The history of the state network of foundations in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania

The first nationwide foundation day took place in Rostock in February 2005. He initially had no consequences. In 2011, the Mecklenburg AnStiftung took the initiative for a new foundation day, which took place on November 19, 2011 in Wismar with around 160 participants. This is where the “National Network of Foundations in Mecklenburg-Western Pomerania” was founded by the assembled foundations.

Foundation days of a similar magnitude followed in November 2013 in Rostock, in November 2015 in Greifswald and in November 2017 in Neustadt-Glewe. The foundation day, which is normally planned for the end of 2019, was canceled in view of the schedule of former Federal President Dr. Joachim Gauck and a planned reception for the Prime Minister postponed to March 13, 2020. On March 10th, the Foundation Day had to be canceled in coordination with the State Chancellery and the Gauck Office due to the pandemic.

In addition to the foundation days, numerous specialist conferences - especially at Hasenwinkel Castle - and networking meetings took place.

Since it was founded in 2011, the network has developed as a loose association with no legal form and no obligation to contribute, purely on a voluntary basis. The network was open to all foundations that were registered in MV (including the foundation GmbH or trust foundations without the supervision of the state or church foundation authority) or were involved in MV with funding or projects. Joining the network was done by registering in the network list. The network was managed by the Mecklenburg AnStiftung.
The MV state network worked together with the Federal Association of German Foundations and endeavored to ensure good cooperation with the state foundation supervisory authority and the responsible ministries for justice and finance, the state chancellery and the executive committee of the state parliament. In particular, the supervision of foundations gave many foundations and the state network reason to complain that they were not very foundation-friendly. The state network therefore saw it as a great success of its many years of lobbying that the foundation supervisory board was realigned and staffed in 2019/20. The state network has been able to establish very good cooperation with the state government and the state parliament.

The state network had established a state committee to manage the work and as a joint representative office. Its members held office ad personam until new elections were held at the next foundation day. An exact number of committee members was not specified. In 2011, Karl-Wolfgang Eschenburg (Organ Foundation St. Georgen zu Wismar), OKR Sebastian Kriedel (Foundation Supervision of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in Northern Germany, Schwerin), Guenter Roese (Foundation Art Museum Ahrenshoop), Wolf Schmidt (Mecklenburg AnFoundation , Wismar) and Kathrin Succow (Michael Succow Foundation, Greifswald).
At its first meeting, the state committee elected Dr. Wolf Schmidt, who was re-elected until the founding of the independent state network in 2022.

Eine Liste der Mitgliedsstiftungen des Landesnetzes, die Informationen über die Netzaktivitäten und nützliche Hinweise waren auf der Website der Mecklenburger AnStiftung unter dem Menü „Stiftungsnetz MV“ integriert, das direkt erreichbar war über die Adressen und
Der Landesausschuss arbeitete auf der Basis eines Programms, das er in der ersten Amtsperiode entwickelt hat. Es umfasste folgende Punkte:

Overarching Goals
  1. Representation of the interests of foundations in MV in relation to politics, the media and the public.
  2. Strengthening of cooperation and information exchange in the MV foundation sector.
  3. Advertising for donations in MV.
  4. Be the point of contact for setting up foundations and endowments.

Certain formats serve our goals:
  1. Organization of a MV foundation day every two years. Support from member foundations requested.
  2. Further training events between the foundation days and smaller forums for foundations in the country. This can also include the formation of interest groups (e.g. according to work areas).
  3. Information events for potential donors and multipliers (e.g. lawyers, notaries, tax consultants), also to win endowments.
  4. Use opportunities to pursue our goals with press appearances and press releases. "Piggyback campaigns" can also contribute to this: When it comes to setting up a new foundation, a foundation anniversary, or special foundation successes, we are happy to accompany this with our own statements that appreciate the event in the context of the country.
  5. Develop a format for a nationwide "foundation evening" where member foundations can introduce themselves to decision-makers and opinion leaders. Ideas about places, partners, presenting foundations ... are very welcome.
  6. Improve the outreach of the MV Foundations outside the country. A "Foundation Dialogue" with the Prime Minister in the state representation in Berlin could contribute to this.

We want to offer our members concrete benefits:
  • Provide a platform for information exchange
  • Accompany and facilitate dealings with authorities
  • Support fundraising and public relations
  • Make MV Foundations more visible over the web
  • Organize appreciation for foundation work
  • Inform about foundation issues and enable exchange of experiences

It turned out that only a limited number of activities could be realized from this catalogue. The limiting factor was not only the work capacity of the state committee members and the Mecklenburg AnStiftung, but even more so the member foundations.
The state network of foundations was represented by OKR Sebastian Kriedel on the Board of Trustees of the State Volunteer Foundation. dr Wolf Schmidt was a personal member of the Board of Trustees.
In order to raise awareness of the traditions of donations in MV, the idea of ​​a traveling exhibition on the history of foundations and donors in MV was launched in cooperation with the Mecklenburg Foundation.
The members of the state committee work on a voluntary basis and bear a significant part of their costs themselves. Events and, if necessary, reimbursement of expenses are financed via a separate budget in the Mecklenburg AnStiftung budget. This included income (from subscriber fees) and subsidies as well as the expenditure of the state network. During the transition from the Mecklenburg AnStiftung to legal independence, this budget showed a balance of over €10,000, which was transferred to the new state network.
After all planned events had to be canceled due to the pandemic, a foundation dialogue with the foundation supervisory authority MV was offered via zoom in December, which with around 25 participants marked a new beginning in the relationship between the state foundation supervisory authority and the state network of foundations. This new start was prepared in numerous trusting discussions between the spokesman for the state network and the Ministry of Justice responsible for foundation supervision and the State Chancellery.

Within 10 years, the commitment of the Mecklenburger AnStiftung together with the member foundations for the foundation system in MV - after many challenges - has borne remarkable fruit: The number of members of the state network has tripled. Four foundation days made the foundation system visible in the state and beyond. Several specialist conferences have strengthened the quality of the foundation's work. A fruitful cooperation with the state government has emerged and the partnerships with the Federal Association of German Foundations and the Volunteer Foundation MV have developed and consolidated. The Mecklenburger AnStiftung thus considered its development work to be successful and saw the time to convert the state network into an independent legal form. The speaker Dr. Wolf Schmidt in December 2019 in the state committee, which then planned the legal independence conceptually and financially in two years of preparatory work and implemented it in dialogue with the member foundations. On April 20, 2020, the state network of foundations in MV e.V. was ceremonially launched in the plenary hall of the Schwerin state parliament.