We use cookies on our website. Some of them are necessary for the functioning of the website, while others help us to improve this website and your experience.

Cookie Policy
Toepfer Stiftung_Wer wir sind

Who We Are

As a non-profit foundation, the Alfred Toepfer Foundation F.V.S. is active throughout Europe in the fields of culture, science, education and nature conservation in accordance with its statutes. One of its special concerns is European understanding while preserving cultural diversity.

The foundation was established in 1931 by the Hamburg businessman and farmer Alfred C. Toepfer as the "Stiftung F.V.S. zu Hamburg". Throughout his life, Toepfer left unanswered the question of whether the abbreviation "F.V.S." referred to the Prussian reformer Freiherr vom Stein or the poet and philosopher Friedrich von Schiller. The inclusion of the name of the founder in the name of the foundation, as requested by the family after his death, is not understood today as an undifferentiated show of respect, but as an act of transparency regarding the origin of the foundation's assets.

The work of the Toepfer Foundation has changed significantly in terms of its objectives and profile since its establishment. In doing so, the foundation has always sought a critical and open examination of its own history and the biographical stages of its founder. Today, it is present in the fields of art and culture, education and society, science and future-oriented land use. The Toepfer Foundation sees itself as an operative foundation with its own projects and programs. It only provides funding in exceptional cases on the basis of external applications: Funding conditions.

The foundation should dedicate itself as pioneer-like and concentrated as possible to timely and promising tasks, look for appropriate tasks and take them up.
From the statutes of the Alfred Toepfer Foundation F.V.S.

The Foundation's team works in the office at Georgsplatz. You can find out who is responsible for which area of work on the pages of the respective program activities. The Executive Board manages the day-to-day business of the Foundation. The strategic guidelines of the Foundation's policy are determined by the Board of Trustees as the supervisory body.

The Alfred Toepfer Foundation F.V.S. is a non-profit foundation under civil law based in Hamburg and subject to the legal supervision of the Senate Department of Justice. Detailed information on the composition and use of the foundation's assets can be found under: Facts and Figures.

The Toepfer Foundation holds investments in various subsidiaries. Through the non-profit Toepfer Stiftung gGmbH, it is the trustee of the Innovation in University Teaching Foundation, established in 2020 on behalf of the German federal and state governments. The aim of the foundation is to enable innovation in teaching and learning at universities and to continuously strengthen the capacity for renewal in university teaching as a whole. The foundation's program and funding benefit the entire breadth of the German higher education landscape. All funding for support, program, organization and administration is provided by the federal and state governments.