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Knowledge - a public asset

Our goal: a multi-funder model

Where does the money come from? That is one of the questions we are often asked. The answer: our funding rests on three pillars.

The first pillar is our shareholders. They form our financial basis. For we are - legally speaking - a non-profit limited liability company (gGmbH) - founded thanks to a long-term funding commitment from the Klaus Tschira Stiftung (KTS). The foundation holds 90 percent of the shares. The Wissenschaftspressekonferenz (WPK), the Association of Science Journalists in Germany, owns 10 percent. 

The second pillar is the non-profit "Association of Friends and Sponsors of the SMC". A large number of institutions from the fields of science and business, media and society are members. We are also actively seeking further supporters through a multi-funder model, so that we can continue our work independently and free of influence. In order to achieve this, the funding contributions from the different areas should be in balance with each other and underline the public welfare-oriented approach.

The third pillar is innovative research projects, with which the SMC Lab in particular, in cooperation with partners, advances the field of "field advancement" in science journalism.

We are financed by strong and reliable partners who know that the independence and credibility of the SMC is essential for journalists' trust in our offers.

Our Shareholders

SMC is backed by powerful partners. Our shareholders are the Klaus Tschira Foundation (90%) and the German Association of Science Journalists (10%).

The Science Media Center Germany was masterminded by the German Association of Science Journalists, WPK. Thanks to a funding agreement with the Klaus Tschira Foundation, the non-profit limited company was launched in June 2015.

Our association of friends and supporters

We are actively recruiting further supporters who want to support us in our independent work - with donations, grants or membership fees in the "Association of Friends and Sponsors – Verein der Freunde und Förderer der SMC gGmbH e.V.", founded on 22 November 2016. 

The supporters include:


  • Professional societies,

  • research institutions,

  • media companies,

  • public institutions and ministries,

  • private individuals,

  • foundations,

  • universities,

  • associations,

  • commercial enterprises and

  • scientific organisations.

We publish a constantly updated list of all sponsors

Our multi-funder model

We use a multi-funder model to seek additional supporters who ensure our independent work. 

The independence of our editorial work is regulated and ensured in the SMC's articles of association. There it is stated: "The work of the Society's editorial staff is carried out free from the influence of its financial supporters, shareholders or other third parties. In the selection of topics and expert opinions as well as in the preparation of the information offered, the Society follows solely the principles of journalistic diligence and neutrality with the aim of providing the best possible reliable, factual knowledge for public debates".

Anyone who wants to promote us must guarantee our independence in writing.

We publish information on the annual accounts on a regular basis, here those from 2015 to 2019.

Who can fund us?

We reserve the right to refuse grants from donors with whose ethical principles we do not agree. But who can fund us? We ask ourselves this very conscientiously in an internal process developed specifically for this purpose.

We carry out an internal risk analysis and try to objectify possible threats to the values and convictions of the SMC.

The whole team at SMC assesses the following three risks for each sponsor request:


  • The first risk is losing our independence: If someone wants to interfere in issues or asks for quid pro quos. Or the funding amount of certain actors dominates other sources of income.

  • The second risk is losing credibility. For credibility is bestowed, is only awarded to those who strive for truthfulness.

  • And finally, the third risk: the internal cohesion of our team.

At the end of the analysis, the funding is accepted or rejected.