Your Membership Contribution – how is it used?

Each membership contribution is vital to the life and activity of the Goetheanum, and the General Anthroposophical Society.
It is an expression of a connection that links about 50,000 members worldwide to the task of giving creative expression to spiritual aims, and imbuing a diverse spectrum of tasks with a dimension in which an awareness of spiritual beings and the element of individual transformation through a conscious inner life plays a central role.

Worldwide Membership

Of the nearly 50,000 members, close to 18'000 live in Germany and over 5000 in Switzerland. Holland and the United States each have approximately 4000 members. Yet individuals from over 50 countries have connected themselves to the Anthroposophical Society as members joining from countries such as Kenya, India, the Philippines and China. The vast majority of members are connected to the Goetheanum through their national Society. There are approximately 1500 independent members who, for different reasons, have linked their membership directly to the Goetheanum (www.goetheanum.org/mitglied.html).

Members support the Goetheanum financially in many ways. The membership contribution is a crucial element of the budget. Presently, for developed countries, the dues per member that are sent to Dornach have been set at 125 CHF annually. However the average payment per person per year is only about 90 CHF. The total amount that the Goetheanum received is about 4.5 million CHF annually or less than 25 % of the total operating budget of 20 million CHF. In 2005, for the first time in seven years, the total membership fees that the Goetheanum received increased by 300,000 CHF!

Your membership contribution supports many things!

The contribution helps to support:

  • ... a fundamental subsidy to each and every Section of the School of Spiritual Science. The Goetheanum spends about 2.1 mio CHF annually providing core support for the 11 Sections of the School of Spiritual Science. On average this is about 190,000 CHF per Section. We would like to do more, should do more, and must do more, as the Section work, with research, conferences, outreach and support to institutions is the soul of the Society in many ways.

  • ... the Stage Operations. It makes possible an excellent eurythmy and drama ensemble. This has allowed Rudolf Steiners' Mystery Dramas, and Goethes' Faust, as a central commitment of the Stage, to be performed over the years. Your membership fee contributes to the many costs of sustaining this major stage, with its costumes, scenery, and the artistic work that is a hallmark of the Goetheanum. The total annual costs of the stage operations are just over 3 mio. CHF.

  • ... the basic functioning of the General Anthroposophical Society, and all the organizing it provides for member conferences, maintaining and actively supporting relationships with the different countries and General Secretaries, and managing the affairs of the Society in a responsible manner. It also makes possible the membership secretariat. The total annual costs of this are about 2.8 mio. CHF.

  • ... essential and urgent repairs to buildings, the upkeep of the Goetheanum land, and the Goetheanum itself. Of course this does not include larger repairs and renovations. These are projects on which we are dependent for donations and gifts. However, we do include basic upkeep and “building administration” of the Goetheanum and its surrounding buildings in the application of your membership fees. Of course, the Goetheanum needs to be heated, cleaned, maintained and made ready for the approximately 140,000 visitors who come each year from around the world. This also includes care of all the other buildings, and such things as snow removal, grass cutting, security, the garden and so on. Total costs are approximately 2.5 mio. CHF


Thus all members, even from far away, can and do contribute through the annual membership fee to the multi-faceted tasks that belong to the work of the Society.

We are very grateful for your membership fee, and assure you that it is being applied responsibly. Member fees are not only an essential part of the income which allows the work of the Goetheanum to unfold, but together with gifts, donations and legacies, are a clear indication of the essential link that weaves together the worldwide movement of the General Anthroposophical Society.

Thank you very much.

Cornelius Pietzner
Treasurer from 2002 to April 2011