Source of information
Portuguese Foundations' Centre (PFC)

The 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 social interest.

Number of foundations

401 public-benefit foundations (2010 - Source: Official Census on Foundations 2012)

Pool of assets

€5,928 million


25,698 + 8,661 volunteers equivalent full time (2010 - Source: Official Census on Foundations 2012)

More on the sector

The foundational sector in Portugal has about 800 foundations total estimated, with about 200 Canonical foundations recognized under Holy See Agreement with Portuguese State (for catholic confession) and under the Law of Religious Freedom (for other confessions) . These data refers only to civil foundations (those recognized under Civil Law) with valid answers to the Official Census on Foundations 2012.

Further reading
EUFORI STUDY : European Foundations for Research and Innovation : Portugal Country Report, European Union, 2015.
Portugal’s Nonprofit Sector in Comparative Context, Johns Hopkins Center for Civil Society Studies, 2012.
The Portuguese nonprofit sector in comparative perspective, The Johns Hopkins University and Universidade Católica Portuguesa, 2005