Stiftung Mercator
implements its own projects and provides funding for external projects. In practice, roughly 20 percent of projects are implemented by the foundation itself, while around 80 percent are funded as external projects. 

Every year, Stiftung Mercator receives a large number of grant applications which far exceed the available grants. In choosing which projects to support, we therefore have to apply strict standards according to the thematic and strategic funding criteria detailed below. 

Please only apply for a grant if your project meets these criteria. 


The following projects will not be supported: 

  • Construction projects 
  • Printing grants for publications 
  • Development costs for technical, artistic or other end products (such as films, teaching materials, apps, artworks) that do not form part of our projects 
  • Simulation exercises for schools and students (such as the Model United Nations) 
  • Events or festivals that are intended solely for purposes such as entertainment or sport 
  • Commercially oriented projects and institutions 
  • Projects and commitments which are unlimited in duration 
  • Funding to cover public budgetary shortfalls 
  • Individual persons or groups (for example families, groups of artists, schools) 
  • Individual grants (for example to cover travel expenses or training costs) 
  • Individual grants outside the foundation’s own grant programmes and fellowships 
  • International projects with no discernible relevance to Germany 
  • In the thematic field of climate action: projects focusing solely on educating young people about the environment