German, *noun*: "foundation"; a type of business organization dating from the late 19th century in which one or more companies are owned by a foundation. The foundation, in turn, is governed not by shareholders, but by whomever is chartered as a stakeholder in the firm, such as workers, financial planners, local residents of the town where the firm operates, and so on.

The biggest company owned by a foundation is Robert Bosch GmBH, which is 92% owned by Robert Bosch Stiftung (Stuttgart, Germany). Bertelsmann AG (Guetersloh, Germany) is owned by the Bertelsmann-Stiftung, which appears to possess the largest endowment of any German foundation; the affiliated company owns an enormous media empire.

Plural: Stiftungen
The prevalence of the *Stiftung* in German industry probably contributed to the excellence of German manufactures, since the affiliated companies were managed by engineers.
by Abu Yahya February 23, 2009

Free Daily Email

Type your email address below to get our free Urban Word of the Day every morning!

Emails are sent from daily@urbandictionary.com. We'll never spam you.

×