Become a member of the Sponsors‘ Club of the Witten Institute for Family Business



In the beginning the WIFU was funded by the Deutsche Bank. Since 2005 a group of more than 50 family businesses has taken over. The owners of these businesses form the “Sponsors’ Club”. They use the Club to exchange information and experience on a productive basis because experience shows: Family Businesses learn the most by other Family Businesses! The protected space of the Club guarantees a special personal level of conversations with regard to explosive or difficult topics about enterprise and the shareholders or family circle.

The network of Institute’s Sponsors meets with scientists of the Institute on a regular basis to exchange information. As part of this meeting each member gains a systematic first-hand insight into the current research work, has preferred access to all publications of the WIFU and has the opportunity to discuss practical implications of the results e.g. for their own enterprise, directly with the scientists.

Research ideas are developed together, cooperation projects are started. Thus research projects of the Institute receive practical questions from our sponsors on a regular basis.

Apart from the chance to support a unique institution we offer sponsors the following services and possibilities:

  • Participation in regular meetings of the sponsors
  • An opportunity for an intensive exchange with other family businesses in a protected environment
  • Research cooperation with family business researchers and students of Witten/Herdecke University
  • Priority access to all WIFU publications
  • Access to status quo on research about family businesses around the world
  • Access to various educational and training measures and other services of the university
  • Priority access to offered consulting services of members of the institute
  • Priority access to congresses (especially to the Congress for Family Businesses, to symposia and exclusive events of the university)
  • Access to highly qualified students and alumni, participation in the “Marriage Markets” to win mentoring students that will work alongside their studies e.g. in an enterprise during the semester break, as well as alumni (among others with special qualifications on family businesses)
  • Name plaque on the University’s “Wall of Fame”. All sponsors have a plaque in the foyer of the university
  • Reference in reports and different publications of the institute and the university
  • Opportunity to participate in courses or to participate in the creation of seminars and courses

Sponsorship by a family business means funding an agreed amount over the period of at least five years. The annual amount is certified as tax deductible. This can be in the form of a donation receipt or a sponsoring agreement with the business. These documents can be used by the sponsor to deduct the funding as an operative costs or as a donation.

Alternatively interested persons can also support the WIFU financially with donations to our WIFU research fund or by single donations.

The WIFU research fund finances and enables extensive research projects, interesting individual projects and other projects with reference to research activities. These are projects examining the characteristics of family business and that contribute to the sustainability of this special entrepreneurial form. Sponsors are informed about the process of the respective research project on a regular basis.

Furthermore it is possible to name the WIFU as the beneficiary of a last will and testament. The foundation has the purpose to support the activities of the Institute on a financial basis.

Contact person in all matters of funding is

Prof. Dr. Tom Rüsen

The current flyer with all possibilities to support the WIFU is available here (in German only).