German donors – Potential for giving

A series of new tax incentives could prompt wealthy Germans to set up charitable foundations, Frankfurter Allgemeine reported June 21.

Donors can contribute up to 40,000 Deutsche Marks, or more than $17,500, to a foundation and deduct is as an extraordinary expense, the newspaper said.

And first-time donors can make a fully deductible, one-time donation of up to 600,000 Deutsche Marks, or more than $263,000, to a new foundation.

Germany has roughly 9,500 private and corporate foundations that manage assets of about 50 billion Deutsche Marks, or nearly $22 billion, the newspaper said.

And Germans leave roughly 300 billion Deutsche Marks, or nearly $132 billion, through their wills and estates – money that the government would like to see go to some projects it no longer support itself, the newspaper said.

But unlike the U.S., in which Web sites have flourished that let donors make charitable contributions, German philanthropist have no such Web sites, the newspaper said.

For full story, go to Frankfurter Allgemeine.

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