Statute of the Albert Schweitzer Foundation
Version: Aug 21st, 2018
Albert Schweitzer taught and practiced reverence for all living things. The organization is dedicated to his maxim, and will in particular promote and demand law and justice for our fellow creatures as a part of our shared world.
§ 1 Name, Designation, and Location
The Foundation bears the name “Albert Schweitzer Foundation”. It is an incorporated foundation under civil law, headquartered in Berlin.
§ 2 Foundation Objectives
(1) The purposes of the foundation are the promotion of animal welfare, animal rights, and the moral education of the general public. The foundation thereby aims to reduce the legal inequality and actual harm to which fellow beings are exposed due to their specific identity and/or religion, their race, their gender, their nationality and/or certain physical or psychological peculiarities. The beliefs and norms of the public in terms of ethical progress should be influenced and developed to this end; in particular, it should be the case that citizens increasingly support charitable purposes, and that through this, respect and consideration toward non-human life becomes self-evident.
(2) The purposes of the Foundation are realized for example through educational and training events and brochures, and through the acquisition and dissemination of knowledge (letters, press releases, online articles, public appearances in the media).
(3) The Foundation shall also achieve its aims in accordance with Section 58 (1) of the Fiscal Code by acquiring donations and other funds and forwarding these funds to other domestic or foreign bodies for the purpose of promoting animal welfare and education. The acquisition of funds for a body under private law subject to unlimited taxation presupposes that this is itself tax-privileged.
(4) The Foundation pursues exclusively and directly charitable purposes within the meaning of §§ 51 et seq. of the Tax Code. This does not affect the fact that the foundation naturally cannot always pursue these objectives with equal intensity. The Board of Directors selects the means that are available for each objective.
§ 3 Non-profit Status
(1) The Foundation is a non-profit. It does not pursue its own economic purposes. The Foundation should not benefit any persons or legal entities by expenditures which are alien to the purpose of the Foundation or from disproportionately high subsidies, benefits, or remuneration.
(2) Legal rights to statutory benefits of the foundation are justified neither by these Articles nor by other means.
§ 4 Basic Assets of the Foundation
(1) The basic assets as of 31.06.2013 amounted to EUR 81,129.19.
(2) The basic assets can be increased by donations. Contributions without a determined purpose due to disposition of property upon death may be given to the basic assets.
(3) The basic assets of the Foundation are to be invested profitably and safely and to be lasting and undiminished in value.
(4) In order to maintain and strengthen the Foundation’s performance, the basic assets can be redeployed. Gains from the redeployment of non-basic assets may be supplied to the redeployment reserve, which is supplied to the basic assets of the equalizer of redeployment losses.
§ 5 Foundation Funds
(1) The Foundation fulfills its tasks
- From the proceeds of the endowment,
- From grants, insofar as the grantors do not determine that they go toward strengthening the basic assets. § 4 (2) remains unaffected.
(2) All funds shall only be used economically, efficiently, and according to the Statute.
(3) The fiscally allowable reserves in particular should be formed, in order to maintain the basic assets undiminished in their value and to meet the tax-deferred statutory purposes permanently and sustainably.
§ 6 Foundation Board
(1) The sole organ of the foundation is the Foundation Board, which consists of at least three and at most five members, including a Chairperson. The Chairperson can use the title “President.” The presiding member of the board should preferably be experienced in business/economics and/or have a business/economics education.
(2) New Board Members are appointed by co-optation.
The Executive Board may elect its chairman by co-optation or, provided at least three members of the Executive Board participate in the voting, from among its members.
(3) The term of office of Mahi Klosterhalfen is not limited. The term of office of other members and Chairperson is three years. Re-election is permitted. Those members whose office is ended are not entitled to vote in this case. Once their term of office has elapsed, and if the number of members falls below three upon departure of a member, the member of the Executive Board of the Foundation shall remain in office until a successor has been appointed.
(4) The Foundation is managed and represented by the Foundation Board. Mahi Klosterhalfen can represent the Foundation alone, but in all other cases at least two Board members must represent the Foundation. Internally, the members may only act if the Chairperson is prevented from doing so.
(5) The members of the Management Board are committed to a conscientious and economical administration of the foundation. The activity of the board members is an honorary capacity and provided free of charge. This does not preclude their compensation for necessary expenses. The Board may decide that activities of members of the Board be remunerated in a manner appropriate to the task performed and the earnings and other means of the Foundation.
§ 7 Responsibilities of the Foundation Board
(1) The Chairperson of the Foundation Board is responsible for the administration and management of the foundation, including portfolio management.
(2) Tasks of the Management Board in particular
- Decision-making regarding the use of proceeds of the basic assets and the consumption of certain benefits,
- Election of the members of the Management Board according to § 6 (2),
- Decision-making on the discharge of the Chairperson, taking into consideration all documents required by management,
- Amendments to the Foundation Statute and applications for transformation or dissolution of the Foundation, see. § 10.
(3) The Board must have the Foundation from January 2014 on audited by an auditor or auditing company. The audit engagement letter and the results of the audit must also extend to the preservation of the basic assets and the statutory use of proceeds and any donations.
(4) In order to clarify scientific, ethical, and other issues that arise with regard to the Foundation activity, the Foundation Board may establish a scientific advisory board to provide advice.
§ 8 The Workings of the Foundation Board
(1) The Board of Directors will be convened by the Chairperson whenever necessary but at least once a year, and allowing three weeks before the meeting. Sessions may be convened if a member so requests. The convocation is made in writing and given by fax, e-mail, or by other documentable transmission in electronic form.
(2) The Foundation Board is permitted to reach decisions when assembled appropriately and if at least two members are present. Failure to do so holds as long as all members are present and no objection is raised.
(3) The Board of Directors takes its decisions, unless there is a case of the present § 10, by a simple majority of the votes cast. In a tie vote, the Chairperson shall be the decidor.
(4) If no member objects, resolutions may be passed by circular letter. This does not take decisions under § 10 hereof. Decision-making capacity is considered sufficient when at least two members are included in the circulation procedure.
(5) Minutes of the meetings are to be produced as transcripts and signed by the members present, and thus can be delivered to absent members.
(6) The Board should adopt a rules of procedure.
§ 9 Financial Year and Management
(1) The financial year is the calendar year.
(2) The revenue and expenditure of the Foundation shall be recorded and relevant documents collected. At the end of each financial year, a balance sheet, a profit and loss account and a report on the fulfilment of the foundation’s purpose must be prepared. The Executive Board shall adopt the report on the fulfillment of the Foundation’s mission and the audit report recognised by it in accordance with Section 7 (3) as an annual report. The annual report shall be submitted to the supervisory authority no later than eight months after the end of the financial year.
§ 10 Amendments, Transformation, and Dissolution of the Foundation
(1) Amendments are allowed, as long as they are considered necessary to adapt to changing conditions. They should not impair or abolish the tax privileges of the Foundation. If they may affect the tax privileges of the Foundation, they are submitted to the competent tax authority to comment.
(2) Changes in the Foundation’s objectives are admissible only if its fulfillment is impossible or if circumstances change such that the fulfillment of the Foundation’s purpose no longer seems sensible. Transformation and dissolution of the Foundation shall be governed by the statutory provisions.
(3) Any decision under paragraphs 1 and 2 requires the approval of all members of the Board. The decisions become effective only after approval by the Foundation Supervisory Authority (§ 12).
§ 11 Asset Seizure
Upon termination or dissolution of the Foundation or loss of tax-privileged purposes, the remaining funds go to the non-profit organization People for Animal Rights, Aachen. This organization must use the funds in compliance with the Foundation’s purpose directly, and exclusively for charitable purposes.
§ 12 Foundation Supervisory
The Foundation is subject to Berlin state supervision in line with the provisions of the Berlin Foundation Act. The Foundation supervisory authority shall be notified promptly of changes of address, the power of representation, and the composition of the Foundation Board.
§ 13 Entry into force
The recasting of the Foundation Statute will enter into force with the approval of the Government of Upper Bavaria. Simultaneously, the Foundation Statute from 09.11.2000 (approved by the Government of Upper Bavaria with government letter dated 29.12.2000 and amended by the Government of Upper Bavaria with Government on 24.09.2009, 22.12.2009 and from 27.06.2011) is repealed.