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Foundations and the Ambiguity of Success and Failure : A Case Collection

October 1, 2016

The Hertie School releases its findings from an international research project "Foundation Successes and Failures: Implications for Policy and Management – Developing a Case studies Repertoire". Professor Helmut K. Anheier led the research project, which was made possible by the Robert Bosch Foundation. The project looks at 20 case studies of philanthropic foundations from a range of fields in seven countries including Germany, the United States and the United Kingdom. The primary intended purpose is to be used by foundation boards, foundation staff training and executive education. The vignettes may also serve teaching purposes at university master level programs, particularly in public policy and business schools. For example, several will become teaching cases at the Harvard Business School.One major conclusion based on the collection of case studies is that 'success' and 'failure' are not as clear cut as it would appear. Any claims of failure or success should be approached with caution, and there are no simple solutions for high impact results or maximized philanthropic contributions. Despite ambiguity, planning and performance measures are better than none at all. A fuller analysis will be forthcoming as a book in 2017 published by Helmut K. Anheier and Diana Leat (London: Routledge).

Foundations in Germany : Summary and Policy Recommendations

May 16, 2016

This study intends to complete the current understanding of the role, positioning and contributions of foundations in Germany. It is a joint project of the Hertie School of Gover-nance and the Centre for Social Investment of the University of Heidelberg, led by Helmut K. Anheier. It investigates the following questions: What are the objectives of foundations, and what roles do they see for themselves? How do they position themselves with regard to the state, market and civil society? What are their comparative advantages and disadvantages, and how do they benefit society? Finally, what are the implications for foundations and policymakers? In answering these questions, the project collected and analyzed a range of quantitative (survey research, available statistics) and qualitative data (expert interviews, case studies, focus groups), and did so for foundations as a whole as well as in specific activity fields: education, higher education, social services and arts and culture.