On the 1st of March 2011, the Climate Concept Foundation has been established as a charitable organization under German law in Hamburg.
Being a charitable organization, we are tax privileged in comparison to commercially operating organizations. We are exempted from commercial and corporate tax and therefore can use our income for climate change mitigation nearly completely. Also, those supporting us can generally claim tax benefits for their donations.
The Climate Concept Foundation pursues environmental protection, more specifically climate change mitigation. Due to our tax exempt status, we are obliged to use all donations received and other income for the foundation’s purpose. This obligation of the foundation’s means to the “common good” justifies our tax privilege as compared to other organizations not solely pursuing charitable purposes.
In difference to other charitable juridical constututions (e.g. a limited company or an association), amendment or expansion of the foundation’s purpose laid down in its statutes can only occur under exceptional circumstances. There is no one who owns the foundation or the foundation’s means; the foundation is owned by itself. Even if the foundation were to cease existing, the dedication of the foundation’s means to the “common good” does not. Rather, all funds would then have to be transferred to another charitable organization also committed to environmental protection.
Thus, donors can remain confident that donated funds will be dedicated to addressing climate change. The statutory use of the foundation’s means is supervised by the Charitable Organizations Surveillance Authority. The Board has to regularly provide detailed reports to the Financial Authority on how the foundation’s means have been used.