Hostwriter’s commitment to transparency

As a non-profit organization, Hostwriter is committed to transparency. Please find below the details about what we are doing, where our financial means come from, how we spend them and who is involved in the decision-making process. For any further questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us at

1. Name, registered address and founding year

Hostwriter gUG (haftungsbeschränkt)
c/o Grzeszyk
Hobrechtstr. 16
12047 Berlin

Hostwriter was founded in Hamburg in 2013

2. Hostwriter’s complete Articles of Incorporation

Hostwriter’s mission is to raise the quality of international media coverage by providing local contacts to journalists around the globe. Today, major news stories span across borders, and independent, high-quality journalism needs to reflect this. The Hostwriter team sees cross-border collaboration as a tool to overcome national bias and prejudice, ultimately contributing towards better informed, more accountable and democratic societies. In a profession that is increasingly freelance-based and fragmented, Hostwriter aims to provide a sense of solidarity and community for the next generation of journalists. Please find a scan of our complete founding documents below.

Hostwriter's founding documents

3. Date of Hostwriter’s most recent recognition as a tax-privileged corporation

Hostwriter is recognized as a charitable organization for providing occupational training for journalists and strengthening international understanding and tolerance. Our most recent notice from the German tax authorities concerning the recognition as a tax-privileged (non-profit) corporation dates back to October 4th, 2017. Please find a scan of our latest fiscal notice below.

Recognition of charitable status

4. Names and tasks of the main decision-makers

Tamara Anthony, ARD correspondent
Tabea Grzeszyk, freelance journalist (DLF Kultur)
Sandra Zistl, freelance journalist (Welt-Group)

Each of the three founders holds 33 shares of business (see Hostwriter’s Articles of Incorporation, p. 3, §4 Stammkapital).

Tabea Grzeszyk

Katja Heitmann

Community Engagement
Olalla Tunas Martínez

Marketing and Outreach
Bernadette Geyer

Ambassador Program
Christina Lee


Tamara Anthony - Co-founder and Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board
Jutta Freifrau von Falkenhausen - Lawyer and Vice-Chairwoman of the Supervisory Board
Maren Heltsche - Data analyst and developer


Bernd Steinmeyer - former Senior Consultant Social Impact Lab (paused)
Simon Tennant - Production Engineering Manager at Soundcloud
Michael Weber - Financial expert and founder

5. Report on Hostwriter’s activities

In addition to our online network, Hostwriter has launched several projects to support cross-border reporting and debate: from organizing affiliate events at the New York Times Athens Democracy Forum to awarding collaborative journalism pieces and promising story pitches with the annual #HostwriterPrize donated by Otto Sprenger Foundation. Hostwriter is also a partner of the Mentoring Program for journalists in exile and colleagues with immigrant backgrounds by Neue deutsche Medienmacher e.V.

Our most recent program is called „The Agora Project“, a temporary European newsroom for ten journalists. During the run-up to the several 2017 elections, the participants were working collaboratively on the topic of polarization in Europe.

Narrative report for 2016 (in German) Narrative report for 2017 (in German) Annual report for 2017 (in English)

6. Hostwriter's personnel structure

Since August 2018, Hostwriter has a total of five part-time employees: Tabea Grzeszyk, CEO, Olalla Tunas Martinez, Communications, Bernadette Geyer, Marketing and Outreach, Christina Lee, Head of Ambassador Program and Katja Heitmann, CTO. Andy Wilke (Design) is working on a freelance basis.

Hostwriter is supported by the voluntary work of its six supervisory board members and 15 ambassadors who act as local representatives of Hostwriter in their respective regions.

Hostwriter has no marginally employed persons.

7. Sources of Funding

In June 2018, Hostwriter won the Jury Prize of the Google Impact Challenge Germany. That's a total funding of 500,000 Euros for 2018-2019 that we will account for as part of our annual financial reports.


As for the year 2017, Hostwriter received financial support from the following foundations:

Adessium Foundation

  • institutional support: 50.000 EUR

Advocate Europe

Advocate Europe is an idea challenge for European initiatives realised by MitOst e.V. and Liquid Democracy, funded by Stiftung Mercator.

  • idea challenge: 30.000 EUR
  • impact grant: 7.000 EUR

Tandem Europe

Tandem Europe is an initiative of the European Cultural Foundation and MitOst e.V., supported by the Robert Bosch Stiftung, Fondazione Cariplo foundation and Stavros Niarchos.

  • Production costs: 1.792,11 EUR
  • Incubation grant: 3.000,00 EUR

Otto Sprenger Foundation

The German foundation honors the work of Otto Sprenger, a former unionist and employee of the public service broadcaster NDR. Aiming at supporting young journalists, collaboration and social engagement, the foundation has sponsored the "Otto Sprenger Hostwriter Prize for collaborative journalism" since 2014.

  • award money (including bank transfer fees): 5.186 EUR
  • Project Management: 1.500 EUR
  • Call for applications (design costs, newsletter): 705,94 EUR

Hostwriter delivered services as a special-purpose entity:

Neue deutsche Medienmacher e.V.

  • Mentoring Program for exiled journalists and journalists from immigrant families in Germany: 4.250 EUR

Hostwriter received the following donations: 

  • 3.950,01 EUR

Total revenue in 2017: 107.384,06 EUR

8. Application of Funds

Projects and Events in 2017

Web development

  • IT and UX-Design: €19.397,56

Team Costs

Outreach and Public Relations: €17.104

Personnel Costs: €37.456,36


  • Server Costs, office rental, accounting, etc.: €5.539,74


  • External Advise: €24.992,50


Please find our audited financial records for 2016 and 2017 below.

Financial report 2016 Financial report 2017

9. No organizational involvements with any third parties

Hostwriter has no legal organizational involvements with any third parties, no for-profit activities („outsourced service providers“) and no legal ties to any other partner organizations.

10. Persons with yearly donations over 10% of Hostwriter’s total budget

Adessium Foundation: €50.000

Advocate Europe: €37.000

In 2018, Hostwriter will receive €150.000 by the American Tides Foundation/Google Impact Challenge.

We certify that all decision-makers meet on a regular basis and that these meetings are protocoled. Questions submitted to our organization are answered within a reasonable time. Our yearly financial records are signed by a Hostwriter decision-maker. In case of examination of our yearly report, compliance with this commitment is checked by our internal test committees, a chartered accountant or financial auditor.