Thanks to the annual dividends of ZF Friedrichshafen AG, Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH and Zeppelin GmbH, the Zeppelin Foundation ensures a better quality of life in a wide variety of areas every day, true to its motto "Our Foundation - Close to People".


The Zeppelin-Foundation supports child and youth work, education and upbringing as well as adult education, is committed to health and care and promotes art and culture – and much more. The Zeppelin-Foundation pursues exclusively and directly non-profit and charitable purposes. The local council decides for which purposes the financial resources of the Zeppelin Foundation will be used – in its ongoing consultations and, above all, in its budget deliberations. The basis for this is always the foundation statutes, in which all funding purposes are laid down.


In addition to grants to many social and cultural institutions within the city, the Zeppelin-Foundation also operates its own facilities – and thus provides a wide range of services for all citizens. For example:

  • Residential an nursing home "Karl-Olga-Haus"
  • Centers for elderly people
  • Youth center MOLKE and more youth centers in all districts as well as the "Spielehaus & Spielbus" for children
  • Several kindergartens throughout the city
  • Municipal music school
  • Public library "Medienhaus am See" and local libraries in Ettenkirch and Kluftern
  • Adult education center "vhs Friedrichshafen"
  • "Schulmuseum": museum for school history
  • "Frei- und Seebad Fischbach": outdoor pool and lakeside swimming area
  • "Kulturbüro": cultural department
  • "Graf-Zeppelin-Haus": Culture and Conference Centre

Services and benefits

The Zeppelin-Foundation supports economically needy citizens of the city of Friedrichshafen in the spirit of charity, for example financial aid in individual cases, grants for water and energy costs, student camps or afternoons and excursion for elderly people. Besides that there are reduced tickets for cultural events in Friedrichshafen, vouchers for the Seehasenfest, free admission to museums and free admission to municipal swimming pools.

If you live in Friedrichshafen and you need financal aid, contact the department "Wirtschaftliche Hilfen". If you meet the requirements, you will receive the appropriate grants.

Foundation companies

ZF Logo

ZF is a leading global technology group in driveline and chassis technology as well as active and passive safety technology.

1915: Foundation of Zahnradfabrik GmbH based in Friedrichshafen by Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH. The object of the company was the production of gears and transmissions for aircraft, motor vehicles and motor boats.

1921: Transformation into Zahnradfabrik Friedrichshafen as a stock corporation.

1946: Reconstruction of the destroyed plant in Friedrichshafen, foundation of Zahnradfabrik Passau GmbH, Passau.

2015: Takeover of the US company TRW; ZF Friedrichshafen AG grows to almost double its size.

Today, ZF is one of the world's largest automotive suppliers.

93.8 percent of the shareholders are the Zeppelin Foundation and 6.2 percent are DR. JÜRGEN AND IRMGARD ULDERUP FOUNDATION


Logo Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH

The foundation of Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH by Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin in 1908 laid the foundation for the history of today's Zeppelin Group with its many internationally active industrial companies.

When Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin's fourth airship was burned in 1908, a wave of solidarity with the visionary pioneer swept through the country.

On September 8, 1908, thanks to spontaneous donations, he was able to found Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH and continue his work. The Count contributed Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH and other donations to the Zeppelin Foundation in the same year.

The destruction of the group by the Allies after the Second World War required a complete restructuring. Since then, Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH has operated as a pure asset management and investment company.

Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH holds the widely ramified companies of the Zeppelin Group together through its investments. These investments include:

  • Zeppelin GmbH
  • Zeppelin Wohlfahrt GmbH
  • Zeppelin Vermögensverwaltungs GmbH
  • Zeppelin Luftschifftechnik GmbH & Co. KG
  • Deutsche Zeppelin Reederei GmbH
  • Zeppelin-Haus am Bodensee GmbH


Logo Zeppelin GmbH

The Zeppelin Group is a company with a long tradition. It all began with Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin and his vision of a steerable airship. A vision that laid the foundation stone for the history of the Zeppelin Group with the rise of the first airship LZ 1 on July 2, 1900 and the founding of Luftschiffbau Zeppelin GmbH in 1908.

In 1947, the Allied military administration ordered the smashing and compulsory liquidation of the aviation company. The enormous know-how acquired in the production of the airships could not be lost. Masterpieces were achieved in aluminium processing in particular. For this reason, Metallwerke Friedrichshafen GmbH was founded in 1950 and a new beginning was dared with the production of lightweight constructions and large containers for the chemical industry.

In 1995, the company was renamed Zeppelin GmbH and the group was restructured in industry and trade.

Zeppelin GmbH is the holding company of the group, with legal domicile in Friedrichshafen and headquarters in Garching near Munich.


After a detailed review since 2014, the municipal council decided to establish the "Zeppelin Foundation Ferdinand gGmbH" after consulting in 2015. It was entered in the commercial register in 2016.

More about Zeppelin-Stiftung Ferdinand gGmbH