German Donation Council

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German Donation Council
legal form non-profit registered association
founding 1993
Seat Berlin
purpose Commitment to transparency, efficiency and sustainability in dealing with donations
Chair Wolfgang Stückemann (Chairman), Ulrich Pohl (Deputy), Udo Zippel (Treasurer)
Managing directors Max Mälzer
sales 388,645 euros (2018)
Members 64 (2018)

The German Spendenrat is a registered charity and sees itself as an umbrella organization donations collecting non-profit organizations in Germany. It includes private and church associations from the fields of humanitarian aid as well as animal , species and nature conservation .


The association sees it as its tasks to both promote the willingness to donate in the population and to take action against unfair methods of fundraising . He sees himself as an instrument of voluntary self-control.

He is committed to strengthening transparency and improving the legal framework in the German donation system. These include a. also the reduction of bureaucracy and the simplification of non-profit law and the creation of uniform, clear, understandable accounting and reporting obligations for non-profit organizations. With the support of and in cooperation with the other organizations in the non-profit alliance, z. B. the Act to Strengthen Voluntary Work (Voluntary Work Strengthening Act) came into force in 2013.

The member organizations must undertake to comply with minimum standards that go beyond compliance with applicable law in a declaration of self- commitment. Failure to comply with these standards can be punished with sanctions ranging from disapproval and reprimand to the exclusion of the member organization, but is not really controlled.

Every year the organization publishes a report on fundraising activities.


The association was founded in 1993 in Frankfurt am Main . He sees the German Press Council and the German Advertising Council as his role models.

Subsequently, the German Animal Welfare Association , the German Salvation Army , World Vision Germany , the Federal Association of Self-Help for the Physically Disabled , the Association against Abuse of Animals , the German Life-Saving Society , the Federal Association of Animal Welfare , the von Bodelschwingh Foundation Bethel and the Association Gifts of Hope .

In 2008 the association excluded Deutsche Kinderhilfe after it had been criticized for its internal handling of donations and had sent warnings against a large number of the other member organizations.

For 2013 the association announced donations of 4.7 billion euros.

The association held a stake in the Deutsche Fundraising Akademie gGmbH , headed by Thomas Kreuzer . This is the first private educational institution in Germany that is exclusively dedicated to fundraising . In 2015, the association ceded its share to the German Fundraising Association .

Since 2016, the German Donation Council has been offering a service for non-profit organizations with the project "Transparency made easy" with funding from the Federal Ministry for Family, Seniors, Women and Youth.

The German Donation Council has been awarding the donation certificate to its member organizations since 2017, and external auditors are responsible for quality control of their testing procedures.

At the end of 2018, a total of 65 organizations were members of the German Donation Council.

organization structure

The German Donation Council is divided into the following body structures:

  • General Assembly,
  • Board,
  • Managing directors,
  • Arbitration board,
  • Auditors Committee.


Members of the German Donation Council can only be donation-collecting legal entities based in the Federal Republic of Germany that are not for profit in the sense of the tax code. The member organizations undertake not to use any immoral advertising and to adhere to high quality standards. Among other things, structures, activities and finances are to be disclosed annually and transparently as part of an annual report.

Donation certificate

The association's donation certificate is the only test procedure in Germany in which external auditors take over the quality control in obtaining the certificate.

The purposeful, economical and economical use of donations and subsidies as well as compliance with the principles of the German Donation Council are checked. Only members of the German Donation Council can receive it. All members are successively checked over a period of three years. The certificate proves that the non-profit member organizations handle the funds entrusted to them responsibly and transparently. It was handed over to member organizations of the German Donation Council for the first time in 2017.

The basis of the examination for the award of the certificate are the principles of the German Donation Council. This includes

  • the existence of a clear, meaningful, complete and audited financial report, usually annual accounts,
  • a meaningful project and activity report,
  • Publication of advertising and administrative costs,
  • the existence of internal management and control mechanisms and
  • transparency towards the public.

The criteria are checked on the basis of documents that must be made available by the organizations:

  • an existing current notice of exemption about the charitable status of the organization
  • a completed questionnaire confirmed by the respective internal auditor / tax auditor / auditor,
  • the publication of the so-called multi-branch invoice of the DSR (analogous to HGB)
  • the current annual and financial report.

If the requirements for the donation certificate are no longer met, this can be revoked.

Donation behavior in Germany

Since 2005, the German Donation Council has commissioned GfK SE to continuously record donation behavior and volume in Germany. The results are published twice a year in “Trends and Forecasts” and the “Balance of Help”. The "Balance of Help" is a partial result of the GfK CharityScope study, which is based on continuous written surveys of a representative sample of 10,000 panel participants. GfK CharityScope continuously collects data on the donation behavior of private consumers in Germany. Among other things, donation volume, donation amount and preferred areas of activity are queried. Donations include monetary donations made voluntarily by German private individuals to non-profit organizations, aid and charity organizations and churches.

The results of the surveys are regularly taken up in the current daily press.


In 2010 the Stiftung Warentest criticized the fact that member organizations of the Donation Council violated rules such as the voluntary commitment to send donation reports on request. In 2016, Stiftung Warentest then revised its view and described membership in the Donation Council as positive and as a sign by which one can recognize reputable donation-collecting organizations.

In particular, the scandal surrounding UNICEF Germany in 2010 led the German Donation Council, as well as other umbrella organizations in the donation industry, to new transparency guidelines.

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. ^ German Donation Council: Aims. In: Retrieved July 16, 2019 .
  2. Kurt Bangert (Hrsg.): Handbook for donations Better organization, transparency, control, profitability and effectiveness of donation works . Wiesbaden 2011, p. 148 .
  3. a b German Donation Council presents figures for 2018. In: November 27, 2018, accessed July 16, 2019 .
  4. Alliance for the public good . ( [accessed November 25, 2018]).
  5. ^ Deutscher Spendenrat eV (Ed.): German Donation Council: declaration of self-commitment . 2018 ( [PDF; accessed on July 16, 2019]).
  6. ^ German Donation Council: Legal basis. In: Retrieved July 16, 2019 .
  7. Markus C. Schulte von Drach: Help better - with a heavy heart . In: . September 29, 2016, ISSN  0174-4917 ( [accessed November 10, 2018]).
  8. Kristian Frigelj: Entanglements: Donation Council excludes controversial child aid . June 3, 2008 ( [accessed January 18, 2019]).
  9. Kerstin Papon: Because of floods and typhoon: Germans donate more and more . Ed .: Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung. March 5, 2014, ISSN  0174-4909 ( [accessed July 16, 2019]).
  10. ^ Annual report WP Hagemann, March 8, 2008 (PDF)
  11. Fundraising Akademie gGmbH: Special edition fundraising training. (PDF) Fundraising Akademie gGmbH, 2012, accessed on November 10, 2018 .
  12. German Donation Council: Annual Report 2015. (PDF) German Donation Council, 2016, accessed on November 17, 2018 .
  13. Transparency made easy. In: Retrieved November 25, 2018 .
  14. BMFSFJ - Associations, Foundations and Donations. In: Retrieved December 2, 2018 .
  15. Donation certificate. In: Retrieved November 25, 2018 .
  16. Lino Wirag: Do ARD & ZDF collect questionable donations? In: November 12, 2018, accessed July 16, 2019 .
  17. a b Fewer people give more money. In: November 27, 2018, accessed January 18, 2019 .
  18. ^ German Donation Council: Structures. In: Retrieved July 16, 2019 .
  19. ^ Deutscher Spendenrat eV (Ed.): Association statutes . 2016 ( [PDF; accessed on July 16, 2019]).
  20. "Aktion Deutschland Hilft" receives a donation certificate from the German Donation Council. Press portal, May 31, 2017, accessed on January 19, 2019 .
  21. a b 15 organizations get a new donation certificate. (No longer available online.) In: Evangelical Press Service, 2017, archived from the original ; accessed on July 16, 2019 .
  22. ASB certified by the German Donation Council. Retrieved January 18, 2019 .
  23. German Donation Council awards further donation certificates. In: Berliner Zeitung. Retrieved January 18, 2019 .
  24. BMFSFJ - Transparency strengthens willingness to donate. Retrieved December 2, 2018 .
  25. Marcel Burkhardt: Donations: Doing good while being safe. In: December 14, 2017, accessed January 18, 2019 .
  26. ↑ The Salvation Army receives a donation certificate from the German Donation Council. In: Salvation Army Germany. May 30, 2017. Retrieved January 18, 2019 .
  27. 25 years of the Deutscher Spendenrat eV - award of new donation certificates. In: Volkmarstein Foundation. June 11, 2018, accessed January 18, 2019 .
  28. Vassilios Saroglou: AWO International awarded donation certificate of the German Spendenrat. June 8, 2018, accessed January 18, 2019 .
  29. Süddeutsche Zeitung (ed.): Donors are decreasing, but remain generous . February 27, 2018.
  30. Stiftung Warentest: Donations - Trust is good ... - Stiftung Warentest. Retrieved December 22, 2018 .
  31. Stiftung Warentest: Inheritance Law - So you can do good after your death - Stiftung Warentest. Retrieved December 22, 2018 .
  32. ^ Frankfurter Rundschau: Children's Fund in Twilight: The Unicef ​​Case. Retrieved December 22, 2018 .