Background
The foundation was established in 2010 as an umbrella and legal body for two existing long-term programmes:
• The Maecenata Institute for Philantropy and Civil Society, established in 1197.
• Maecenata International, the German partner in the Transnational Europe Giving network.

The Foundation has since adopted a third programme: Europe Bottom-up.
The Foundation is grant-making in the sense that ear-marked grants aer forwarded to recipients, and operational in managing its own programs. The Foundation cannot accept grant applications.
Mission
The mission of the Foundation is to enhance the role of civil society in promoting the development of an open society.
Geographic focus
National and international
Programme areas
1) Maecenata Institute: an indipendent think-tank and centre for academic research, teaching, policy, and public information related to philantropiy and civil society. (The Maecenata Institute is affiliated to Humboldt University, Berlin).
The main focus areas include:
- philantropy and foundations,
- civil society policy,
- civil society and other areas of public activities,
- European and International exchanges.
2) Maecenata International: a service to funders world-wide to facilitate donations across national boundaries, including tax advanteges in the country of residence and reporting system.

3) Europe Bottom-up: a programme designed to promote citizens' acceptance of and involvement in the building of Europe through projects, publications tec.