The main function of charitable foundations in Austria is to complement the state’s activities. The role of foundations in fostering pluralism is also popular as foundations support minority groups or activities. Furthermore, many foundations act as promoters of innovation in research or development and some try to preserve traditions. Overall we find that charitable foundations do not really have the potential to challenge the status quo. Austria is characterized by a corporatist system, and foundations are not significant actors in this system. Nonetheless, there is an emerging trend whereby the state’s responsibilities are outsourced to private organizations. To a certain extent, foundations are regarded to be one tool of privatization. On the one hand, there are foundations that cooperate closely with the government. On the other hand, there are foundations that have been co-founded by either the local or by the federal government. However, the foundation sector is quite heterogeneous and others continue to work independently.