Legal Mechanisms to Encourage Development Partnerships

Handbuch Stiftungen

The International Journal
of Not-for-Profit Law

Volume 1, Issue 1, September 1998

Reviewed by Karla W. Simon, General Editor, IJNL

The Bertelsmann Stiftung has done us all an invaluable service by publishing a wide-ranging and extremely comprehensive compendium of papers in its new Handbuch Stiftungen. This giant work – some 1185 pages, not including the Preface (by Roman Herzog, the President of Germany), the Introduction (by Reinhard Mohn, the Chairman of the Bertelsmann Stiftung), the Table of Contents, and other introductory materials – is a major effort to discuss and analyze the way in which foundations, specifically, and related not-for-profit organizations, more generally, contribute to social and economic development in the modern world. The general theme is the importance of foundations as a reflection of citizen involvement in social well-being, and the book seeks to develop that theme in a systematic fashion. It looks into various aspects of the “Stiftungswesen,” a term for which there is no good English translation, but which means essentially the “foundation world.”

The subjects covered are numerous and the authors are as diverse as they are well-respected in their various fields. In particular, this Journal is interested in Chapter V, which deals with “Legal Status and Government Oversight” of foundations. However, references to legal themes occur in other papers as well, which makes a review of that single chapter inappropriate. Thus, although the original thought had been to review only Chapter V for this issue of the Journal, we have decided to delay the review until the December issue, to give ourselves more time to digest other aspects of the book. In the meantime, however, we would suggest that German speakers acquire a copy of this marvelous resource book from the Stiftung – please contact Ms. Runhild Lipke in the Sekretariat Stiftungswesen at