The Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration is based on an initiative of the Stiftung Mercator and the Volkswagen Foundation. The initiative includes seven member foundations. In addition to the Stiftung Mercator and the Volkswagen Foundation, the member foundations are: Bertelsmann Stiftung, Freudenberg Foundation, Robert Bosch Stiftung, Stifterverband and Vodafone Foundation Germany.
The Expert Council
Expert Advice on Migration and Integration
The Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR) is based on an initiative
of the Stiftung Mercator and the Volkswagen Foundation. SVR is supported by seven foundations.
The Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (SVR) is the result of an initiative of Stiftung Mercator and the Volkswagen Foundation. One of Stiftung Mercator’s central objectives is to enable social participation and integration by improving educational opportunities for everyone. In establishing the SVR, it created an independent and scientific expert body which supports civil society and politicians at federal, state and municipal level by providing scientifically founded and action-oriented recommendations in the areas of integration and migration – and thereby makes debates on the issue, which are often highly emotional, more objective. Stiftung Mercator is a private and independent foundation. Through its work it strives for a society characterized by openness to the world, solidarity and equal opportunities. In this context it concentrates on strengthening Europe; increasing the educational success of disadvantaged children and young people, especially those of migrant origin; driving forward climate change mitigation and promoting science and the humanities. Stiftung Mercator symbolizes the connection between academic expertise and practical project experience. One of Germany’s leading foundations, it is active both nationally and internationally. Stiftung Mercator feels a strong sense of loyalty to the Ruhr region, the home of the founding family and the foundation’s Headquarters.
Contrary to what the name implies, the Volkswagen Foundation (VolkswagenStiftung) is not a corporate foundation. Located in Hanover, it is a completely independent non-profit foundation established under private law. The Volkswagen Foundation supports the humanities and social sciences as well as science and technology in higher education and research. Since the start of funding activities in 1962 it has granted 4.2 billion euros in support of over 30,000 projects.
With an annual funding volume of around 150 million euros it is among the country‘s largest foundations, and it is the largest private science funding foundation in Germany. The funds allocated by the Foundation are generated from its capital and assets of currently about 2.7 billion euros. These funds are supplemented by profit entitlements accruing from Volkswagen AG shares held by the Federal State of Lower Saxony (mainly dividends).
The Volkswagen Foundation places a special focus on providing support for junior scholars and scientists and fostering cooperation between researchers across the borders of disciplines, cultures, and national states.
The Bertelsmann Stiftung works to promote social inclusion for everyone. It is committed to advancing this goal through programs aiming to improve education, shape democracy, advance society, promote health, vitalize culture and strengthen economies. Through its activities, the Stiftung aims to encourage citizens to contribute to the common good. Founded in 1977 by Reinhard Mohn, the non-profit foundation holds the majority of shares in the Bertelsmann SE & Co. KGaA. The Bertelsmann Stiftung is a non-partisan, private operating foundation.
The Freudenberg Foundation was set up by members of the entrepreneurial family Freudenberg in 1984, and is operationally active. With its partners in the field at particular model locations, it trials support strategies in the categories of the integration society, youth people between school and working life, democratic culture in schools and communities and work for mentally ill persons, and invests in consolidating and disseminating transferable approaches. The principal focus of its operations is practical projects for children and young people, generally aimed at enhancing social integration. One crucial element of the foundation’s work ever since it was founded has been the integration of children and young people from immigrant families. In geographically small-scale, long-term practical development programs like “One Square Kilometer of Education”, the aim is to improve in disadvantaged districts the integrative vigor of the municipality and the local civil society. The foundation is primarily responding to initiative shortfalls in governmental and municipal action.
Robert Bosch Stiftung
The Robert Bosch Stiftung is one of Europe’s largest foundations associated with a private company. In its charitable work, it addresses social issues at an early stage and develops exemplary solutions. To this purpose, it develops and implements its own projects. Additionally, it supports third-party initiatives that have similar goals.
The Robert Bosch Stiftung is active in the areas of health, science, society, education, and international relations. Moreover, in the coming years, the Foundation will increasingly direct its activities on three focus areas:
- Migration, Integration, and Inclusion
- Social Cohesion in Germany and Europe
- Sustainable Living Spaces
Since it was established in 1964, the Robert Bosch Stiftung has invested more than 1.4 billion euros in charitable work.
Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft
Stifterverband is a joint initiative started by companies and foundations – the only one in Germany to be devoted entirely to consulting, networking and promoting improvements in the fields of education, science and innovation. Since 1920, Stifterverband has embodied the joint responsibility of German companies for a society that is viable for the future while also being conducive with a high quality of life. Some 3,000 members – DAX companies, mid-size companies, company associations, donors and active private individuals – have joined forces in Stifterverband. These form the core of a network of business, science, politics and civil society – the only one of its kind in Germany.
Vodafone Stiftung Deutschland
The Vodafone Germany Foundation is one of the large German corporate foundations. Since its establishment in 2003, the foundation supports projects in the areas of education, integration and social mobility to advance the opportunities of socioeconomically disadvantaged children and youth. As a Think Tank, the Foundation also aims to identify relevant socio-political challenges that hitherto do not find adequate representation within the political discourse. In collaboration with academic and policy experts it develops target-group specific, pragmatic as well as effective policy recommendations, which are made accessible to social networks, the media and a wide range of policy and decision makers in government and civil society.