figures

The many clichés about foundations and the philanthropists who establish them have little to do with reality. Journalists who want to report knowledgeably about the philanthropic sector often have trouble finding solid data. The Bertelsmann Stiftung intends to fill that gap: here you will find an overview of key facts and figures.


Philanthropy in Europe

Every country in Europe has some legal form of foundation. But the legal conditions under which the foundations operate differ greatly from one country to the next—which makes philanthropy across national borders very difficult. For this reason, the Bertelsmann Stiftung is calling for a pan-European legal framework that foundations can use as a point of reference.


Cultural Trend Toward Philanthropy

With public funds growing scarcer all the time, a growing number of cultural institutions are being converted to foundations. But this legal form is no silver bullet. It can only be successful if certain prerequisites are fulfilled. The newly initiated foundation needs to be able to act independently of state and private interference. Furthermore, becoming a foundation should only be the start of other reform measures.


Related Projects

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Portrait Bettina Windau Bettina Windau
+49 5241 81-81138
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