Bildnachweis: Ralf Emmerich / Stiftung Aktive Bürgerschaft


100 square meters “Thank You Community Foundations”


Stiftung Aktive Bürgerschaft said “Thank You to all Community Foundations” in Germany for their long-term commitment to supporting young people, education, culture or the environment in their communities. On the occasion of the awards ceremony of our “Förderpreis Aktive Bürgerschaft” in Berlin, the two meter high letters could be viewed right next to Brandenburg Gate at the front of DZ BANK building in March 2015.





Bürgerstiftung Halle: The team spirit of Halle's people


Award “Förderpreis Aktive Bürgerschaft”


Paul Potts, tenor and opera singer, held the laudatory speech for the Community Foundation of Halle (Saxony-Anhalt) at the awards ceremony on March 20th 2015. 500 guests found their way right next to Brandenburg Gate in the heart of Berlin. Prize winners are also the community foundations of Stuttgart (Baden-Württemberg), Schönebeck (Saxony-Anhalt) and Bielefeld (North Rhine-Westphalia).

The team spirit of Halle's people: Read the portrait of Community Foundation of Halle.

Read here Paul Potts' laudatory speech in German and English.


With this prize, the Foundation Aktive Bürgerschaft wants to honor and acknowledge the engagement of community foundations for society. This should be a stimulus for other people and institutions to get involved in the activities of community foundations in their cities and regions. In addition, the prize is to serve the exchange of experience among community foundations.





Aktive Bürgerschaft - Do good things even better!


We make innovative concepts of civic engagement work in practice and implement them together with partners on the national or regional level.

Aktive Bürgerschaft (Active Citizenship) commits itself to creating a fair and capable civil society. We want to sustainably strengthen civic engagement and nonprofit organizations in the communities.

The non-profit foundation Aktive Bürgerschaft is the competence center for civic engagement of Germany‘s cooperative banking group. Our activities are based on the cooperative values of self help, self responsibility and self administration.

Download and read more about us: Aktive Bürgerschaft - Innovations for Civil Society in Germany.





Our Services for Community Foundations


Community foundations enable broad sectors of society to become donors. They can strengthen the endowment capital of civil society and promote their communities and local nonprofit organizations in a permanent way.

Aktive Bürgerschaft supports 350 community foundations throughout Germany when it comes to management activities, projects, development and donor services. We offer advice, information, capacity building, set up networks and award the Aktive Bürgerschaft Award to community foundations.



Individual support and advice


Since 2002, Aktive Bürgerschaft has promoted the concept of community foundations in Germany, helped to establish community foundations and supported their work. We offer individual advice to board members and staff of community foundations regarding all fields of their work, e.g. management and governance, projects, development and attracting new donors and volunteers.




Annual Report “Community Foundations: Facts and Trends”


Aktive Bürgerschaft does research on community foundations, e.g. on their financial development, their funding and their dissemination in Germany. The results are published in an annual report on the development of community foundations in Germany and in each of the federal states.

Download Aktive Bürgerschaft, report: Community Foundations in Germany. Facts and Trends 2013

Community Foundations in Germany have proved successful in the financial crisis - more assets, more donations, more grantmaking: total endowments increased to 235 million euros. Donors gave more than 10 million euros in flow-through funding in 2012. Community foundations invested 14 million euros in their communities. Increasingly, donors choose community foundations as partners for their own foundations: 530 funds and trusts with endowments amounting to 82 million euros have been entrusted to community foundations, twice as many as five years ago. Thus, community foundations help donors to join forces in times of low interest rates and to achieve more together.



Community Foundation Finder


The community foundation finder of Aktive Bürgerschaft lists all community foundations that meet the “10 Characteristics of a Community Foundation”, including contact data, financial information and press articles.




Forum Community Foundations


Aktive Bürgerschaft supports peer-to-peer exchange of community foundations. In regional meetings, community foundations have the opportunity to discuss, network and learn from each other.




Toolkits, Manuals and Newsletter


Our toolkits and manuals provide practical instructions for the management and work of community foundations, e.g. on the topic of raising funds, governance or financial management. The bimonthly newsletter „mitStiften“ reports on current development of individual community foundations, the field as a whole and in civic engagement.




Community Foundations Online


The website discusses the concept of community foundations, provides information about the work of community foundations throughout Germany and offers useful downloadable materials for free.





Online Community Foundation Finder


Aktive Bürgerschaft has developed the first "Community Foundation Finder" in Germany which lists all community foundations that meet the “10 Characteristics of a Community Foundation”. The search engine guides potential donors, volunteers and the interested public to the nearest community foundations within a range of 30, 50 and 100 kilometers of a certain zip code. It provides contact information and links to the websites of the respective community foundation. In addition, community foundations can be sorted according to German states, cities and towns.

By including basic financial data and information on the activities of each community foundation in the German version of the finder Aktive Bürgerschaft wants to increase transparency in the foundation sector.

Click here for the English version of the Community Foundation Finder!

Click here for the German version!

Links to other community foundation finders:

Community Foundation Locator USA

Community Foundation Finder Kanada