Where can I find reliable information on charities? How can I be sure that my donation will be spent wisely? These are questions we deal with today, but they were already essential when DZI was being founded.

When Jeannette Schwerin was founding an information office on Berlin welfare institutions in 1893, she did not know that she was laying the foundations for the most important institution in the German fundraising sector. Certainly she would not have expected that the German Society for Ethical Culture, which she presided over, would once be the largest documentation centre for social work in Germany.

The private initiative has meanwhile adopted a social mandate: to create transparency in the German fundraising sector and thus to strengthen trust in fundraising organizations and in the entire non-profit (“third”) sector.

This public function is reflected in the DZI funding body: the Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth; the Senate of Berlin; the Association of German Cities; the Association of German Chambers of Commerce and Industry and the Federal Association of Non-statutory Welfare are jointly committed in supporting DZI.

The situation of social work in Germany and of charities’ work in particular is today of equal importance for politics, citizens and the media. So DZI’s work is effective with regard to consumer protection, too. DZI experts carry out this work competently day by day without individual interests.


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