Value-Driven Action

Forming ideas , funding projects

The Software AG Foundation since 1992

Hands holding plant

The Software AG Foundation

Forming ideas, funding projects

The Software AG Foundation is a non-profit organization under civil law, which was founded in 1992 by Dr. h. c. Peter Schnell in Darmstadt, Germany. It is a charitable foundation which supports independent non-profit projects.
With 31.6 percent the Software AG shares, the Software AG Foundation is also a key anchor investor, ensuring long-term independence and job security for Software AG.


The Software AG Foundation was started in the year 1992 by company co-founder Dr. h. c. Peter Schnell as an independent non-profit charitable organization under civil law in Darmstadt, Germany. The foundation is not to be considered a corporate foundation, but rather a major shareholder of Software AG. It manages its own assets, totaling some one billion euros, and uses its earnings for the sole purpose of supporting charitable, independent sponsors in Europe and Brazil.

Principles of Funding

As a charitable foundation, the task of Software AG Foundation is to actively initiate and pursue meaningful projects with socially relevant goals, which provide “beneficial stimulus” and are exemplary in nature.  Project backing usually happens in the form of financial support, which helps independent sponsors and initiatives raise the funding necessary to realize their own projects.  According to the Software AG Foundation, disproportionately high funding can jeopardize the social nature of a project. So its funding is moderate and selective. Its support can therefore be understood as helping others to help themselves. Project initiators must demonstrate passionate and independent action for their cause to be considered for funding.  In addition, having unhindered contact with project volunteers is also critical.  The Software AG Foundation deals directly with project organizations in order to minimize the administrative and bureaucratic aspects of a project.

Areas of Aid

Education By supporting independently funded progressive and alternative education facilities as well as research projects in relevant fields, the Software AG Foundation contributes to the development of the education system as a whole.  One such project is the construction of a Waldorf preschool for Roma children in Rumania.
Child and Youth Welfare The Software AG Foundation backs child and youth welfare projects which strengthen individuality and development, promote exposure to different forms of social interaction and encourage meaningful activities in the areas of craftsmanship or art. The Foundation therefore selects projects that are led by qualified, professional or volunteer adults.  Funded projects range from preventative parent education, early childhood intervention, outpatient social work and supervised living to juvenile residential support, services for youth who have dropped out of school and programs with the goal of culturally educating. One such project is the Foundation’s support of an outpatient children’s hospice and family support service in Darmstadt.
Assistance for the Disabled The Software AG Foundation sees its responsibility in supporting initiatives that enable the development of sustainable relationships between individuals with and without the need for assistance and the perception of every person’s individuality and his/her unique destiny. One such project is “Perceiving Performance Over Disability.” The Rainbow Initiative prioritizes workplace inclusion.
Assistance for the Elderly The Software AG Foundation seeks initiatives that are forging new paths for helping the elderly—away from the ever more anonymous care structures and large nursing homes. One such project is a new residential and lifestyle concept for dementia patients in Obersteinbach, Germany.
Science The Software AG Foundation’s support of the sciences is focused on the fields of complementary medical research, biodynamic research and alternative education. Support is offered in the form of endowment chairs, research funding and support for young scientists during their dissertation or postdoctoral projects. Its goal is to develop new theories and methods and promote projects that provide new socially-relevant findings or that have a direct relationship on improving scientific practice. The Software AG Foundation supports, for example, the University of Witten-Herdecke and its research institute for organic farming.
Nature The Software AG Foundation aims at supporting the use and development of nature by people where a relationship between people and nature is established and at the same time nature is conserved and enhanced as a very long-term foundation for future generations. The Foundation focuses on projects in scientific research and practical application of life experiences in the following areas:
•    Soil fertility  
•    Plant and animal breeding for conditions in organic/biodynamic farming with no genetic engineering   
•    Improved quality of food  
•    Development of a cultural landscape of diverse synergies with nature
•    Education in biodynamic farming  
•    Biodynamic or organic farming projects in any of the areas described above
One such project is Plowing for Knowledge! Through schoolyard gardens, the “Vegetable Academy” is prompting a greater appreciation for food.

Joint Projects with Software AG

Move Your Feet to Give a Hand Software AG has been committed to individuals with disabilities around the world since 2007. “Move your Feet to Give a Hand” combines athletic dedication with charitable activism. Software AG employees earn money for a good cause for every kilometer run at an official race or company event. During the “SAGathlon” at the Software AG branch in Sofia, Bulgaria, for instance, the staff is challenged to give up driving their cars and walk or bike to work for one month each summer.  
Software AG runners worldwide have accumulated more than 10,000 kilometers over the past nine years, totaling about €40,000 in donations per year. The donations go to a different organization each year, which is chosen by Software AG runners. Malaysia, which was top scorer in 2014, donated €12,000 to a local charity.
At Eye Level Taking responsibility and giving hope: Software AG participates in a relief fund known as “At Eye Level.” It is an initiative of the Software AG Foundation to provide financial support to charitable civic organizations volunteering to facilitate the integration of refugees in Germany.  Software AG has contributed €10,000 euros to the fund for refugee integration.
Since last year when refugees began arriving to Germany in large numbers, the country’s most pressing issue has become the question how to best integrate them. Hundreds of thousands of volunteers are working to document and integrate refugees in order to give them a chance in Germany.  In support of this work, the Software AG Foundation set up the “At Eye Level” fund in 2016 under the auspices of GLS-Treuhand with an initial investment in the amount of €500,000. The goal is to lend non-bureaucratic financial support to civic initiatives that are already creating numerous opportunities for refugees “at eye level.”  Twelve projects are being funded during the pilot phase, including a radio station to give refugees a voice.  Starting in 2017 all civic charity organizations that have the official seal of approval from the Association of German Foundations can apply for funding for their integration projects.
The initial investment of €500,000 has already increased significantly through additional contributions. In addition to 25 cooperation partners from civic organizations and business, Software AG is also committed to the cause and is playing a role in giving refugees hope for a better future in Germany.  Read more about the “At Eye Level” fund here.
"Hello Darmstadt!"

"Hello Darmstadt!" is a new newspaper of and with escaped people, who have found accommodation in Darmstadt, and deals with their stories. In poems, interviews and narrations, they report what they have experienced on the escape to Germany, how everyday life is shaped in their new home Darmstadt and how their expectations, desires and dreams look for the future. For example, Junior Pedro (15) describes how he was tortured in his home country Congo, how he managed to escape and what fears he had to endure on his long journey to Germany. In Darmstadt he was warmly welcomed and is now part of the editorial team of the newspaper.

The first edition of "Hello Darmstadt!" was limited to a small distribution area in Darmstadt. However, the project quickly came to so much positive feedback that the editors decided to increase the circulation. Thanks to a donation from Software AG and the Software AG Foundation of € 10,000 each, the printing costs for all expenditures planned this year will be covered and the newspaper will be distributed throughout Darmstadt. "Hello Darmstadt!" is a project of the city of Darmstadt and part of the initiative "Darmstadt stays liberal-minded". In 2017 three editions of the newspaper will appear.

Peter Schnell

Dr. h. c. Peter Schnell

Founder of the Software AG Foundation

“By nature, fraternity should prevail in humans’ economic life in contrast to liberty in cultural life and equality in the legal sphere. Even if we are clearly far from this conscious fraternity today, we must set tangible examples for the future of the world. Fraternity is not giving to others out of sympathy, but developing a true interest in them. That is why we help our project partners apply their inspiration in a responsible and beneficial way for other people and for our nature.”

Karl-Heinz Streibich CEO

Karl-Heinz Streibich

CEO, Software AG

“The Software AG Foundation is one of the largest private foundations in Germany. It plays an important role in purposefully supporting and realizing social projects. As Software AG’s largest investor, the Foundation provides us with long-term security.  But not only that. When he started the Software AG Foundation, our company’s co-founder and benefactor Dr. Peter Schnell was also shaping our social commitment for many years to come.”

Software AG-Stiftung

The Software AG Foundation

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