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World Foundations Conference to be held in Istanbul, Sept 2013

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The “World Foundations Conference” which will be held in Istanbul at 23-24 September 2013 and hosted by Directorate General for Foundations.

The terms like Waqf, Trust, Stiftung, Foundation have some similar properties on some aspects however they are different systems indeed. Therefore specifying a general terminology is a vital need for foundation and quasi organizations. On the purpose of this need, we are planning to be in cooperation with global organizations about technical experiences and theoretical information.

World Foundations Conference which will be held in an attempt to understand historical, legal, social and economic properties of foundations around the world will be composed of panel discussions, workshops and other activities. Beyond any doubt, your comments will make a major contribution to this conference.

The Conference will be conducted pursuant to topics below:

 1- Determining foundation in the abstract and contrasting terms about foundations.

In Western countries, the words “foundation”, “endowment”, “trust”, “fondacion”, “fundacao”, “fonds”, “foundazzione”, “stiftung”, “stichting” and “stiftelse” are used in the meaning of foundation. It is seen as “waqf” in Islamic world. These are similar organizations; on the other hand there are some differences between their contents and activities. In this sense, showing a cognitively approach to this topic and setting forth the differences about corporate objectives, operations and spheres of influence become more of an issue.

At the present time, the terms below are used for expressing institutions suchlike foundation in the general sense, in western countries:


Nonprofit Sector

Charitable Sector

Voluntary Sector

Independent Sector

Tax-exempt Sector

The Third Sector

Civil Society Organizations/Non-Governmental Organizations (NGO)


Approaches for the usage of the areas and the sectors of all these terms will be propounded.

2- Juridical Status of Foundations & Legal Arrangements and Practices

In several parts of the world, spheres of influence or responsibilities which are taken by foundations are different from each other as the definition of foundation. The historical heritage of countries has become effective on this point; at the same time, religious factors have been able to come into prominence. In Islamic world, it is possible to see that foundations has been established and designed on a religious sensibility.

Sharing the legal statuses of quasi foundation intuitions which have different functions across the globe, will ease to understand the basis of different implementations.

3- Islamic Foundation Code which prepared by IRTI and Kuwait Public Foundation

Islamic Research and Training Institute (IRTI) affiliated to Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and Kuwait Public Foundation have initiated to prepare a template for “Islamic Foundation/Awqaf Law” since 2007. The aim of the template is to unify the awqaf laws at the Islamic countries’ level and to supply the needs and requirements of the contemporary challenges. The template has been finalized and delivered to the member countries. This event will also be a relevant platform to argue and disseminate for the western countries and the stakeholders.

4- National and international activities of worldwide foundations.

Scientists and researchers who are working on the subject of foundations and representatives have been invited to the conference. We will establish an environment that makes sharing possible national and international activities of foundations and background, outputs of these activities and consequently their experiences.

5- Effects and Contribution of Foundations and quasi foundation institutions to national economies

At the present time, quasi foundation institutions are increasing in number, amplifying and have appreciated. Foundations and such philanthropic organizations in United States of America and Europe have strengthened on economy and employment by growing day by day as third sector. They are taking an active role in growth and development of countries with their investments in Islamic world. Therefore, it will have a very beneficial effect establishing a sharing environment to explain such contributions and discuss how these will be enhanced.

6- Contemporary foundation practices in Islamic countries

In consequence of secular life-style and positivism which is reflecting badly on life, a lot of values have suffered from erosion. Islamic world has been influenced a lot from this wornness. Undoubtedly, this erosion has place on the economical and social dilemma which Islamic World is in today.

For materially and morally development of Islamic world, it is an essential condition that developing a civil society movement and a new foundation understanding which includes democracy, transparency and accountability. Therefore, we are planning to answer the questions that can we think modern civil society awareness and the “system of values” based on Islamic foundation tradition in coexistence; and also can we synthesis them.


In Modern Islamic World, there are foundation governances in all countries, notably in Arabic world. Even if in some of Islamic countries, there are ministries for foundations. The assignment of coordination of Islamic countries foundation governances has been entrusted to Kuwait Public Foundations by The Organization of Islamic Cooperation since 1997. In this context, the foundation perception and practices will be discussed.

7- Philanthropic activity

From past to present, establishment of foundations have been based on philanthropy. Social justice and social advancement are not the duty for only the government but also for civil society. This idea is thought as a remedy of economical and social problems which have been increasing all over the world. Philanthropy can not be restricted only in high-income society. Therefore it is needed to increase civil society awareness and volunteerism. In this context, the relation between quasi foundation institutions and philanthropy under the present circumstances and in future will be discussed.


In addition;

Sessions will be held for each title with the participation of scientists who carry out researches on foundations, managerial staff of supreme organizations and public institutions which are active in third sector, elevated personage of foundations which work in local and international area. The sessions will be in context of exchanging ideas of people who are from different geographies. In sessions, there will 3 or 5 lecturers depending on evaluating the requests and paper summaries. The audience group will approximately be 100 people who will be from Turkey and come from abroad. Each of the discourses will last 10 or 15 minutes and following  20-30 minutes section for questions-answers and discussions. Sessions will be in forum format rather than symposium format. Additionally dinners and cocktails will be given.

The language of conference will be English, Arabic and Turkish. Simultaneous interpretation service will be provided.

All processes about the conference may be followed  via the website of the conference.