About the Foundation

The Wüstenrot Stiftung is a private non-profit foundation. It is established and maintained exclusively for cultural, artistic, scientific, educational and charitable purposes. It is extempt from income tax. It has no shareholders or members who have a proprietary or beneficial interest in its income or assets.
Around 70% of its funds are used to initiate, plan and realise its own Foundation projects. With the remaining 30%, it awards financial sponsorships for the implementation of outstanding ideas and projects from other institutions.

The Wüstenrot Stiftung is engaged exclusively and directly in the pursuit of non-profit activities. It emerged in 1990 from the „Gemeinschaft der Freunde“ [Society of Friends], which was originally constituted in 1921 in Stuttgart and the founder and sponsor of Germany’s first savings and loan association. Through Wüstenrot Holding AG, the Wüstenrot Stiftung holds a 66%-stake in Wüstenrot & Württembergische AG and, with this economic footing, is one of Germany’s largest independent foundations. It is politically and denominationally independent and committed to the democratic community. Its legal form is that of a society. Its ties with its history are imprinted in its full registered title, „Wüstenrot Stiftung Gemeinschaft der Freunde Deutscher Eigenheimverein e.V.“ [Wüstenrot Foundation Society of Friends German Home-Ownership Association]. The Foundation society has between 50 and 60 honorary members, comprising personalities from public life in the fields of culture, business, social affairs and administration.

Aims and objectives

One of the Foundation’s primary concerns is to conserve and maintain the cultural heritage of our society, and to safeguard and embed cultural and artistic accomplishments in society’s collective memory. In this regard, particular attention is paid to emergent cultural values from the period after 1945, as their conservation-worthiness is often not adequately acknowledged, thus rendering them particularly at risk. The focal point of this field of activity is the Foundation’s own monument programme, through which specific worthwhile building monuments are restored to their former glory and, in addition, research is carried out and knowledge passed on regarding historical building materials and constructions, conservation and restoration possibilities, as well as trends in architectural history. A further aim is to support museums and collections in the recording, indexing, research, conservation and restoration of material and nonmaterial objects, often so that they can be retrieved from their depots and archives and made visible and accessible to the general public.

Another concern of the Foundation is its academic work in the fields of architectural culture, housing and urban development, as well as its exploration of the risks and opportunities of demographic change in relation to different age groups and their living, working and leisure conditions in urban and rural environments.

The Foundation’s work also lays great stress on supporting and developing the skills of schoolchildren, students and working people in the spheres of the arts and culture, particularly in architectural culture and photography.

Last but not least, competitions, awards and scholarships serve to publicise pioneering ideas, accomplishments and projects, and to promote their further advancement.

The Wüstenrot Stiftung works on an interdisciplinary basis; aims to give practice-orientated impulses and to create models; to be an example; to animate imitators and, in doing so, to bring about positive changes in people’s living conditions. In 2012 and 2013, the Foundation was operatively active on around 40 projects of its own and provided sponsorship support for some 200 further projects. The results of the Foundation’s work are made available to the public by means of events, exhibitions and publications.