The Policy of Naturefund

§ 1 Name, Registered Location and Fiscal Year

  1. Naturefund e.V. is the name of the organisation.
  2. This organisation is based in Wiesbaden and is listed in the Wiesbaden register of associations. 
  3. The tax year complies with the calendar year.

§ 2 Our mission

This organisation is run for charitable purposes only, as can be seen in the section on tax privileges, as laid down by German general fiscal law. The aims of the organisation are:

  • to ensure environmental protection and conservation in terms of the wildlife protection act set out by German federal law.
  • to support co-operation in sustainable development.
  • to acquire funds in order to promote environmental protection and the preservation of the countryside as stated in the wildlife and environmental protection acts of the German federal state, as well as to support development cooperation.

The policy of Naturefund will be realised through:

  1. the acquisition and preservation of natural habitats
  2. the establishment of conservation areas and national parks
  3. the implementation of reforestation measures in order to allow local sustainability
  4. information and public relations work to promote the preservation of nature and natural habitat
  5. the sharing of funds with other charitable organisations (whether national or international), whose goal is to support nature protection and/or sustainable development.

The national and international areas to be protected should be, to whichever extent possible, removed from the hands of mankind in order to provide an undisturbed habitat for plants and animals. In those areas where a complete uninterference by man would not be feasible, the aim of the organisation would be to attempt the best use of such areas, for example in the form of ecotourism or sustainable forestry.

§ 3 Non-Profit Status

  1. This organization is neutral in terms of politics and religion.
  2. This organization works altruistically; predominantly it does not pursue commercial, self-serving goals.
  3. The funds of this organization are to be used exclusively to fulfil its mission and policies. Its members do not receive any contributions from the organization's funds.
  4. It is forbidden for any person to benefit from contributions which are not directly connected to the mission of the organization, or to benefit from excessively high payments. 
  5. This organization is able to take over the maintenance of legally and non-legally responsible organisations so long as their mission is in keeping with the organisation's own goals, as outlined above in § 2.

§ 4 Membership

Every natural person, regardless of religion or background can become a member of this organization.

This organization relies on active members, sponsors and honorary members.

  1. Active members are directly involved in the organization.
  2. Sponsors are not directly involved in the day-to-day running of the organization, instead they provide financial support according to the goals of the organization. Passive members are not entitled to the right to vote.
  3. Honorary members are appointed who have in some way earned this status. The appointment is made with a 2/3 majority at the annual general meeting. Honorary members are exempt from membership fees but are granted the same rights and obligations as active members. 

Minors are more than welcome to become members of the organization. They need a signature from their legal guardian or in the case of children whose parents are married, the signature of both parents.

The request to modify the membership, e.g. from passive to active membership, must be made in writing to the executive committee at least three months before the end of the financial year. The modification of the membership is then accepted by a 2/3 majority at the annual general meeting.

§ 5 Starting/Ending Membership

Membership must be requested from the executive committee in writing. You can do this by post, fax or email. The executive committee will then take a decision based on your written application. Admission will be granted if:

  • the written request by post, fax or email is accepted, and
  • membership fees are transferred to the organization's account.

Membership can be terminated by voluntary withdrawal, exclusion or upon death of the member.

Membership can be withdrawn at any time by way of a written explanation to the executive committee. This would then take effect at the end of the month in which the written explanation is received.

The exclusion of a member with immediate effect can occur if a gross offence against the policies, mission or interests of the organization is committed. The exclusion of a member is decided by majority vote from the executive committee. The member is then awarded two weeks in which to appeal this decision. 

In the case of a conclusion of the membership for whatever reason, all duties related to the member relationship also come to an end. A reimbursement of contributions, donations or other types of support is in principle impossible. Thus there is no duty on the organization to reimburse any previous payments.

§ 6 Membership Fees

Membership fees are determined at the general meeting of members. The cost of annual membership and the means of payment is thus a universally-binding fees decree.

§ 7 Organs of the Organization

The organs of the organization are the:

  1. annual general meeting of members
  2. executive committee

§ 8 Annual General Meeting (AGM) of Members

This general meeting of members must take place at least once a year and it must also occur in the first half of the financial year. The general meeting is responsible in particular for the following items:

  1. the choosing, recall and discharge of the executive committee;
  2. the adoption of resolutions to amend the policies
  3. the appointment of deserving members to honourary membership
  4. the adoption of resolutions for turning memberships into active memberships
  5. other tasks as they arise, within the remit of the policies of the organization

Meetings of the members are to be called according to the stipulated two-week notice period to be given in writing and a written agenda to be distributed by the executive committee. The meeting summons will be sent (whether by post, fax or email) to all members of the organization using the most recent address/contact details provided, and must indicate the time and place of the meeting. The day this calling to meeting is received and the day of the actual meeting are not included in the two-week time period. This time period is also upheld when invitations are sent by fax or email.

Requests for items to be placed on the agenda should be submitted to the executive committee in writing at least one week prior to the meeting. Any additional items will be announced at the beginning of the meeting. The agenda can be added to or amended by majority decision of the members during the meeting. This is not the case for changes to policies.

Active and honorary members are entitled to vote at the annual meeting of members. Sponsors however do not have the right to vote.

Special meetings of the members are to be called when a third of the voting members make a request in writing, with details of why it is necessary. Decisions at the meeting of members are taken simply by a majority vote of the voting members. Abstentions are not taken into account. When the votes are equally divided, the request is rejected.

The meeting of members is quorate when the meeting summons is carried out according to the rules and at least one third of the voting members is present. When less than one third of the members is present, a further meeting of members is convened which is considered quorate regardless of the number of members present. This condition will be outlined in the invitation.

In order to make changes to policies or decisions regarding the dissolution of the organization, a three quarter majority of the voting members must be present. In such situations the outcome is dependent on the number of valid votes given. Abstentions are classed as invalid votes.

§ 9 Minutes of the Annual General Meeting (AGM)

Minutes of the general meeting of members will be taken and will be signed by the chairperson and the secretary (person responsible for taking the minutes).

§ 10 Executive Committee

The executive committee according to § 26 BGB consists of the chairperson. The acting executive committee according to § 26 BGB consists of the chairperson and his/her deputy. They represent the organization in judicial and non-judicial matters. Every member of the committee is authorized to represent the organization in this way.

The full executive committee consists of: the acting executive committee, the treasurer and the secretary.

The members of the full executive committee are selected at the general meeting of members and they remain in position for 4 years. Once this period of time is over, it is then possible for members of the committee to be re-elected. In any case members of the committee remain in place until the new election of office.  

The executive committee is responsible for all affairs of the organization, so long as they are not already assigned by statute to another section. Particular responsibilities include: preparation and the issuing of the summons to the general meeting of members, drawing up of the agenda, execution of any resolutions made at the meeting of members, preparation of the budget plan and bookkeeping, production of the annual report, presentation of the annual plan, decision-making over applications for membership and over the exclusion of any members.

The full executive committee makes decisions at board meetings by a simple majority vote. When the vote is equal, the chairperson takes the final decision. In the absence of the chairperson, the deputy chairperson will decide. Minutes are taken at all board meetings. Meetings of the executive committee are called by the chairman and are not open to the public. The executive committee is able to provide itself with an agenda.

The executive committee is authorized to independently make the following types of amendments to the by-laws of the organization: simple editorial changes or those demanded by supervising, financial or administrative bodies, or by the registered organization authority. Such changes are reported at the next meeting of members.

Members of the board can be paid an appropriate sum for day-to-day tasks and time spent in the service of the organization. Expenses accrued in carrying out such tasks can be refunded in accordance with tax regulations (§ 670 BGB). The particulars of such payments and reimbursements will be decided at one of the members meetings with a simple majority vote. The acting executive committee members can act as employees of the organization. The arrangement of the contract of employment is made by the full executive committee (without the board member concerned), at a general meeting of members in order to determine the total level of compensation.

§ 11 Audit

The two treasurers chosen by the meeting of members are to supervise the business accounts of the organization. At least one audit must be carried out each year and the results given at the annual general meeting.

§ 12 Dissolution of the Organization

In the case of dissolution or closure of the organization, or the discontinuation of tax-privileged trusts, the assets of the organization will pass to the SAVE Wildlife Conservation Fund, who are bound to using it directly and exclusively for non-profit purposes.

The leading statute was decided at the founders' meeting which took place on 8th April 2003 in Wiesbaden and was amended at the members' meeting on 18th December 2008.

Bald Eagle
Photo: H. Fried

Naturefund e. V.

Karl-Glässing-Straße 5
65183 Wiesbaden
Germany
Tel.: 0611 504 581 011

Protect Nature

Support our projects and protect habitats in Germany and around the world.

Registriert beim Registergericht Wiesbaden, VR 3739

Umsatzsteuer-Identifikationsnummer: DE 293241718

Freistellungsbescheid: Als gemeinnützige Körperschaft
befreit von der Körperschaftssteuer gem. §5 Abs.1 Nr.9 KStG
unter der Steuernummer 43/250/76281.

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