Passion for change


In 1986, Eva Mayr-Stihl and Robert Mayr, her husband, set up a nonprofit foundation. “We named it ‘Andreas Stihl Foundation’ after the company’s founder, my father,” explains Eva Mayr-Stihl. This name caused confusion because it was often difficult for outsiders to distinguish between the STIHL company and the privately financed, nonprofit foundation. It was therefore renamed in 2004.

The Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation is committed to practical social responsibility. "Working for a better world in which physical and mental health as well as a strong sense of sustained responsibility for the environment are seen as important values by all citizens, that is our credo", says the patron. In 2016, on its 30th anniversary, the foundation moved to new premises within direct proximity of the Galerie Stihl in Waiblingen, for whose construction the foundation made a substantial contribution. In addition to the founders, Michael von Winning has been a member of the Board since 2022.

Eva Mayr-Stihl has been honored with many awards for her engagement, such as the Social Market Economy Prize 2009 of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation, which she received together with Hans Peter Stihl, the 1st Class Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2011) and was the first woman to be given honorary freedom of the town of Waiblingen in 2012. Both she (2019) and Robert Mayr (2005) were awarded honorary senators by the University of Freiburg.

Eva Mayr-Stihl passed away on April 9, 2022. The Foundation will continue to promote her concerns with great reverence in the future and will always keep her memory with great honor.

Eva Mayr Stihl und ihr Mann Robert Mayr
Eva Mayr Stihl and her husband Robert Mayr set up their private foundation in 1986. They were members of the STIHL executive board for many years.


Herr Mayr
Herr von Winning
Robert Mayr
“The work on the board of the foundation is extremely satisfying because one can bring about meaningful progress.”

Robert Mayr comes from Neukirchen am Teisenberg in Bavaria. He studied economics in Munich and Cologne and joined what was then the world’s largest farm machinery manufacturer as coordinator for market research. Some time later he took on the post of department manager of market research at STIHL. In 1975 he was appointed Director of Marketing, then head of Marketing and Sales in 1990 and ended his career at the company in 2002 as the board member responsible for Marketing/Sales. He was vice president of the German Marketing Association from 1984 to 1989.  The University of Freiburg conferred on him the title of Honorary Senator in 2005.

Michael von Winning
“It is a big task, to accompany and support the founders
as well as the foundation in this phase as a board member."

Michael von Winning grew up in the Rems Valley and the Stuttgart region. After doing community service in the children and youth organization of the United Methodist Church in Stuttgart, he studied modern and contemporary history, philosophy and general rhetoric in Tübingen and New York. After completing his studies, he first worked in the university administration of WHU - Otto Beisheim School of Management in Vallendar and in the management consultancy The Boston Consulting Group. As an assistant to the board of management and senior project manager at the Robert Bosch Stiftung, he acquired extensive expertise in foundation management. He started working part time for the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation in 2018 and has been a member of the Executive Board since 2022.


Lean structures and short decision-making processes characterise the work of the Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation.

Alexander Burghartswieser
Alexander Burghartswieser
General Manager
Stefan Christoph
Stefan Christoph
Asset management
Katharina Edlinger
Katharina Edlinger
Martina Jelinek
Martina Jelinek
Organisation & Assistance
Susann Pfeiffer
Susann Pfeiffer
Science & Research
Daniela Wimmer
Daniela Wimmer
Founder's office
Andreas Zeller
Andreas Zeller


The board of trustees advises the foundation board on its activities. Important projects in which the foundation is currently involved are presented at the meetings of the board of trustees.

Board of Trustees
From left: Susanne Müller-Schöll, Markus Schetter, Alexandra Mayr, Prof. Dr. med. Dr. H.C. Wolfram G. Zoller, Uta-Micaela Dürig, Prof. Dr. Kai-Uwe Marten, Andreas Hesky (Chairman))


Eva Mayr-Stihl (1935-2022) was a successful entrepreneur and responsible benefactor. She was honoured many times for her commitment. Among other things, she received the Konrad Adenauer Foundation's Social Market Economy Award in 2009, the Cross of Merit 1st Class of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany (2011) and became the first honorary citizen of the city of Waiblingen in 2012. Both she (2019) and Robert Mayr (2005) were made honorary senators of the University of Freiburg.

Eva Mayr-Stihl
Eva Mayr-Stihl has been honoured many times for her achievements.

Facts & figures

Health is one of our most important areas of sponsorship – for example: the “Stuttgart Cancer Center (SCC) – Eva Mayr-Stihl Tumor Center”.

The Eva Mayr-Stihl Foundation currently employs a staff of 10.

€ 60.85

Since the foundation was established, we have allocated € 60.85 million for purposes in accordance with our articles of association.

Sustainability plays a crucial role in the case of our main area of sponsorship, i.e. science and research, – in both forest science and technical systems.


In 2022, we supported a total of 70 projects.

In our work we concentrate on the Baden-Württemberg region, especially Waiblingen and Stuttgart – but are also active internationally.

Use of funds over the last five years

Bewilligungssummen nach Förderschwerpunkt 2023

62 %


34 %

Wissenschaft & Forschung

3 %

Kunst & Kultur

1 %