Affiliate Organizations

Over the 40 years of our existence, we have established a number of independent entities as partner organizations and subsidiaries. We support affiliated nonprofit institutions by contributing ideas and funding.


Bertelsmann Foundation North America

The Bertelsmann Foundation North America is an independent, nonpartisan and nonprofit think tank in Washington, DC with a transatlantic perspective on global challenges.

Through its research, debate forums and multimedia tools, the Bertelsmann Foundation North America provides analysis and solutions to the most pressing economic, political and social challenges impacting the United States and Europe. Founded in 2008 as an affiliate of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, it advances social change, supports civil liberties and promotes international understanding.

The Bertelsmann Foundation North America serves as a bridge between Europe and the United States, highlighting best practices on both sides of the Atlantic in the areas of foreign, economic and social policy. Its work is predicated on the belief that sooner or later Europeans and Americans will face the same challenges and can learn from each other’s solutions.

Founders Foundation

Established on the initiative of the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the Founders Foundation educates the next generation of successful entrepreneurs in the heart of Germany’s Mittelstand. As a result, it is developing initiatives that are shaping the digital future for the region of East Westphalia–Lippe and building B2B startup ecosystems throughout Germany.

The Founders Foundation develops, promotes and supports entrepreneurs as they successfully create their own startups. Assisted by a unique network of mentors – experienced business leaders, international experts, and leading thinkers from the startup scene – the Founders Foundation uses its Startup School, Lab, Accelerator and other further education venues to to strategically prepare entrepreneurs for the various steps on their startup journey, based on their business idea and its level of development.

The pilot project has been designed in keeping with the ideas of philanthropist Reinhard Mohn. Over 450 talented entrepreneurs have benefited from one of the organization’s modular training programs. The 63 resulting startups have attracted over €30 million in investments and created more than 480 jobs. More than half are based in East Westphalia–Lippe and 86 percent feature a B2B business model. They are thus increasing the region’s profile and facilitating an innovation transfer that is helping to ensure the region’s long-term competitiveness.

CHE Centre for Higher Education

Higher education institutions are increasingly offering courses that combine occupational and academic content. CHE provides guidance for students from nontraditional backgrounds. We also offer university administrators and policy makers innovative ideas – for example, on ongoing learning and dual vocational-academic programs.

CHE addresses the challenges currently confronting Germany’s colleges and universities and its policy makers active in the field of higher education. For example, it has supported higher education institutions during the pandemic through its Hochschulforum Digitalisierung, shedding light on the digital teaching experience. This is making it possible to draw conclusions about blended learning and find forward-looking solutions for the field of higher education.

CHE was founded in 1994 by the Bertelsmann Stiftung and the German Rectors’ Conference. For more than 20 years, the organization’s . best-known project, the annual CHE University Ranking, has been providing students with guidance on higher education programs at German-speaking institutions. CHE has also been publishing an international ranking of universities, U-Multirank, since 2014. This ranking compares 1,900 institutions from 97 countries using more than 30 criteria in the areas of research, teaching, internationality, regional engagement and knowledge transfer.

Fundación Bertelsmann

The Bertelsmann Stiftung promotes social change in Spain through its Barcelona-based affiliate, the Fundación Bertelsmann. Since 2014, all Fundación Bertelsmann activities have focused on reducing the country’s high level of youth unemployment.

Established by Reinhard Mohn in Barcelona in 1995, the Fundación Bertelsmann focuses on improving occupational opportunities for Spanish youth and promoting dual vocational education. In the area of career counseling, it established the Xcelence quality framework in 2019, whose audit tool is now used by over 200 schools. Together with regional and municipal decision makers, it is working to better integrate career counseling into the business world, and vice versa. With its network of 1,500 partners, the Alliance for Dual Vocational Training supports businesses, vocational schools and other institutions

as they launch dual vocational education programs. Currently, the Fundación Bertelsmann is advocating for improvements to the draft law for a new vocational education system that is being discussed by the Spanish parliament. As part of the Alliance for Dual Vocational Training, the foundation expanded its Ambassadors for Dual Vocational Education network in 2021, together with the Chamber of Commerce and Industry and with financial support from the European Social Fund.


Doing good and achieving the best – that’s PHINEO’s goal. PHINEO is a think tank, consultancy and social organization all in one.

PHINEO supports nonprofits, companies and philanthropists in achieving their goals more effectively and in making an impact through social engagement. Originally incubated at the Bertelsmann Stiftung and an independent entity for the last 10 years, the analytic and consulting organization accomplishes this in four ways:
1. As an analytics specialist, PHINEO makes social impact visible.
2. As a consultancy, PHINEO advises and networks nonprofits, foundations, businesses, government ministries and individuals. It thus makes projects possible that could not be realized by people working on their own.
3. As a think tank, PHINEO combines innovation with activities that are tried and tested.
4. As a visionary organization, PHINEO implements its own ideas – quickly and effectively.
The Bertelsmann Stiftung is one of PHINEO’s shareholders, which allows for numerous mutually beneficial synergies.

German Stroke Foundation

Learning from people, providing integrated assistance: Established by Liz Mohn in 1993, the German Stroke Foundation not only aids people affected by stroke, it also works to further develop Germany’s health-care system.

The German Stroke Foundation is dedicated to preventing stroke, assisting people with stroke and their families, and improving stroke-related care. Its activities focus on those whose lives have been affected by this health issue. The foundation uses what it learns in its interactions with individuals to aid the greater community dealing with stroke. It gives a voice to those who would otherwise not be heard, while offering them advice and assistance. It provides information on risk factors and what to do in the case of stroke. It also encourages people to adopt healthier lifestyles, since 70 percent of strokes are preventable. The foundation dialogues with actors across the entire care-provision chain, from preventive, emergency and acute care to rehabilitative and follow-up care. It contributes new ideas, for example through pilot projects, and networks individuals and institutions.

Reinhard Mohn Institute for Management

The Reinhard Mohn Institute of Management is an academic institute at Witten/Herdecke University. Through research, teaching and dialogue with practitioners in the field, its interdisciplinary and international approach produces innovative ideas that advance the theory and practice of management, thereby serving individuals and society at large.

Supported by the Bertelsmann Stiftung, the Reinhard Mohn Institute of Management (RMI) was founded in 2010 as an extension of the Reinhard Mohn Endowed Chair in Management, which was established in 1991. Its program reflects Reinhard Mohn’s participatory and responsibility-driven management philosophy, and the RMI emphasizes the importance of cooperation in strategy, organization, leadership and management. Key issues addressed include network and alliance strategies, strategic realignment processes, managing openness and transparency, and trust in and among organizations. Additional topics are innovation and learning in organizations, new forms of leadership and work in the digital age, and corporate responsibility in keeping with the UN’s 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The institute hosts the annual RMI Management Day and uses the Führungskräfte-Radar (Leadership Radar), its representative survey, to show how favorable conditions can be created to promote effective leadership.

Reinhard Mohn Stiftung

The Reinhard Mohn Stiftung advocates for better educational opportunities for children and young people in East Westphalia–Lippe. It works to ensure their educational achievements do not depend on their cultural, social or economic background. Its activities are therefore designed to improve the quality of education in preschools and schools.

The Reinhard Mohn Stiftung began operating in 2009. All its activities aim at empowering children and young people to reach their full potential, regardless of cultural, social or economic background. Developed and implemented with local partners, the foundation’s projects take place in cities and towns located in East Westphalia–Lippe, the region Reinhard Mohn was from and where his family still lives today. One of the foundation’s key concerns is that the projects develop positively over the long term and that their outcomes are disseminated and anchored in the educational system. Against the background of the pandemic, in 2021 an even greater focus was put on working with parents, for example through a project dedicated to education both at home and at school, and through the Family and Primary School Center in the city of Höxter. Considerable progress was also made in the foundation’s project for promoting digital education in schools. Online training opportunities ensured close cooperation with stakeholders and a continuation of the project work.

Center for Digital Education and Schools in Gütersloh

The center supports schools and their school boards in the district of Gütersloh as they “go digital.” The goal is to initiate processes for further developing both classroom instruction and schools as a whole, while ensuring young people can participate as digital technology transforms the way we work and live.

Digitalization is creating fundamental change in almost all areas of life, and schools must prepare students for their future in a digital society. That means ensuring not only that young people learn how to use digital media in school, but that they are able to engage with them thoughtfully, critically and responsibly. In 2017, the Bertelsmann Stiftung liaised with the Reinhard Mohn Stiftung and with project partners in the regional educational network to create the nonprofit Center for Digital Education and Schools in Gütersloh. The following year, the project was launched at 56 schools in five communities. In 2019, another nine local school boards and 47 schools joined the project. Many school principals and school-development groups made use of the project’s training programs. In 2021, the focus was on local roundtables and the UEdigital further education program, a pilot project carried out at 10 different types of schools.