Charitable organization

Under the voluntary welfare is defined as the totality of all aids in social, health and moral hazard or emergency preventive or curative for the benefit of society or of individuals who are being made ​​to free a non-profit basis and in an organized way.


In the Federal Association of voluntary welfare ( BAGFW ) the six " leading associations of independent welfare " in Germany are members. They have a variety of member associations or organizations respectively. These associations are:

  • The Workers' Welfare Association (AWO ), headquartered in Berlin
  • The German Caritas Association ( DCV ), headquartered in Freiburg im Breisgau - for the Catholic Welfare
  • The German welfare organization ( The JOINT ), headquartered in Berlin
  • The German Red Cross (DRK ), headquartered in Berlin
  • Diakonia Germany in the Protestant work on Diakonia and Development, based in Berlin - for the Protestant Welfare
  • The Central Welfare Office of Jews in Germany ( ZWST ), headquartered in Frankfurt am Main - for the Jewish Welfare

It is to nonprofit organizations that base their action on, for example, religious (Caritas, Diakonia, ZWST ), humanitarian (DRC, Joint Welfare Association ) or political ( AWO ) beliefs. The associations are selflessly and not primarily pursue its own economic interests. Under the umbrella of the charities work a wealth usually legally independent organizations. To operate charities or their legally independent sub-organizations (national, diocesan, district associations, churches or registered associations, non-profit limited liability companies ) hospitals, kindergartens, nursing homes and many more Well over 50 % of all social institutions in Germany are sponsored by the FW. Much of the work is done by people in the voluntary and unpaid voluntary work. However, continuously takes the willingness of people to organize themselves in the context of charities in recent years from ( crisis of volunteering ). This is possibly connected with the fact that the attractiveness of the special values ​​that represent the individual associations, decreases (see also Free carrier ).

The German Caritas Association and the Social Service Agency have risen in recent decades, the world's largest private employer association. In the area of ​​Christian welfare annually about 45 billion euros will be implemented at about 1.5 million employees. In the population, the far-reaching refinancing this charitable commitment is hardly known. Donations and own funds (eg from the church tax) used to finance state withdrew supported additional activities that arise from the ideological core belief of organizations nowadays.

The by the state desired free competition between welfare organizations has led in recent years to a commodification of bodies, so that a critical study of the Institute of the German Economy in Cologne in 2004 can be considered obsolete as partially ( " On the shoulders of the weak ").


The work of the charities will be financed more than 90 percent from state funds or social security. The majority of these are for service charges (eg, from nursing care insurance ), partially but there are also lump-sum grants.

In the wake of the global savings of the state, the carrier of the voluntary welfare move beyond more and more to the revenue generation in purely economic or at least business-related areas (eg, debt of seniors cafes, landscaping, etc.).

Also important in the basic financing of the work of the carriers and associations of voluntary welfare gains, particularly since 2007 with the easier access of NGOs / NGOs to finance temporary activities ( projects ) from different EU funding instruments. Nevertheless, Germany is still here far below the European average, equally significant structures in France or Italy are relatively efficient in attracting European funds to finance their work. Examples for this particular each kept in the Member States, the European Social Fund ( ESF) mentioned, but also EU action programs such as Daphne, LLP or even Europe for citizens.


The Austrian institutions of the welfare work are:

  • Caritas Austria, auxiliary of the Roman Catholic Church
  • Diakonia Austria, organization of the Protestant Church
  • Relief Austria, ÖVP close association
  • Austrian Red Cross
  • People's Aid Austria, SPÖ close association
  • Malteser Hospital Service Austria, Association of the Order of Malta
  • Workers ' Samaritan Federation Austria, Association of the Samaritans
  • St John 's Ambulance Austria, organization of the Protestant Church
  • Association of Senior Citizens Relief - Social Medical Service Austria

The five largest organizations ( Caritas, Diakonia, relief organizations, WCC, People's Aid ) form since 1995, the Federal Association of Free Welfare (BAG ) to articulate common social policy concerns as well as to achieve an improvement of the conditions for the work of private non profit organizations in Austria. Topics include nursing, social welfare, poverty, integration and childcare.