Foundation Council & Patronage

Foundation Council

The Foundation Council provides advice and guidance to the GCYF and its shareholders with respect to the foundation’s programming. It helps identify future challenges and fields of action in terms of education policy. Its members are engaged in an intensive and intersectoral discourse with the aim to translate its insights and shared agreements into actions by the German Children and Youth Foundation and to find suitable public and private partners and sponsors for such actions.


The shareholders of the German Children and Youth Foundation are responsible for the foundation’s entrepreneurial and strategic decisions, its financial stability and its effectiveness. Convening once a year, the shareholders’ meeting makes the decisions it is charged with by law and by the GCYF statutes. The shareholders invite distinguished personalities from the fields of politics, science, business, culture and media to serve on the Foundation Council in an honorary capacity.

Members of the Foundation Council and the shareholder group

Patroness Elke Büdenbender

Since 2002, the German First Lady has served as patroness of the German Children and Youth Foundation. Elke Büdenbender, partner of current German President Frank-Walther Steinmeier, assumed the honorary office of DKJS patroness in 2017 and has since put an emphasis on the needs and interests of youth. Her predecessors were Christina Rau, Eva Luise Köhler, Bettina Wulff and Daniela Schadt, whose support and advocacy have helped spread the word about the Foundation’s educational vision in Germany.

© dkjs/B. Bernat

Patroness Elke Büdenbender visited the "Welcome to Football-Cup" in July 2017.