About us

© Der Spiegel

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 1.100 projects with grants totalling roughly 14 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.

Cross boundaries

We encourage interdisciplinary projects that question and transcend disciplinary boundaries or that interweave them in novel ways.

Enable experiments

We see ourselves as facilitators. In order to bring about forward-looking changes, it is necessary to try new things and take risks.

Über uns > Fotografie der Festnahme Rudolf Augsteins im Jahr 1962. Der Journalist tritt – begleitet von zwei uniformierten Beamten – lächelnd aus einer Tür.


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.

Executive Board

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 team.

Über uns > Schwarz-Weiß-Porträt von Anna Augstein.
© Gisela Floto

Anna Augstein

Board chair
Oversees art grants

Über uns > Schwarz-Weiß-Porträt von Franziska Augstein.
© Franziska Augstein

Dr. Franziska Augstein

Oversees social affairs grants

Vorständin Stephanie Reuter
© Fabian Melber

Stephanie Reuter

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:

Der ehemalige Verlagsleiter des Spiegels Fried von Bismarck in seinem Büro.
© Sabine Sauer/Der Spiegel


Board of Trustees Chairman

© Aenne Sikora


Radio journalist, moderator, author and columnist

Niklas Maak
© F.A.Z.


Journalist and architecture critic

Mathias Müller von Blumencron
© Kitty Kleist-Heinrich



Foto Susanne Pfeffer
© Alexander Paul Englert


Art historian and curator

Thole Rotermund
© Nicole Neumann Photography


Art dealer

© Sandra Zur Nieden Fotographie


Specialist in pediatrics and youth medicine

We thank our former board members for their commitment:

  • Jakob Augstein
  • Julian Augstein
  • Stefan Aust
  • Dieter Brusberg
  • Jürgen Flimm
  • Josef-Otto Freudenreich
  • Dr. Marianne Koch
  • 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.

Stephanie Reuter
© Stephanie Reuter


Executive Director
T +49 40 554 403 33


Marina Contu
© Marina Contu


Project Manager
T +49 40 3007 2453


Wiebke Kannengießer


Project Manager
T +49 40 3007 2431



Student Trainee
T +49 40 3007 2410



You can reach our office Monday to Friday at:

T +49 40 3007 2431



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

Our charter ist is the basis of all foundation activities. The goals and funding criteria of the individual funding areas can be found under Journalism, Art und Social affairs.

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

The two central bodies of the Rudolf Augstein Foundation are the Board of Directors and the Board of Trustees.
Stephanie Reuter is the Executive Director of the Foundation.

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 kontakt@rudolf-augstein-stiftung.de.

6. Personnel structure

The office is staffed by four employees.

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 2022.

9. Social involvement with third parties

The Rudolf Augstein Foundation is co-initiator and co-partner of JX Fund gGmbH.
The Rudolf Augstein Foundation is a member of the Association of German Foundations and in that organisation participates in the advisory board and the Arbeitskreis Stiftungskommunikation (“Working Group on Foundation Communication”). The foundation is also part of the steering committee of Civitates and the advisory board of the Forum gemeinnütziger Journalismus (“Forum for Non-Profit 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.