Foundations in Austria
The Austrian foundation landscape is quite distinct from other European countries and features two legal types of foundations: those based on the law for private foundations enacted in 1993, and those based on the law for federal foundations and funds of 1974. The former vastly outnumber the latter. While in most European countries foundations are required to pursue a public purpose qua law, the more than 3000 private foundations in Austria can solely follow private purposes without contributing to civil society and welfare production. So far there have only been estimations concerning public purpose activities of private foundations. It will be the main goal of this project to close this gap. A thorough analysis of the economic and societal role of Austrian foundations and the identification of the main factors driving and inhibiting the pursuit of public purposes in foundations are important aims of this project. A detailed analysis of all foundation deeds, an expert delphi and subsequent case studies with selected foundations form the methodical framework of this project.
Project duration: November 2008 - 2011
Project team: Michael Meyer, Hanna Schneider, Reinhard Millner