General Funding Guidelines

of the German Federal Cultural Foundation. Effective 1 January 2017

General Funding Guidelines of the German Federal Cultural Foundation

  1. The German Federal Cultural Foundation was established in 2002 by the German federal government, represented by the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media. The Federal Cultural Foundation supports artistic productions and awards funding to thematic areas which fall under the artistic and cultural funding responsibilities of the German federal government and possess particular thematic significance for current artistic and social discourse. One of its main objectives is to promote innovative programmes and projects in an international context.

  2. The Executive Board is authorised to approve funding for applications requesting less than 250,000 euros. Approval from the Board of Trustees is required for applications which exceed 250,000 euros.

  3. Funding can be awarded to all non-commercial areas and fields of creative activity, in particular the fine arts, performing arts, literature, music, film, photography, architecture, art- and cultural-historic exhibitions with a contemporary reference, new media, related forms and cross-disciplinary projects. Project coordinators must ensure visibility of their projects in Germany. Media produced with project funding from the Federal Cultural Foundation must also include a German-language version.

  4. Not only does the Federal Cultural Foundation provide funding to third-party projects, but also develops programmes of its own which highlight issues of current cultural significance. Projects funded through General Project Funding, application-based programmes and funds maintained by the Foundation are subject to these General Funding Criteria as well as specific funding requirements published on the Foundation’s website.

  5. The Federal Cultural Foundation does not grant operational funding, nor does it fund purchases, construction measures or projects comprised solely of guest performances abroad.

    The Foundation defines "operational funding" as non-project related financing of general operations (e.g. infrastructure, day-to-day business) of existing or planned institutions (e.g. museums, theatres, associations and trusts).

    The Foundation is permitted to award start-up funding for a strictly limited period, provided that the applicant has secured funding for the orderly continuation of the new institution.

    As a rule, the Federal Cultural Foundation does not fund event series or regularly recurring projects. Exceptions to this rule require the approval of the Board of Trustees and may not exceed a five-year funding period on the basis of one-sixth of the total budget of the Federal Cultural Foundation. If approval is granted, the respective event series or regularly recurring project is publicised as such on the website of the Federal Cultural Foundation. Irrespective of such exceptions, the Foundation may award funding to parts or individual projects of event series or regularly recurring projects.

  6. The Federal Cultural Foundation may award funding to institutions with headquarters in Germany or abroad. The legal form of the applying institution (e.g. foundation, association, public or private corporate enterprise or private company) has no significance in the funding decision. The Federal Cultural Foundation generally does not fund projects organised by individuals or groups of individuals who are not firmly established within an organisation. The Federal Cultural Foundation does not provide funding for projects which are already receiving financial support from the Federal Government Commissioner for Culture and the Media or an affiliated institution thereof. The Foundation cannot fund projects which have commenced prior to its funding decision.

  7. Special application forms for General Project Funding, application-based programmes and funds are available online on the website of the Federal Cultural Foundation. Applications may only be submitted in German. Furthermore, applications are only considered if the required forms are complete and submitted on time, and include written confirmation by all listed sponsors, cooperation partners and artists whose participation in the project is crucial for its execution.

    Funding is usually awarded in the form of partial financing or at an amount equivalent to a certain percentage of the total planned expenditures.

    Applications should also include materials which clearly and effectively convey the character and significance of the project (e.g. additional descriptive texts, images and audio-visual media). The Federal Cultural Foundation stores all approved applications in its central archive. All submitted materials are returned to the applicant as long as the resulting postal fees are within reasonable limits.

  8. The Federal Cultural Foundation immediately notifies applicants of the receipt of their application. The Foundation conducts a preliminary assessment to determine whether the submitted application complies with the application requirements described above, the submission deadlines and funding criteria. The applicant is then informed of the results of this precursory review. The Federal Cultural Foundation generally does not contact applicants on its own initiative in order to clarify or complete sections of the funding application.

  9. The use of funds granted by the Federal Cultural Foundation is audited in accordance with the budgetary laws of the Federal Republic of Germany. The Federal Cultural Foundation may only effect payment of funding upon closure of a funding contract provided by the Foundation, whose stipulations concerning the use of funds, the execution of the project and the publication of its results or documentation, must be strictly observed. The respective funding contract also stipulates the form in which proof is to be given to the Federal Cultural Foundation that funds have been used for the purpose for which they were intended (proof of expenditure). If the recipient fails to meet the contractual provisions, the Federal Cultural Foundation reserves the right to demand partial or total repayment of the awarded funding.

  10. These funding guidelines enter into effect on 1 January 2017 and shall remain valid until otherwise changed or annulled by the Board of Trustees of the Federal Cultural Foundation.

Links to further information

Download Our General Funding Guidelines

Here you can download our General Funding Guidelines in PDF format.

Applying For Project Funding

The Foundation’s General Project Funding supports a variety of projects irrespective of their particular topic or artistic field. The Foundation has also established individual programmes which are open to funding.