Non-Profit Law Yearbook 2018

A collection of lectures held at the Hamburger Tage Conference in November 2018. English abstracts available

Forschung & Fakultät |

The Non Profit Law Yearbook 2018 publishes a number of lectures that were held at the Hamburger Tage Conference on the law of foundations and nonprofit law at the Bucerius Law School on 9 and 10 November 2018.



Rupert Graf Strachwitz

In the first contribution, the written text of the Hamburger Rede speech delivered by Rupert Graf Strachwitz to open the conference, Strachwitz looks back on “30 Jahre Zivilgesellschaft und Zivilgesellschaftsforschung” (30 years of civil society and research into civil society). He establishes that the third sector has become more significant and diverse, but that the academic penetration of the subject still lags behind this development. Strachwitz identifies the lack of transparency in the sector as one of the reasons for this. The empirical basis for sound research is missing.

Michael Droege

In his contribution titled “Die ‘kirchliche’ Stiftung” (The ‘ecclesiastical’ foundation), Michael Droege devotes his attention to the ecclesiastical and constitutional basis for a foundation landscape that has evolved in a special way. He elaborates how the freedom of religion guaranteed in the German Basic Law and the guaranteed autonomy of religious communities influence the ecclesiastical foundation system and what impact this has with the protection of the status quo of deviating Land law in the draft paper on the reform of foundation law of the German Civil Code (BGB).

Gerhard Vogt

The topics of the Non Profit Law Yearbook 2018 are strongly characterized by the activities of the German and European legislator and the case law of public law and tax law. For example, Gerhard Vogt, leader of the project group for the reform of funding law, presents the results of their reflections and appeals to those in positions of responsibility in the German federal government, the federal states and local communities to declutter the excessively bureaucratic funding regulations.

Bettina Backes

The subject adopted by Bettina Backes is the “Datenschutz-Grundverordnung” (General Data Protection Regulation). The data protection law that has been partly reformed by the European General Data Protection Regulation effective since 25.5.2018 and has partly already existed for years – although often given too little attention – poses enormous challenges to non-profit organizations managed by volunteers. Bettina Backes illustrates problem cases and offers possible solutions.

Bernd Heuermann

Bernd Heuermann, presiding judge of the V Senate of the German Federal Fiscal Court (BFH), provides an overview of the current case law of his court and also of the case law of the ECJ which is becoming ever more important for VAT law in the non-profit sector. As the ECJ also oversees the interpretation of the Directive on the common system of value added tax, this article also focuses on VAT law.

Martin Strahl

Martin Strahl provides information on “Anlageformen für Stiftungen und Förderkörperschaften” (Forms of investment for foundations and corporations procuring funding). Given the development in rates of interest which now no longer generate secure, high-yield income, Strahl looks into possibilities for investing assets and pursuing an objective in the form of a “mission-based” investment strategy.

Martin Schauer

In the Yearbook’s international section, Martin Schauer sets out the legal basis for non-profit foundations in Austria following the reform in 2015 of the Austrian Federal Foundation and Fund Act of 1975. In so doing he especially illustrates the relationship to the Private Foundation Act of 1993 which is important in practice.

Dirk Schauer and Jasper Stallmann

In their report “Aus Gesetzgebung, Rechtsprechung und Verwaltungsanweisungen zum Dritten Sektor im Jahr 2018 in Deutschland” (Legislation, Jurisdiction and Administrative Orders on the Third Sector in Germany in 2018), Dirk Schauer and Jasper Stallmann present a broad selection of the most significant developments.


Download English abstracts (pdf)



A word of thanks

The editors would like to thank the staff of the Institution for Foundation Law and the Law of Non-Profit Organisations of the Bucerius Law School in Hamburg for their valuable collaboration on this year’s Non Profit Law Yearbook, Dr. Emily Plate-Godeffroy for editing the written contributions, Mr. Philipp Heller for drawing up the bibliography for 2018 and Mrs. Rosalind Kessler for translating several summaries and the Foreword.


Hamburg, June 2019

Birgit Weitemeyer, Rainer Hüttemann, Peter Rawert, Karsten Schmidt