German Foundations and how to get a scholarship?

Although everyone knows that we are famous for our long-standing traditions, on the one hand, and for our innovative ideas, on the other hand, foundations are not a German invention.

Plato founded an academy in the form of a foundation in 347 BC, which was followed by quite a number in Mediaeval times, during the Thirty Year’s War and right up to the present day. The majority of these institutions are charitable foundations – we all know orphanages, monasteries and hospices, to name but a few.

But what is a foundation?

“In Germany there is no legal definition for foundations in the German Civil Code. It is predominantly a description used for a number of legal forms, such as a legally responsible foundation under civil law, a foundation with limited liability or a foundation association. The word ‘foundation’ is therefore merely a generic term for a complex range of entities, which may be covered by private, public or church law.”

“The foundation is characterised as a mass of capital committed to a specific, long-term objective. Often, these objectives are non-profit in nature.”

Just to give you a current example, foundations in Germany are deeply involved in refugee relief. They support refugees in building up networks, establishing contacts and integrating into society.

Most German foundations are members of the Association of German Foundations, which is an umbrella organisation:

“We represent the interests of more than 21,000 foundations in Germany. With more than 4,000 members, which represent three quarters of foundation capital in Germany, we are the largest and oldest foundation association in Europe.”

They are experts in consulting and networking, and they run a lot of working groups and projects, like German Foundation Day, to raise awareness and highlight the value of their work.

If you want to study, for example, and you have no idea how to finance your studies in Europe or Germany, their service might help you:

To find out more about foundations in Germany, please visit the following website:

Source: / Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen



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