Heinrich Boell Stiftung

The Heinrich Böll Foundation is a legally independent political foundation working in the spirit of intellectual openness. The Foundation’s primary objective is to support political education both within Germany and abroad, thus promoting democratic involvement, sociopolitical activism, and cross-cultural understanding. The Foundation also provides support for art and culture, science and research, and developmental cooperation. Its activities are guided by the fundamental political values of ecology, democracy, solidarity, and non-violence.

The Heinrich Böll Foundation strives to stimulate sociopolitical reform by acting as a forum for debate, both on fundamental issues and those of current interest. The Foundation places particular importance on attaining gender democracy – signifying a relationship between the sexes characterized by freedom from dependence and dominance. The Heinrich Böll Foundation’s educational activities have a political basis, an ethical outlook, and strive to promote various forms of cultural expression. The Foundation supports art and culture as part of its political education work and as a crucial element of each society’s self-image.

By way of its international collaboration with a large number of project partners – currently numbering about 100 projects in over 60 countries – the Foundation aims to strengthen ecological and civil activism on a global level, to intensify the exchange of ideas and experiences, and to keep our sensibilities alert for change.

History of the Heinrich Böll Foundation

Regional foundations close to the Green Party were set up in the early 1980s. In 1983 there was a first effort to found a national foundation - but it came to nothing. Later in the 1980s three national foundations were established: The feminist Frauenanstiftung, the Buntstift federation of regional foundations, and the Cologne-based Heinrich Böll Foundation. The work of these organisations was later co-ordinated by the umbrella organisation Regenbogen. In 1988 the Green Party recognised Regenbogen as the foundation allied to the party. This meant that from then on the foundation qualified for government funding.

In 1996 a Green Party convention pushed the merger of the separte foundations. The statutes of the new foundation stressed the tenets of gender democracy, and of issues related to migration and diversity. The motion was passed with a large majority. The new foundation took on the name of one of its predecessors - Heinrich Böll Foundation. On 1 July 1997 the new Heinrich Böll Foundation began its operations in its new headquarters in the centre of Berlin.