Policyinstitute.net and its Status as an NGO

Dear Network,

Recently, I was pointed to an essential matter: what is the legal status of Policyinstitute.net? I had never called into question that I have founded, and have been running, a Non-Governmental Organization (NGO). To make this evident, it will take for me to explain, in a few words, how an organization, which is not a German registered association or a foundation, can absolutely be an NGO and a think tank involved in preventing and countering extremism and hate speech, matters of society and politics, as well as capacity building in the Sahel, as is the case with Policyinstitute.net.

Registered by the German Financial Authorities

A journalist, I am registered as an independent entrepreneur (‘Soloselbstständiger’ in the German language) by the competent financial administration. The operations of Policyinstitute.net, which I have founded in this capacity, fall under the relevant German legal rules and regulations. Obviously, the website Policyinstitute.net, which has given the name to the think tank (founded in 2017), is registered in the framework of the media laws in vigor. This includes our official domain names. These are organized in a hierarchical structure. For you, this means that when you visit the Policyinstitute.net landing page, you will find links to all projects of the think tank which form our portfolio. To date, these projects are the following:

An Independent Legal Entity Working with Volunteers

Quite importantly, with regard to its status as an NGO, the legal entity Policyinstitute.net is not affiliated with any government. Nor is it linked to any institution which might in any way fall under the category of government administration.

Finally, during the past years, Policyinstitute.net has been working with a number of select volunteers. I am, thus, not the only person involved in the ongoing operations of the NGO, which brings it closer to the practice of organizations registered as associations under the German law. While the legal form is that of a business – all things considered, the character of Policyinstitute.net, in practice, is almost identical to that of a non-profit association.


Policyinstitute.net is, hence, a business rather than an association or a foundation, but a non-profit business, just as it is an NGO and a think tank. At this time, it entertains four topical websites, apart from its landing page. All of these four can be regarded as specific ventures or projects of the overarching think tank.

Hitherto, more than a few persons have tried to classify Policyinstitute.net. I hope this post has clarified things for these, as for all others interested. I am available, via LinkedIn Messaging, for any further questions.

Thorsten Koch, MA, PgDip
18 December 2022
(last updated 8 November 2023)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *