The challenge of sustainability: How German community foundations can strengthen their financial and organizational stability

Jan 01, 2010 | by
  • Description

Since the first community foundation was established in Germany in 1996, community foundations have become the fastest growing form of philanthropic giving in Germany. However, a lack of financial and organizational stability has plagued these foundations. Using a comparative approach, in this paper Bernadette Hellmann explores how German community philanthropy can better increase their permanent endowments and operating budgets. Hellmann draws on case studies from the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom. The analysis of case studies includes how organizations like the Long Island Community Foundation form long-term partnerships with businesses, governments, and other nonprofits, and how others like the Community Foundation of Ottawa in Canada structure giving policies in order to best build relationships with donors. Hellmann recommends a series of proposals that could help Germany's community foundations, including greater strategic planning of resources, capacity building of boards of directors, cultivating relationships with donors, and pricing incentives to achieve long-term objectives.