Several people stand in a circle and lay their hands on top of each other in the middle of the circle. That shall symbolize that they stick together as a team.
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Surely every responsible citizen in a democracy is concerned when the social order fails to live up to its promise. It was precisely this concern that prompted my desire to make a difference.

Reinhard Mohn

Our mission statement is a clear expression of the principles that underlie all our activities. Providing guidance to everyone who works at the Bertelsmann Stiftung, it sets out what we do, how we do it and how we interact with each other.

The Bertelsmann Stiftung was founded in 1977 by Reinhard Mohn, predicated on the belief that financial wealth entails social responsibility.

Our Values and Goals

“Inspiring people. Shaping the future. Participating in a globalized world.” That phrase sums up the work carried out by the Bertelsmann Stiftung. As we see it, if everyone is to participate then everyone must have the ability to get involved and society must offer all of its citizens the chance to succeed.

Germany currently faces a number of daunting challenges resulting from globalization, demographic change, the growing diversity of the country’s population and its ongoing development into a knowledge-based society.

The Bertelsmann Stiftung’s programs are therefore designed to strengthen society and help individuals reach their full potential by developing the resources needed to achieve those goals.  

Our work focuses on people, since individuals must be in a position to participate – politically, economically and culturally – as the world grows more complex. The Bertelsmann Stiftung’s programs provide access to the necessary knowledge and expertise while developing solutions that can help ensure this is the case.

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The Beliefs Behind Our Work

The Bertelsmann Stiftung is a private operating foundation. We therefore only fund projects that we conceive and initiate ourselves and then support as they are being carried out. read more

Our Founder's Beliefs

Learning from the World: Why Reinhard Mohn Founded the Bertelsmann Stiftung

Reinhard Mohn wanted to encourage people to get involved. He also wanted to help create a society capable of offering everyone a chance to succeed. read more


Proactive and Forward-Looking

How is the Bertelsmann Stiftung structured? Here you'll find information about our governance bodies, management team and the contacts available to you at the foundation. read more

What We Do

A Look Behind the Scenes

Our projects respond to societal challenges and make a sustainable contribution to society's wellbeing. read more