#VertrauenMachtWirkung initiative

Chal­lenge and objective

The major social devel­op­ments — from digi­ti­sa­tion to the lack of skilled work­ers — do not even spare foun­da­tions. If foun­da­tions are to remain rel­e­vant, they must under­go fun­da­men­tal changes. The #Ver­trauen­MachtWirkung (“#Trust­Cre­ates­Im­pact”) ini­tia­tive aims to sup­port foun­da­tions in this process.

Project part­ners: Ise Bosch, Wider Sense Trafo gGmbH and numer­ous foun­da­tions | Dura­tion: since 2019 | # Project devel­op­ment, project implementation

Approach and solution

Togeth­er with the founder Ise Bosch and the col­leagues of Wider Sense we ini­ti­at­ed #Ver­trauen­MachtWirkung. Oth­er fel­low cam­paign­ers quick­lyjoined in, includ­ing the Schöpflin Stiftung, the Kurt and Maria Dohle Stiftung and the Cano­pus Stiftung.

The nine the­ses of the ini­tia­tive were devel­oped in a par­tic­i­pa­to­ry process with the fel­low cam­paign­ers. In the process, we have used var­i­ous meth­ods to do so, e.g. Lego Seri­ous Play. Foun­da­tions have used the inter­lock­ing plas­tic bricks to build scenes of a par­tic­i­pa­to­ry foun­da­tion of the future and thus devel­oped a vision.

With these the­ses, we want to also encour­age foun­da­tions to reflect on the way they pro­vide fund­ing. From our analy­sis of more than 3,000 non­prof­its, we know that the impact of foun­da­tions would be much greater if, for exam­ple, they not only financed indi­vid­ual projects but also the orga­ni­za­tions behind them. Or, if foun­da­tions used not only their earn­ings but also their cap­i­tal to change society.

Real­iz­ing this in every­day life is not always easy. That is why #Ver­trauen­MachtWirkung also shows numer­ous exam­ples of good prac­tice. Many of those exam­ples we know from up close – either from work­ing togeth­er on a coop­er­a­tion project or from our con­sult­ing activities.

We also sup­port foun­da­tions with work­shops or webi­na­rs. A per­son­al exchange among each oth­er is pos­si­ble in the accom­pa­ny­ing expert group of the Asso­ci­a­tion of Ger­man Foundations.


At the Deutsch­er Stiftungstag 2019, a Ger­man foun­da­tion con­fer­ence, we have already brought rough­ly 200 foun­da­tions into con­tact with each oth­er. The debate will be con­tin­ued with­in the scope of an expert group of the Asso­ci­a­tion of Ger­man Foun­da­tions that is accom­pa­ny­ing the ini­tia­tive. Fur­ther impacts of the ini­tia­tive will be eval­u­at­ed and shared in 2020

What can we do for you?

Juliane Hagedorn

Member of the Management, Head of Consulting
+49 30 520 065 315