Find foundations and funds in Germany

Foundations in Germany

Welcome to a comprehensive overview to charitable foundations in Germany. There are according to Wikipedia) almost 25,000 charitable foundations in Germany, making it one of the most philanthropic countries in the world. In this article, we’ll explore the biggest foundations in Germany, what they promote, whether they give money abroad and we will have a closer look at the most well-known foundations in research and development aid.

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Figures about Foundations in Germany

When it comes to charitable giving, Germany is among the leaders in the field. At the heart of the country lies a strong philanthropic spirit which has seen a number of large foundations come to life. In fact, according to the Association of German Foundations all charitable foundations held together total assets under management of 110 billion Euros in 2021. In the same year those same foundations provided for 5.4 billion Euros in charitable giving. In Germany you have about 29 foundations per 100'000 citizens.

Important foundations in Germany

There are major foundations that focus on a variety of causes. For instance, The Robert Bosch Stiftung focuses on promoting health, education, and international understanding. The VolkswagenStiftung is another major foundation that focuses on promoting science and research.

Now, what are the most well-known givers in research in Germany? There are not only foundations acting as major donors but also associations. The Max Planck Society is one of the most well-known addresses in research in the country. Founded in 1948, the Max Planck Society funds research in various topics such as mathematics, physics, chemistry, and biology. Another notable address is the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation, which was founded in 1953 and funds research in various disciplines such as the humanities, science, and technology.

Finally, what are the most important players in development aid? The German Development Bank (KfW) is one of the most important development aid institutes in the country. Founded in 1948, the KfW provides grants and loans to countries in the developing world for various projects such as infrastructure, health, and education. The German Foreign Office and the European Union are also very much involved in development aid.

What are the most relevant topics German foundations engage in?

These were just a few of the major foundations in Germany that promote various initiatives throughout the country. But what else do foundations in Germany promote? Generally, foundations in Germany focus on promoting education, culture, science, and international understanding. They do this by investing in various initiatives and providing funds for research, development, and education. The most dominant topic according to the Association of German Foundations has been, though, "society". 52% of all foundations are engaged in this topic.

In addition to promoting initiatives in Germany, do foundations in Germany give money abroad? Yes, many foundations in Germany give money abroad. For instance, the Robert Bosch Stiftung funds international projects in countries across the world that are aimed at improving education, health, and international understanding. At the same time it is essential to note that 74% of all foundations are active only within the region of their domicile.


In conclusion, there are overall ca. 25,000 charitable foundations in Germany. These foundations promote education, culture, science, and international understanding, and many of them provide money abroad as well. The biggest foundations in Germany include the Robert Bosch Stiftung and VolkswagenStiftung. The most well-known association in research is the Max Planck Society.

We hope this guide has provided you with an overview of charitable foundations in Germany. If you’d like to learn more about philanthropy in Germany, the German Federal Statistical Office provides an extensive range of information.