Where does our money come from?

In order to work independently and flexibly, our funds are based on several mainstays:

  • Private donations: about 40-50% of our income comes from private donors and regular contributions from our current approximately 1.700 (2017) support members. This includes large donations and legacies from private individuals.

  • Private non-profit foundations: foundations support project-related campaigns or specific issues such as our work regarding the World Bank, the ADB and AIIB, the European Investment Bank, resources and also our work on private banks and energy suppliers. Sometimes, consumer-directed campaigns are included. A special aspect of the foundation landscape is the Movement Foundation. It supported Urgewald with a basic subsidy, enabling it to build a multiplier network and involve active participants more strongly (2008-2010). With a further basic subsidy, the Movement Foundation supported the expansion of our public and press work. (2015-2017).

  • Public funding: e.g. from EU programmes – here we cooperate with partner organizations in EU-wide campaigns on issues regarding the European Investment Bank, resources, international finance and banks.

  • Cooperation/Support by other non-profit organizations: this particularly involves the two large church charities Misereor and Brot für die Welt, who support our work on environment and social standards in the finance sector and on human rights issues.

  • Proceeds: for example, revenue from the sale of material and participation fees. We give away a lot of material free of charge, however we generally charge for brochures and studies. This income covers a part of the production and handling costs.

  • Fees: we occasionally receive a fee, for example for lectures or writing articles.

  • Ethikbank: the alternative bank (ethics, women and environment), which is supported by the bank itself and customers’ interest donations. From September 2013 till the end of 2016, Urgewald was an environment project. We used the donations to help our partners, affected persons and activists from abroad, e.g. by paying their lobby appointments or general meetings travel costs. We ended the cooperation because of redefined donation rules – “no money from banks”.

  • Exception: Sponsoring: in just a few exceptional cases, we have in the past cooperated with selected companies from the ecological sector. Our advantage: costs for material printing remain manageable and we also reach more people. Our energy switch campaign is an example: “Everybody wins. An energy switch helps.” However, the internet appearance www.urgewald.org and our publications remain free of advertising! At present, we are not seeking any sponsoring.

In our annual report, we publish the total of all donations, funding by foundations and public financiers and also legacies.


We’d like to say thank you to the following for the trustful and often long-standing cooperation:

            •          Bewegungsstiftung, Verden, www.bewegungsstiftung.de (2019 campaign support)

            •          C.S. Mott Foundation, USA, www.mott.org (ongoing)

            •          Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt, DBU, www.dbu.de (not currently)

            •          Brot für die Welt, Berlin (ongoing)

            •          European Union (EU) (not currently)

            •          European Climate Foundation (ECF), Brüssel/Berlin (ongoing)

            •          Ford Foundation (not currently)

            •          Gekko, www.stiftung-gekko.de (not currently)

            •          GLS-Trust, www.gls-treuhand.de (div. GLS-Stiftungsfonds, ongoing)

            •          Goldman Foundation, USA (not currently)

            •          Goldsmith Foundation, GB (not currently)

            •          Growald Family Fund, USA (not currently)

            •          grassroots foundation, Warendorf (ongoing)

            •          Guerilla-Foundation, Berlin, guerrillafoundation.org (not currently)

            •          KR-Foundation, Kopenhagen/Dänemark, krfnd.org (ongoing)

            •          Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation, USA (not currently)

            •          Misereor, Aachen, www.misereor.de (ongoing)

            •          Mulago Foundation (2019, Fellowship)

            •          Olin gemeinnützige GmbH (ongoing)

            •          Rockefeller Foundation (ongoing)

            •          Rausing-Trust, GB (not currently)

            •          Sunrise Project, Australien (ongoing)

            •          Stiftung Umwelt und Entwicklung Nordrhein-Westfalen, Bonn (not currently)

            •          Tilia Fund (USA) (ongoing)

            •          Tellus Mater, GB, www.tellusmater.org (not currently)

            •          Umweltbundesamt (UBA), Berlin (not currently)

(Status 08/2020) Thanks go to our foundation contact partners and donators for the trust placed in us, for helpful information and contacts, and also for their courage in standing up for uncomfortable issues or campaigns that initially seemed hopeless.


    Bild Anprechpartner   Andrea Soth

    Andrea Soth
    Finance Management and Head of Fundraising
    andrea [at] urgewald.org
    +49 (0)2583/30492-10

→  Unser Team