In 1989, Maecenata Management company was first established as a specialized consultancy to and about the not-for-profit sector. In the course of 22 years, Maecenata grew to become a group comprising for-profit and not-for-profit elements. In 2010, the not-for-profit parts, namely the Maecenata Institute, an academic institution attached to Humboldt University, Berlin, and Maecenata International, a charity that specializes in trans-national giving, were reorganized under the umbrella of the newly-formed Maecenata Foundation (Maecenata Stiftung). In 2011, Maecenata Management company acquired new owners, which terminated most of the ties to the other components of the former group. Maecenata is now an entirely not-for-profit institution, registered as a charity under German law.
The Maecenata Institute is an independent academic centre, founded in 1997, affiliated since 2004 to Humboldt University, Berlin. Besides research and teaching its tasks are policy consulting and public information. To date, approximately 60 research projects have been carried out and about 300 papers have been published. Permanent projects of the institute include a database of German foundations as well as a research college for young academics. The mission of the institute is to strengthen civil society through basic research and academic discourse.
Maecenata International was founded in 2002 as non-profit association and partner of the network Transnational Giving Europe with the purpose of facilitating the international donation transfer in Europe and beyond. 2010 the project was integrated into the Maecenata Foundation.
The network and its partners enable making donations to foreign countries with tax deduction in the home country. Corporations, major private donors, supranational organizations, universities and development associations make use of this possibility. The aim of the program is to adapt donations to the international environment. The procedure has been cleared with the German fiscal authorities.
The publisher of the Maecenata Group was founded in 1994. It is an specialist publisher for the non-profit sector. Philanthropy and civil society are the thematic priorities. Publications of the Maecenata Verlag are listed >> here.
The Maecenata Foundation was established in 2010 as an umbrella for Maecenata’s not-for-profit activities.
The first main programmes of the foundation are:
- Christian Petry, former Chairman of the Freundenberg Foundation (Chairman)
- Stefanie Wahl
- Victoria Weber
- Dr. Rupert Graf Strachwitz
- Dr. Veronika Hoffmann
Phone: +49 89 284 452
FAX: +49 89 283 774
While civil society and the diversity of its organisations are becoming increasingly important for the development of society world wide, the sector in Germany still suffers from a lack of theoretical groundwork and public awareness. Therefore, the mission of the Maecenata Institute is to promote knowledge and understanding of civil society and private philanthropy through academic research, documentation and information, and exchanges between academics, public leaders and professionals in the field.
The Maecenata Institute for Philanthropy and Civil Society at Humboldt University, Berlin, is one of about 5 academic research centres that focus specifically on philanthropy and civil society. Others include
While the centres directed by Birgit Weitemeyer and Olaf Werner focus on foundation and non-profit law, the other centres are concerned with the social science aspects of philanthropy and civil society research, with different backgrounds and outlooks. The MI probably has the most clearly historical and theoretical approach, while at the same time bridging to the practical issues in the field.
Besides these centres, a number of experienced individual researchers concentrate on philanthropy and civil society matters (notably Professor Dr. Adalbert Evers, Giessen, Professor Dr. Thomas Klie, Freiburg, Professor Dr. Thomas Olk, Halle, and others).
In addition, the Berlin Centre for Social Sciences (Wissenschaftszentrum Berlin fuer Sozialforschung) has ongoing research activities in philanthropy and civil society research (notably Dr. Eckhard Priller and Dr. Dieter Gosewinkel).
The Maecenata Institute (MI) was founded in 1997 in order to provide a new form and devise a new agenda for research activities already undertaken by Maecenata Management, a professional consultancy specializing in the not-for-profit sector. One task was to take over the database of German foundations developed there since 1989. It took the legal form of a not-for-profit limited company, owned by 2 charitable foundations. Its affiliation to Humboldt University is by contract. Dr. Rupert Graf Strachwitz became its first director. Since 2010 the MI is one of the two main programs of the new Maecenata Foundation. The foundation was established in 2010 as an umbrella for Maecenata's not-for-profit activities.
Dr. Rupert Graf Strachwitz, a political scientist and historian by training, with ample personal experience in the governance of not-for-profit organisations in Germany and abroad, was the founder of Maecenata Management, of which he is still the managing director. In his professional career and through his many volunteer activities, he has committed himself to the concept of a strong civil society as a third arena of societal activity beside the market and the state. This concept was totally new in the German environment of political theory and practice in the 1990s and is even now only gradually being seen as a serious conceptual alternative to the theory of a strong and overruling state. Strachwitz was brought into the civil society research community through the Johns Hopkins Comparative Nonprofit Sector Project, to which he has contributed in various ways since 1990, and of which he chaired the German Advisory Council from 1995 to 2001. The MI defines its mission as providing the necessary research and policy advice to enable this paradigm shift to happen.
The MI focuses its activities entirely on
It organizes its activities in projects that are either self-developed and executed or brought to the MI by other research institutions, public bodies, civil society organisations and others.
Since 1997, the MI has accomplished more than 60 research projects, large and small, and has been responsible for approx. 300 publications.
(completed and in progress) include (i.a.):
All results of the MI’s research are made available to the public. Publications include books, working papers (printed and electronic), contributions to books, journals, and general media, published in German, English, Chinese, Italian, French, and Polish.
Recently, the MI has reactivated a ‘Berlin Circle for Civil Society Research’. Membership is open to senior researchers interested and active in this field and residing or permanently working in Berlin (presently approx. 10 members).
The MI enjoys and encourages cooperation with other academic and other institutions world-wide on research projects, as well as on conferences and publications.
...is a major aspect of the MI’s agenda:
...is given irrespective of party political affiliation. Projects past and present include (i.a.):
...is deemed a highly important aspect of philanthropy and civil society research. The MI attempts to further this cause by:
The MI currently employs 2 junior scholars. The director devotes approx. 50% of his time to the MI as a volunteer. All administrative matters are outsourced to Maecenata Management. The work of the MI is aided significantly by approx. 7 fellows (all former full-time researchers), research partners, and a scientific council.
Funding is a problem. The MI has never received any core funding from public sources. From 1997 to 2005, comparatively generous funding was provided by Atlantic Philanthropies, the Stiftung Mercator, the Karl-Konrad-und-Ria-Groeben-Stiftung, the Bertelsmann Foundation and others. Since 2006, the level of funding has decreased dramatically. Project funding has been obtained from public and private sources. The MI is subsidized by Maecenata Management.
The Institute was founded as Maecenata Institute for Third Sector Studies in late 1997 by Rupert Count Strachwitz. The idea was to start the first independent academic institution for research, information and policy studies concerning the Not-for-profit-sector in Germany. The concept was developed by Maecenata Management GmbH, Munich, and approved by the Institute's Scientific Council: Focussing on Third Sector-issues, international comparison and foundations, the Institute offers documentation & information, studies & expertise and policy studies.
The Maecenata Institute could open its offices in Berlin with its own staff in September 1998. The library, the data base on German foundations and additional information sources had been bought from Maecenata Management with a grant from the founding partner. In 1999, Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH approved for a grant for the library's extension.
The Institute was organized as a charitable limited company till 2010. It was recognized as a tax exempt charity for pursuing purposes of research by the German tax authorities. It operates in Berlin, Germany. It was renamed the Maecenata Institute for Philanthropy and Civil Society in 2003. Since 2010 the MI is one of the two main programs of the Maecenata Foundation.
The Institute receives project funding from various partners.
Phone: +49 30 2838 7909
Fax: +49 30 2838 7910
Maecenata International was founded in 2002 as non-profit association and partner of the network Transnational Giving Europe (TGE) with the purpose of faciliating the international donation transfer in Europe and beyond. Making cross-border giving easier and more transparent is the aim of TGE. Specifically, we forward earmarked foreign donations to German tax-advantaged organisations, and convey donations from Germany to the desired foreign destination. Since 2010 the project is integrated into the Maecenata Foundation.
Get more information about Transnational Giving Europe >> here (PDF)
The network Transnational Giving Europe was brought into being in 1997 with sponsorship from the European Foundation Centre. The network has the job of making donation transfer abroad easier, by working with our partners. Working together is neccessary, in order to assure oneself through our partners that the foreign beneficiary is non-profit and that the project is of a sufficiently high quality.
Making Donations Abroad
With the help of Maecenata International (MINT), German donors can make tax efficient donations to foreign Organisations. MINT looks after the entire handling of donations.
The organisation is registered with the German finance authorities and operates with few exceptions in all countries of the world.
Donation Transfer from Abroad
Maecenata International supports the following projects (selection):
You can give for our projects to the following accounts :
To donate and support our projects you can also use our online form: