In memory of our founder and namesake, the Rudolf Augstein Foundation began its grant-making activities in 2005. Our funding comes from the private estate of Rudolf Augstein, journalist and publisher of DER SPIEGEL. We are a non-profit, independent foundation under civil law based in Hamburg. As a foundation, we continue Rudolf Augstein’s patronage in a contemporary context and support projects and initiatives in civil society.
During his lifetime, Rudolf Augstein lent support to quality journalism, to disadvantaged children and young people and to the arts. For this reason, the Rudolf Augstein Foundation’s sponsorships extend to these areas:
The Board of Directors decides how the foundation’s funds are allocated. The Board of Trustees advises on questions of content. The members of both committees work in an honorary capacity.
The foundation’s capital constitutes approximately 33 million euros. Every year, we grant approximately one million euros in grants, evenly distributed among the three funding areas. Since our foundation, we have supported more than 800 projects with grants totalling roughly ten million euros. The Rudolf Augstein Foundation is a medium-sized foundation as seen in the larger context of German foundations.
How we work
Our foundation’s work is driven by the following convictions:
Trust your partners
As a charitable foundation, we primarily support other people’s projects and ideas. We believe in the goals of our project partners and that they have the right skills and experience to realise them. This is why we primarily provide financial resources. If necessary, we also provide advisory support and use our network for our project partners.
Question the status quo
One focus of our funding activities is on projects that critically deal with social and political injustices. We support projects that develop visions for the future and initiate change processes.
We encourage interdisciplinary projects that question and transcend disciplinary boundaries or that interweave them in novel ways.
We see ourselves as facilitators. In order to bring about forward-looking changes, it is necessary to try new things and take risks.
Rudolf Augstein was born on 5 November 1923 in Hanover. Few others have had such a profound influence on Germany’s journalistic landscape. In 1945 he began working for the news magazine “Diese Woche” (“This Week”). Augstein then purchased the magazine’s licence, and on 4 January 1947 he published it for the first time under the masthead “DER SPIEGEL.” With Augstein as publisher and editor-in-chief, DER SPIEGEL soon made a name for itself with its critical stance. A report on the Bundeswehr bearing the title “Bedingt abwehrbereit” (“Hardly ready to fight”) triggered the so-called “SPIEGEL affair” in 1962. Augstein was imprisoned for 103 days on suspicion of treason. After nationwide protests and numerous statements of solidarity from fellow media outlets, Rudolf Augstein was released—and was from then on regarded as a paragon of critical journalism and of freedom of the press.
Rudolf Augstein also had a keen interest in art. He was an enthusiastic patron of opera and theatre and loved literature and the fine arts. In his lifetime he supported many artistic and cultural projects. In accordance with his wishes, the Rudolf Augstein Foundation continued this dedication. Rudolf Augstein died on 7 November 2002.
The Board of Directors administers the foundation’s assets, decides on strategic issues, programmes and projects and manages the foundation in close consultation with the Managing Director.
Oversees art grants
Dr. Franziska Augstein
Oversees social affairs grants
Oversees journalism grants
Board of trustees
The Board of Trustees of the Rudolf Augstein Foundation advises the Board of Directors on the development of the Foundation and supervises its activities. The following individuals are currently contributing their expertise on an honorary basis:
FRIED VON BISMARCK
Board of Trustees Chairman
DR. MARIANNE KOCH
DR. NIKLAS MAAK
Journalist and architecture critic
MATHIAS MÜLLER VON BLUMENCRON
Art historian and curator
DR. INGE VILLWOCK
Our office staff will be happy to advise you on any questions you may have regarding the activities of our foundation and the application process.
T +49 40 554 403 33
Project and Communication Manager
T +49 40 3007 2434
T +49 40 3007 2453
As a foundation, we operate in a transparent manner and endeavor to communicate our goals and structure clearly. That is why we have joined the Transparent Civil Society Initiative, which is committed to greater transparency in the non-profit sector. Below you will find information about the Rudolf Augstein Foundation in accordance with our voluntary commitment to that initiative:
1. Name, registered office, address and year of foundation of our organisation
In 2005, the Rudolf Augstein Foundation was recognized as an incorporated foundation under civil law. It has its seat in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg. The Foundation’s activities are governed by the management office.
2. Statutes and goals
3. Date of the most recent decision by the tax office on recognition as a tax-privileged (non-profit) corporation
The last ruling on recognition as a non-profit corporation (tax number: 17/425/02682) was issued by the Hamburg Nord tax office and is valid until 19 July 2021.
4. Name and function of the main decision-makers
5. Reports on the activities of our organisation
Our website serves as our report on the activities of our organisation. If desired, we will be happy to answer personally any questions you may have at firstname.lastname@example.org.
6. Personnel structure
The office is staffed by two full-time employees as well as a part-time assistant.
7./8. Origin and appropriation of funds
The origin and appropriation of the funds of the Rudolf Augstein Foundation are shown in the statement of revenue and expenses. Additional information can be found in the balance sheet and in the graph of the appropriation of funds by each funding area.
Independent auditors regularly check the proper preparation of the annual financial statements. The foundation’s proof of asset, including the underlying accounting, was last checked and certified for the year 2019.
9. Social involvement with third parties
The Rudolf Augstein Foundation does not hold any shares in companies or charitable organisations.
The Rudolf Augstein Foundation is a member of the Association of German Foundations and in that organisation participates in the Expertenkreis Qualitätsjournalismus (“Experts’ Circle for Quality Journalism”).
10. Names of legal entities whose annual payments account for more than 10% of the total annual budget
To date, the Rudolf Augstein Foundation has not received any donations or endowments. We engage in no fundraising activities.