Transparency and compliance

In Ethiopia and Germany we have created responsibilities and defined organizational flows to ensure that the donations entrusted to us are properly allocated to produce optimum benefits for the people in Ethiopia.

External audits confirm quality and transparency

DZI seal of approval

Each year Menschen für Menschen undergoes an audit by the German Central Institute for Social Affairs (DZI). The DZI has awarded Menschen für Menschen its seal of approval again in 2017, thus certifying the careful and responsible manner with which the Foundation handles the funds entrusted to it. Menschen für Menschen has received the DZI seal every year since 1993.

Top score in transparency test

In the transparency test conducted by the non-profit analysis and consultancy firm PHINEO in November 2014 Menschen für Menschen received the grade “very good”. The purpose of the test commissioned by SPIEGEL ONLINE was to determine how diligently, systematically and transparently fundraising organizations report on their work online. Among the 50 organizations examined, Menschen für Menschen achieved 10th place. The study of the Foundation certified an above-average high level of transparency in the categories “Vision and strategy”, “Activities” and “Effect”.

Good marks from Finanztest

In the autumn of 2014 Finanztest magazine, a publication of Stiftung Warentest, tested ten fundraising organizations set up by celebrities. The foundation Menschen für Menschen was rated “particularly good”. Finanztest attested the Foundation very low administration and advertising expenses, a high level of transparency and high quality management and control. Special mention was made of the informative Annual Report, and praise was expressed for the clear procedures in the selection and funding of projects in Ethiopia.

Internal audits

All expenditures of the Foundation are checked by several instances before they are approved. Besides the project managers, the Country Representative, Head of Administration, Director of Programme Operations and Director of Programme Coordination, Monitoring and Evaluation and the Executive Board also pay regular visits to the project areas to monitor the proper use of funds. In addition, our controlling employees make site inspections. In particular, they check the cash boxes, stocks and fuel consumption. They also review progress at the building sites. The department heads in the project areas report to the project managers and they in turn submit quarterly reports to the country representatives and Ethiopian authorities. These regularly inspect the contents of the reports to ensure conformity with the work completed.
Every year we have our accounting inspected by independent auditors. The audit report is submitted to the Executive Board, Supervisory Board and Board of Trustees. Once again we received an unqualified audit certificate for the Annual Financial Statements 2015. In addition, external auditors carry out monthly checks of expenditure in Ethiopia against the receipts, making random checks compared to the work completed. They report their findings directly to the Executive Board.

In addition, the Government of Upper Bavaria regularly audits our annual financial statements to ensure compliance with the provisions of the Bavarian Foundation Act.

Binding principles and rules

Binding principles and rules apply to the activities of all employees of Menschen für Menschen. These are set forth in a series of guidelines.

> Our Code of Conduct on dealing with corruption requires that employees fulfil their duties diligently and in conformance with the law, points out typical conflict situations and explains the consequences of corrupt behaviour.

> Our Procurement Guidelines specify principles, procedures and prerequisites for the award of all contracts.

> Our Travel Expense Regulations set forth the rules according to which travel expenses are reimbursed to the employees and members of the Supervisory Board, Board of Executives and Board of Trustees.

> Our Investment Guideline specifies the principles by which Menschen für Menschen invests in the financial market.

> Our Guideline to Raising Awareness and Public Relations defines the content and instruments of public relations work as well as the rules of cooperation with outside companies, service providers, agencies and embassies.

We will gladly send you a copy of the individual guidelines on request.


Menschen für Menschen has always preserved a high level of autonomy, to enable it to work efficiently and effectively. We collaborate with other organizations whenever such cooperations produce a net added value for the population of the project regions. Such cooperations relate mainly to the exchange of know-how and financial support.

Our key partners

  • The Federal Ministry for Financial Cooperation and Development (BMZ) funds projects and advises on the content.
    > Between October 2014 and December 2017 the BMZ will have invested a total of 899,590 euros in agriculture/agroecology and public water supplies within the framework of a special “A World without Hunger” initiative in the Borena project region.
    > Likewise within the framework of the special “A World without Hunger” initiative – funding of a sustainable livelihood for the population through agroecological measures, water and healthcare provision in eleven communities in the Gawo Kebe district (for 31,000 people) – timeline 1.12.2015–31.12.2019 – funds (75%) from BMZ = 870,906 euros
    > Water supply for the rural towns Lemi and Robite in Wogidi for a total of 5,840 people – timeline 1.10.2015–31.12.2016 – funds (75%) from BMZ = 369,743 euros
    > Water supply for the rural town of Makafta in Wogidi for a total of 4,815 people – timeline 1.09.2016–31.12.2017 – funds (75%) from BMZ = 257,529 euro
  • In cooperation with the German Society for International Cooperation (GIZ) on 1 August 2015 we launched the “Green Innovation Centres in the Agri-food Sector” programme in the Dano project region. It is due to run until the end of 2017. The total amount of funding is 1,040,860 euros. The cooperation is a commission of the German Government and is being funded by the latter.
  • The International Trachoma Initiative is our partner in reducing the occurrence of the bacterial eye disease trachoma.
  • The Federal Ministry for Food and Agriculture (BMEL) supported the construction of an Agro-Technical College (ATC) in Kulumsa. Our Agro-Technical and Technology College (ATTC) in Harar cooperated with this college. Students of agriculture at the ATTC participate in courses at the ATC.
  • The Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) funded our youth competition “Generation AB–2015”, which was closed in 2015.

In addition we cooperate in publicity work and fundraising with local authorities, media partners and private companies.

Further proof of transparency

Menschen für Menschen is a signatory to the Transparent Civil Society Initiative. Here you will also find the current annual report, financial statement and the Foundation Charter.

Transparent Civil Society Initiative

At the initiative of Transparency Germany eV together with key figures from civil society and science have defined ten items that each non-profit organization should make accessible to the public. Menschen für Menschen is a signatory to the initiative and publishes all the required information.

In the following you will find all details of control and transparency of the Menschen für Menschen Foundation Germany required within the framework of the initiative.

1.   Name, head office, address and year of founding
Menschen für Menschen Foundation, Germany
Brienner Straße 46, 80333 München
Founding year: 1981

2.   Complete charter and goals of the Menschen für Menschen Foundation*
The charter of the organization can be found as a PDF for downloading here.
*With effect from 31.12.2013 Almaz Böhm renounced the special rights granted in the charter.
Further information on the founder, goals, approach and bodies of the Foundation can be found in the section “Who we are”.

3.    Details of tax benefits
Because it supports public health care, the idea of understanding among nations and development aid, following the last received notice of exemption from the Munich Tax Office for Corporations, Tax No. 143/235/72144, of 10.02.2012, the Foundation is exempted from corporation tax pursuant to Article 5 para. 1 No. 9 German Corporate Tax Act, and from business tax pursuant to Article 3 No. 6 Trade Tax Act.

4.    Name and function of key decision-makers
Executive Board:
Peter Renner (full-time)
Dr Sebastian Brandis (full-time)
Dr Martin Hintermayer (part-time)
Supervisory Board:
Christian Ude (Chairman)
Dr Hans Peter Lankes (Deputy Chairman)
Dr Annette Bhagwati
Dr Peter Hanser-Strecker
Dietmar Krieger
Dr. Ingrid Sollerer

All members of the Supervisory Board serve in an honorary capacity.

5.    Activity report
Annual reports of past years are to be found as a PDF download in the sections Press/Downloads.
Annual Report 2017

5.    Personnel structure
The headquarters of the German Foundation are located in Munich, where 28 employees work in the Executive Office, Fundraising & Communications, Press, Development cooperation, Purchasing & Logistics, Finance and IT. In addition, about 500 voluntary employees support the activities of Menschen für Menschen. This is the only way to achieve maximum aid for the people in Ethiopia with minimum expenses for administration and fundraising.

6.    Details of the source of funding
to Financial Statements 2017

7.    Details of the use of donations
to Financial Statements 2017

8.    Affiliation to third parties
The Menschen für Menschen Foundation in Germany is closely affiliated to its sister organization Menschen für Menschen – Society for the Provision of Relief – Austria, and Menschen für Menschen VoG – Belgium. The Menschen für Menschen office in Addis Ababa is a branch of the German Foundation.

9.   Names of legal persons whose annual payments exceed 10% of their total annual budget
There have been no single donations exceeding 10% of total annual revenue.

Annual Report 2016
Financial Statements 2016
Charter of the Menschen für Menschen Foundation