Stiftung :do

do [English] [engl .]: to make something happen
do [Latin] [lat .]: I give
do [Korean] [korean .도]: the route/goal
dǎo [Chinese 道]: the principle, method, “the right way”

The Stiftung :do foundation was established in 2005 by the Hamburg-based businessman Carl-Wilhelm Edding. The name for the foundation was also his creation. It was inspired by the many multilingual meanings of the word “do”, which together summarised his mission perfectly: I give in order make something good happen.

Stiftung :do

The early years

In its early days, the foundation’s purpose was broad. Its work evolved continuously in response to societal changes, practical experiences and actual events on the ground. Broadly speaking, the foundation had four key focus areas up until 2008:

Righting the legacy of National Socialism

To this day, the majority of survivors of the Nazis’ forced labour and concentration camps have received no compensation for what they suffered and many, especially in Eastern Europe, continue to live in severe poverty. A cause close to heart of the Stiftung :do foundation was therefore to support events and projects designed to help these people to live out their days in dignity and without material hardship.

Righting the legacy of Germany's colonial history

Economic and political structures established during the colonial period continue to impact on German society today. This is evident, for example, in the racism that continues to be witnessed. Germany’s colonial history has largely been ignored in the public arena, and efforts to engage with this legacy are still in their infancy. As part of these efforts, the Stiftung :do foundation supported projects that take a critical look at the legacy of German colonialism and develop ways to combat postcolonial thinking and behaviour.

Global civil rights

Global civil rights are the shared goal of many different movements, NGOs and initiatives that are working to counter the globalisation of neoliberal thinking and promote critical grass-roots ideas and societal models. The Stiftung :do foundation also supported this cause in its early years by promoting international meetings, cooperation, campaigns and initiatives in line with the slogan of the World Social Forum movement – Another world is possible.

Refugees and migrants

For the Stiftung :do foundation, supporting the rights of refugees and migrants is a key element in addressing the legacy of National Socialism. Those persecuted under the Nazis had no choice but to flee for their lives. And today, people around the world continue to flee from war, discrimination, poverty and environmental disasters and seek safety and refuge in Europe. Right from its very beginnings, the foundation has been committed to supporting projects campaigning for better rights for refugees and migrants.

2009 onwards – focus on refugees and migrants

In 2009, the Stiftung :do foundation decided to focus its efforts solely on supporting refugees and migrants. Since then, it has allocated funding exclusively to projects and initiatives campaigning to strengthen the rights of refugees and migrants, promote social integration and combat discrimination, so that these people can live with dignity and have ownership over their lives.

Since the “summer of migration” in 2015 – and the inspiring display of solidarity, creativity and dedication by many migrants and civil societies across Europe – the Stiftung :do board has committed to donating all the foundation’s revenue each year to supporting the many initiatives, campaigns and groups that are helping manage this situation. Between 2015 and 2023, the Stiftung :do foundation supported 400 projects with a total of €975,000.

2015- 2023

Period of activity


Funding provided