AustriaAustria

Source of information
Austrian Foundations Association (Verband für Gemeinnütziges Stiften)
Definition
Public benefit foundations can be established under the Federal Foundations and Funds Act (BSTFG - Bundesstiftungs- und Fondsgesetz 2015) and by provincial legislation. According to the Federal Foundations and Funds Act, foundations are legal entities established upon the irrevocable transfer of assets that are used for public benefit or benevolent purposes. Private foundations can either act as family offices or exclusively or additionally define public benefit purposes.
Foundations
Total number of foundations is 3,758. Total number of public benefit foundations is 680.
Pool of assets
Total pool of assets of both private and public benefit foundations is estimated at € 70 billion.
Total expenditure
No data
Employment
No data

BelgiumBelgium

Source of information
Belgian Federation of Philanthropic Foundations
Definition
The foundation is the result of a legal act from one or several individuals or legal entities that dedicate capital to a specific not-for-profit aim. Foundations can be recognised as being of public utility when they pursue philosophical, philanthropic, religious, scientific, artistic, educational or cultural aims.
Foundations
Total number of foundations is 2,250. Total number of public benefit foundations is 650.
Pool of assets
€ 1,374 million
Total expenditure
€ 572 million
Employment
7,078

BulgariaBulgaria

Source of information
Bulgarian Donors' Forum
Definition
According to the Bulgarian Non-profit Legal Entities Act two types of non-profit organisations are recognised: associations and foundations. Associations are the organisations that are membership-based and established by three or more persons united for performing activities that pursue non-profit objectives. Foundations are property-based and created by a unilateral deed of establishment granting without compensation property for attainment of non-profit purpose. There is another difference between the NPOs depending on the goals they serve: the public or private benefit.
Foundations
There are almost 50,000 civil society organisations. The total number of public benefit foundations is 1,500
Pool of assets
No data
Total expenditure
€ 27 million
Employment
27,000

CroatiaCroatia

Source of information
Ministry of Administration
Definition
Only public benefit foundations can register according to the Law on Foundations.
Foundations
255
Pool of assets
€ 70 million
Total expenditure
€ 27 million
Employment
306

Czech RepublicCzech Republic

Source of information
Czech Donors Forum
Definition
Foundations and Funds (without endowment) are legal bodies gathering and administrating assets to support third public benefit parties.
Foundations
The total number of public benefit foundations is 2,296.
Pool of assets
No data
Total expenditure
€ 6,7 million
Employment
No data

DenmarkDenmark

Source of information
Statistics Denmark
Foundations
10,215
Pool of assets
No data
Total expenditure
€ 2,275 million
Employment
No data

FinlandFinland

Source of information
Council of Finnish Foundations
Definition
A foundation is a special fund established by its founder and managed by an autonomous administration to implement a beneficial purpose specified by the founder.
Foundations
Total number of foundations is 2,700.
Pool of assets
€ 20,000 million
Total expenditure
€ 516 million
Employment
No data

FranceFrance

Source of information
French Foundation Centre
Definition
The foundation is the act by which one or many persons decide the irrevocable assignment of goods, rights or resources to the realization of a project of general interest and non-profit.
Foundations
Total number of foundations is 2,537. Total number of public benefit foundations as well as endowment funds is 5,289.
Pool of assets
€ 10.204 billion
Total expenditure
€ 10.444 billion
Employment
84,100
Further reading
Funds and Foundations in France from 2001 to 2014 L’Observatoire de la Fondation de France, 2015.
France Country Report EUFORI STUDY : European Foundations for Research and Innovation: France Country Report, European Union, 2015
Les fonds et fondations en France de 2001 à 2014 (FR) Observatoire de la Fondation de France, June 2015.
EY et IMS Entreprendre pour la Cité, 2014.
Fondapol, 2012
Centre Français des Fondations and Observatoire de la Fondation de France, May 2011.
Centre Français des Fonds et Fondations and Observatoire de la Fondation de France, 2008

GermanyGermany

Source of information
Association of German Foundations
Definition
The German Civil Code (BGB) does not have a legal definition specifically for foundations. The definition of foundation 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 term 'foundation' is therefore merely a generic term for a complex range of entities, which may be enshrined in private, public or church law. The foundation 'prototype' is the legally responsible foundation under civil law. It is the classic instrument for the realisation of a long-term objective and is regulated by the state foundation authorities.
Even though a specific legal form cannot be automatically associated with the term, foundations do possess common features. A foundation is characterised as a mass of capital committed to a specific, long-term objective. Mostly, these objectives are non-profit in nature.
Foundations
Total number of foundations is 22,274. Total number of public benefit foundations is 21,161.
Pool of assets
€ 67.9 billion
Total expenditure
At least € 4.3 billion, based on information from 4,066 German foundations surveyed.
More on the sector
Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen Association of German Foundations
Stiftungssuche Search directory of the Association of German Foundations
Further reading
Germany Country Report EUFORI STUDY : European Foundations for Research and Innovation : Germany Country Report, European Union, 2015
The Role of Foundations in Public Debates in Germany by Rupert Graf Strachwitz, in the American Journal of Economics and Sociology, Vol. 74, No. 4 (September, 2015).
Zahlen, Daten, Fakten zum Deutschen Stiftungswesen Bundesverband Deutscher Stiftungen, 2014
2009, EFC

HungaryHungary

Source of information
National Statistics Office
Definition
A foundation is a legal person, which serves a long-term public interest.
Foundations
Total number of foundations is 19,545. Total number of public benefit foundations is 3,492.
Pool of assets
No data
Total expenditure
€ 726 million
Employment
18,312

IrelandIreland

Source of information
Benefacts
Definition
There is no one legal form for foundations in Ireland, and the form that any foundation can take is not prescribed in law. They are most likely to be companies limited by guarantee (without share capital) and operate within the framework of the Companies Acts. Alternatively, they can be set up as a Charitable Trust, established by a trust deed and subject to trust law.
Foundations
Total number of public benefit foundations is 169.
Pool of assets
€ 400 million
Total expenditure
€ 103 million
Employment
114

ItalyItaly

Source of information
ISTAT, ACRI and ASSIFERO
Definition
According to the new law on the third sector that is expected to enter into force by the end of 2019, philanthropic bodies are entities of the nonprofit sector established in the form of a recognised foundation or association in order to make donations of money, goods or services, including investments, in support of disadvantaged people or general-interest purposes. The organisastion's name shall contain the indication of a philanthropic body.
Philanthropic bodies get the economic resources to develop their business mainly from public and private assets, donations and legacies, capital gains and fundraising activities.
Foundations
Total number of public benefit foundations is 7,594.
Pool of assets
€ 46.1 billion
Total expenditure
€ 1,335 million
Employment
98,164

LiechtensteinLiechtenstein

Source of information
Association of Liechtenstein Charitable Foundations
Definition
A foundation is a legally and economically independent special-purpose fund which is formed as a legal entity (juristic person) through the unilateral declaration of will of the founder.
Foundations
Total number of foundations is 13,032. Total number of public benefit foundations is 1,392
Pool of assets
No data
Total expenditure
€ 220 million
Employment
No data

LuxembourgLuxembourg

Source of information
Foundation of Luxembourg
Definition
According to the Luxembourg Law, foundations are endowed or fundraising non-profit organisations that are involved in philanthropic, social religious, scientific, artistic, educational work, sports or tourism.
Foundations
Total number of public benefit foundations is 230.
Pool of assets
€ 52 million
Total expenditure
€ 14,222 million
Employment
42
More on the sector

NetherlandsNetherlands

Source of information
Association of Foundations in the Netherlands
Definition
In the Dutch Civil Code Book 2, Article 285-307, a foundation ('stichting') is defined as 'a legal person created by a legal act which has no members and whose purpose is to realise an objective stated in its statutes using capital allocated to such purpose'. Dutch Endowment Funds can also have the form of an association ('vereniging') - in accordance with the Dutch Civil Code Book 2, 26-52. Besides, foundations and associations can have the ‘ANBI’ fiscal status, if they spend 90% of their resources on the public good.
Foundations
Total number of foundation and associations is 350,000. Total number of public benefit foundations is 43,000.
Pool of assets
No data
Total expenditure
€ 6 billion
Employment
No data

NorwayNorway

Source of information
The Association of Norwegian Foundations
Definition
By foundation is meant a capital asset made available by testament, endowment or other lawful act to be used independently for a specific purpose of a non-profit, humanitarian, cultural, social, educational, financial or other nature. A legal entity that meets the conditions laid down in the first sentence is a foundation pursuant to this Act, regardless of whether it is designated as
a legacy, institution, fund or otherwise.
Foundations
Total number of foundations is 6,672. Total number of public benefit foundations is 4,500.
Pool of assets
€ 16 billion
Total expenditure
€ 408 million
Employment
18,000
More on the sector
Fritt Ord The Freedom of Expression Foundation (Fritt Ord) is the largest Norwegian foundation, not taking into account the savings banks foundations.​
www.lottstift.no The Norwegian Gaming and Foundation Authority
Further reading
Norway Country Report EUFORI STUDY : European Foundations for Research and Innovation : Norway Country Report, European Union, 2015.

PolandPoland

Source of information
Polish Donors Forum
Definition
There is no expicit legal definition of a foundation in Polish law. Foundations are understood as assets dedicated to some social cause and registered as a foundation. However, there is a very low amount of assets demanded for setting up a foundation. For this reason, a vast majority of Polish foundations do not have an endowment and are used as a vehicle for collecting external funding for their activities. The basic act that regulates the principles for the establishment and operation of foundations is the Law on Foundations, which is part of the administrative law. Foundations in Poland can be established only with the aim of serving a public benefit purpose.
Foundations
Total number of foundations is 26,000 but only 18,000 are active.
Pool of assets
No data
Total expenditure
€ 1.7 billion
Employment
49% of foundations employ 1 to 5 employees, 44% have no paid employees, only 7% have more than 6 employees.

PortugalPortugal

Source of information
Portuguese Foundation Centre
Definition
Foundations are non-profit organisations created through the initiative of one or more individuals or legal entities (founders). They are recognised by the authorities (mandatory), and are obliged to maintain a balance within their board, which must ensure that the purpose as assigned by the founders is preserved, this being to contribute to issues of public interest.
Foundations
Total number of public benefit foundations is 579.
Pool of assets
€ 6,932 million
Total expenditure
€ 673 million
Employment
No data

RomaniaRomania

Definition
Foundation is a non-profit entity, established to represent public interest or the interest of a community. Although there are some statutory differences between a foundation and an association, there is no fundamental difference in the way they work.
Foundations
16,623
Pool of assets
€ 3.5 billion
Total expenditure
€ 2.25 billion
Employment
99.774 are employed in the non-profit sector

Russian FederationRussian Federation

Source of information
Russian Donors Forum
Definition
According to the Russian Civil Code, foundation is a non-commercial organisation without membership founded by individuals and/or organisations based on voluntary donation of assets that has social, philanthropic, cultural, educational or other goals leading to public benefit.
Foundations
Total number of foundations is 21,548. Total number of public benefit foundatios is 11,141.
Pool of assets
No data
Total expenditure
€ 133 million
Employment
No data

SerbiaSerbia

Source of information
Serbian Philanthropy Forum
Definition
According to the Law on Foundations and Endowments, these entities are by definition of public benefit and can only be registered as such.
Foundations
Total number of public benefit foundations is 857.
Pool of assets
No data
Total expenditure
No data
Employment
No data
Further reading

SlovakiaSlovakia

Definition
A Foundation shall be a purposeful grouping of property established for the support of publicly beneficial purpose as defined in the Law on Foundations adopted in 2002. Foundations represent an important segment of the Slovak third sector (non- profit and non-governmental) which is designed to provide funding to support publicly beneficial activities.

The law defines the key characteristics of foundations, and specifies clearly the key roles of foundations, which are:

a) To provide financial and non-financial means from the assets of the foundation to third parties to fulfil a public benefit purpose.

b) To administer its assets, including the assets of foundation funds (donor advised funds and affiliated funds to the foundation without a legal subjectivity).
Foundations
Total number of active public benefit foundations is 461.
Pool of assets
€ 93.5 million
Total expenditure
€ 33.15 million
Employment
143

SpainSpain

Source of information
Supervising authorities and foundations registries, official journal, social security institute, foundations.
Definition
Foundations are incorporated organizations of non-for profit nature that, for the shall of their founder/s shall have attached in a durable way their endowment to the achievement of objectives of public good.
Foundations
Total number of active public benefit foundations is 8,866.
Pool of assets
€ 21,469 million
Total expenditure
€ 8,066 million
Employment
256,867

SwedenSweden

Source of information
Association of Swedish Foundations
Definition
Foundation is defined as an: (1) an asset or property that (2) has been set aside from the donor(s) (3) to be administrated separately and permanently (4) with the aim of a specific purpose.
Foundations
Total number of foundation is 17,300. Total number of public benefit foundations is 13,700.
Pool of assets
€ 28,800 million
Total expenditure
€ 600 million
Employment
No data

SwitzerlandSwitzerland

Source of information
SwissFoundations
Definition
The establishment of a charitable foundation requires assets being dedicated to a special purpose. It is not possible to transfer the assets back to the founder. Apart from public benefit foundations, there is a variety of foundation types in Switzerland such as ecclesiastical foundations, staff welfare foundations or for-profit enterprises organised as foundations (corporate foundations).
Foundations
Total number of public benefit foundations is 13,169.
Pool of assets
€ 70 billion
Total expenditure
€ 1,700 million
Employment
No data

TurkeyTurkey

Source of information
General Directorate of Foundations
Definition
Foundations are legal entities that have goods and rights which are endowed by real and legal persons for a defined and continual purpose.
Foundations
Total number of foundations is 5,158. Total number of public benefit foundations is 4,141.
Pool of assets
€ 13.2 billion
Total expenditure
€ 1.6 billion
Employment
17,093

UkraineUkraine

Source of information
Ukrainian Statistics
Definition
According to the Ukrainian legislation, a charitable foundation is a legal entity with the main aim in helping and making donations (both to individuals and organizations) and with non-profit purpose.
Foundations
Total number of public benefit foundations is 18,557.
Pool of assets
€ 436 million
Total expenditure
€ 428 million
Employment
No data
Further reading

United KingdomUnited Kingdom

Source of information
Association of Charitable Foundations
Definition
In the UK there is no specific legal form for foundations required by law. The terms trust and foundation are used interchangeably to describe charities with private, independent and sustainable income that fulfil their charitable goals mainly by funding and supporting other organisations and individuals.
Foundations
Total number of public benefit foundations is 12,698.
Pool of assets
€ 75.4 billion
Total expenditure
€ 5.2 billion
Employment
No data