The Foundation today and in the future

Developments that affect our society as a whole also influence the activities and the opportunities of charitable foundations. Today they act in an increasingly complex, volatile environment, are suddenly faced with new tools and channels for philanthropy, and are being asked more and more whether they are really living up to their role as an important – financially and political independent – catalyst for civil society.

We too believe it is important to reflect on what we do and find answers to these questions, and so we want to contribute to a critical discussion of the aims and functions of foundations today and in the future. For this reason, we initiated a series of events in 2019 in cooperation with the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft (Donors' association for the promotion of humanities and sciences in Germany) and Lübeck University. Two symposia have taken place so far:

“Safely forwards” – Prospects for successions and foundations (2019)

a joint project between Lübeck University, Stifterverband für die deutsche Wissenschaft and the Possehl Foundation.

“What will happen to my company when I am no longer involved?” This and other questions were discussed with politicians, business people and representatives of non-profit foundations in our symposium on 7 March 2019. The participants looked at various models for ensuring a sustainable succession process for companies. NDR presenter Andreas Bormann moderated the panel discussion with Dr Andreas Schlüter (General Secretary of the Stifterverband für die Deutsche Wissenschaft e. V.), Dr Sven Murmann (publisher and managing shareholder of Murmann Publishers and Stiftung der Deutschen Wirtschaft), Dr Joachim Brenk (Managing director of L. Possehl & Co. mbH) and Ina and Michael Haukohl (Michael Haukohl Foundation). Two round table discussions beforehand provided an opportunity to talk to experts about donating to a foundation.

“The Changing Face of Foundations” – Perspectives for the non-profit sector (2020)

a joint project between Lübeck University, Stifterverband für die deutsche Wissenschaft, Gesellschaft zur Beförderung gemeinnütziger Tätigkeit von 1795 (Society for the promotion of charity work) and the Possehl Foundation.

Investing in a low-interest environment, partnerships – or better not? Liability risk – and if so, where? Merging two foundations – an opportunity to save them both? What is the right fundraising strategy for my organisation? Plenty of questions that are not new, but are of importance and concern for foundations, were the subject of a round table discussion moderated by Michaela Wilske (Possehl Foundation) on 12 February 2020 and in a number of workshops.

The speakers included:

Dr Jasmin Gharsi-Krag, Deutsches Stiftungszentrum (DSZ)

Titus Jochen Heldt, Gesellschaft zur Beförderung gemeinnütziger Tätigkeit

Annegret Röther, BDO AG Wirtschaftsprüfungsgesellschaft

Dr Markus Lemmens, Lemmens Medien GmbH, Education-Research-Technology

Andreas Schiemenz, Schomerus – social responsibility consultancy

Dirk C. Schoch, Foundation department of Sutor Bank

Dr Steffen Skudelny, Deutsche Stiftung Denkmalschutz


Possehl Foundation Lübeck

Beckergrube 38 – 52
D-23552 Lübeck
E-Mail: possehl-stiftung(at)
Tel.: +49 (0)451 148-200

Find Out More

Our publications

More about the Foundation

Here you can find our annual reports, Emil Possehl’s will, our art catalogues and publications to mark the 100th jubilee of the foundation.


Emil's bequest

Our articles of association

The Foundation only supports non-profit and charitable causes and “promotes all that is good and beautiful in Lübeck”.