Foundation body

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Example of a foundation with three foundation bodies: a board (orange) manages the business and represents the foundation externally and internally, an administrative board (blue) controls the board, and a board of trustees (green) advises the board.

A foundation organ is an organ of a foundation to which certain tasks are assigned by the foundation's statutes (or statutes) and through which the foundation becomes capable of acting. Foundation bodies must always be made up of at least one person ( individual body ), but can also be made up of several people as a collegiate body . The members of the organs are appointed and can resign or be dismissed.


Foundation bodies act as trustees of the founder's will as set out in the foundation business and the foundation statutes as well as the foundation's assets . As a rule, the members of foundation bodies meet several times a year to pass verbal resolutions in accordance with the statutes . Often it is also possible to make these resolutions in writing or in text form . For a decision to be effective, it is not absolutely necessary that all members of a body participate. Biased board members can be excluded from the resolution.

The organs should ensure sustainable profitability and at the same time ensure that the foundation's administrative costs are as low as possible.

The rights and obligations of the foundation bodies are described in the foundation's statutes; they can also issue rules of procedure . Foundation bodies can in principle make mistakes for which they are liable, and therefore they usually take out property damage liability insurance to protect the foundation's assets . If there is suspicion of misconduct , foundation bodies can become the object of white-collar criminal investigations, particularly in the case of foundations recognized as charitable under the tax code .


Foundations with legal capacity have at least one body that is a legally prescribed decision-making body. In Germany this is the board that the foundation internally and externally, for example in relation to the supervision of foundations , the tax authorities , the Destinäre or financial service represents. In Austria the term managing director and in Liechtenstein the term foundation board is also used.

Depending on the foundation statutes, there may be another body that supervises the board. This has, for example, the designation foundation board , administrative board, control board , protector or supervisory board .

In addition, organs of the foundation can take on advisory tasks, such as a board of trustees or a curator , an advisory board , a family day or a college.


  • Volker Then, Ina Epkenhans: Ratgeber Stiften , Volume 3: Foundation organs - Committee development - Employees , Bertelsmann Stiftung publishing house, 2010, ISBN 9783867931496
  • Marco Lanter: The Responsibility of Foundation Bodies , Dissertation, Zurich, Switzerland, 1984

Individual evidence

  1. Establishment and organization of a foundation - legal information for Switzerland ,, accessed on July 13, 2016
  2. Foundation organs , German Caritas Association , accessed on July 13, 2016
  3. a b c d e 20 Principles of Good Foundation Practice , Stiftung Mercator , accessed on July 13, 2016
  4. Gabriela Schimmel-Radmacher, Detlef Gatzemeier: Foundation bodies are liable for errors ,, June 1, 2011, accessed on July 13, 2016
  5. Jörg Alvermann: Criminal Law Risks for Foundation Bodies , Foundation & Criminal Law, September 30, 2009, accessed on July 14, 2016
  6. ^ Foundation bodies , Margaretha Lupac Foundation, Republic of Austria, Parliament, accessed on July 15, 2016
  7. ^ A b Marxer & Partner Attorneys at Law: The Liechtenstein Foundation , Liechtenstein Economic Law, 1st edition, 2009, Liechtenstein-Verlag, Schaan, ISBN 978-3-905762-04-4
  8. Board of Directors: The committee members , Stiftung Warentest , accessed on July 13, 2016
  9. a b Siepmann Foundation - Details , Bavarian State Office for Statistics, accessed on July 13, 2016
  10. Supervisory Board ( Memento of the original from July 13, 2016 in the Internet Archive ) Info: The archive link was inserted automatically and has not yet been checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice. , Baden-Württemberg Foundation , accessed on July 13, 2016 @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  11. ^ Board of Trustees: The committee members , Stiftung Warentest , accessed on July 13, 2016
  12. Organs of the foundation , Naturland Foundation Saar , accessed on July 13, 2016
  13. Information about the foundation , Rudolf-Alexander-Schröder-Foundation , accessed on July 13, 2016