More and more people are benefiting from the voluntary civic engagement of German professional football. This is demonstrated by the survey conducted by research and consulting company Nielsen Sports, which was published today in Frankfurt am Main, and studies the civic activities of the Bundesliga foundation, the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs and selected player foundations.

The number of projects supported by German professional football rose to 450 in the 2015-16 season. This compares with 318 in the 2012-13 season, which was covered by the first survey of this type. With a share of 74 per cent, most of the projects were targeted at a total of 825,000 young people, equivalent to around six percent of all children and adolescents in Germany. A total of more than 1.1 million people were supported, roughly 40 per cent up on the 2012-13 season. The funds applied also rose by 40 per cent to more than EUR 28 million per year. The professional clubs showed considerably greater civic engagement than comparable small and mid-size companies, as a comparison with surveys by the KfW banking group and the German Federal Ministry of Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth demonstrates.

“The fact that professional football is displaying ever greater commitment to society is good news indeed,” says Fritz Pleitgen, the chairman of the Board of Trustees of Bundesliga Foundation. “Whereas other entities in society such as political parties, trade unions and the churches have lost many members, Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 are attracting more and more people.  They are bringing people together and acting as a social adhesive.”

18 of the 36 professional clubs have now pooled and stabilised their civic activities in separate organisational structures, three more than in the 2012-13 season. “Three years after the first survey, we particularly wanted to transparently document the changes that have occurred in the voluntary civic engagement of German professional football,” says Stefan Kiefer, chairman of the Board of the Bundesliga Foundation. The fact that around 70 percent of the Bundesliga and Bundesliga 2 clubs now have a greater number of employees devoted to civic matters shows the importance that professional football attaches to these pursuits.” 

The survey did not include measures stipulated by the club rules such as fan work or ecological commitment. Similarly, activities possibly aimed at promoting commercial interests were excluded. Rather, the survey focused solely on voluntary civic engagement within the scope of “corporate citizenship”.

The second survey on the voluntary civic engagement of German professional football can be found at