The Robert Bosch Stiftung

The Robert Bosch Stiftung

The Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH is one of the major German foundations associated with a private company and has managed the philanthropic bequest of company founder Robert Bosch for over 50 years. Indeed it was his entrepreneurial vision, political farsightedness, moral fortitude and charitable initiatives that set the standards for the work of the Robert Bosch Stiftung.

Background

In 1964, the Bosch family's inherited shares in the company Robert Bosch GmbH were transferred to an estate - Vermögensverwaltung Bosch GmbH - that Robert Bosch had founded back in 1921. This was subsequently renamed Robert Bosch Stiftung GmbH (Robert Bosch Foundation) in 1969. The Foundation still holds about a 92 percent of Robert Bosch GmbH's capital stock of €1.2 billion.

The Bosch Constitution

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The Foundation exclusively and directly serves charitable purposes. As a shareholder of Robert Bosch GmbH the Foundation receives a proportion of the distributed dividends in the company. Given its status as a charitable institution the Foundation does not engage in corporate activity. The voting rights associated with its shares in Robert Bosch GmbH have been transferred to a trust, Robert Bosch Industrietreuhand KG. This clearly separates the entrepreneurial and philanthropic aspects of the Foundation and allows it to undertake work "for the common good without thereby questioning the company's own business practices as such" (Hans.L. Merkle, 1972). The Foundation manages its assets as it believes Robert Bosch would have wanted it to.

Partner's Meeting, Board of Trustees, and Management Board

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The decision-making bodies of the Robert Bosch Stiftung are its Partners' Meeting, the Board of Trustees, and the Management Board. Its charitable activities and the deployment of its resources are determined by the Board of Trustees, which has nine members who are also partners of the Foundation. These partner-members act as trustees and must step down at the age of 74. As directed by Robert Bosch, the Board of Trustees is made up of members of his family, as well as entrepreneurs and personalities from the public domain.

The Foundation Today

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In its charitable work, the Foundation addresses social issues at an early stage and develops exemplary solutions. To this purpose, it develops and implements its own projects. Additionally, it supports third-party initiatives that have similar goals.

Some 200 employees manage an average of about 800 internal and external projects a year. In total the Robert Bosch Stiftung has provided grants worth more than €1.4 billion since its founding.

The Robert Bosch Hospital, the Dr. Margarete-Fischer-Bosch Institute for Clinical Pharmacology and the Institute for the History of Medicine are all part of the Foundation, as are the associated foundations of the Hans-Walz-Stiftung, the Otto und Edith Mühlschlegel Stiftung, and the DVA-Stiftung. The Robert Bosch Stiftung is founding partner of the UWC Robert Bosch College in Freiburg as well as the German School Academy in Berlin.

The Robert Bosch Stiftung has its headquarters at Robert Bosch Haus, the former home of Robert Bosch in Stuttgart, though it has been based in the newly-erected Bosch Haus Heidehof since 2004. The Foundation has its own office in Berlin.