Since it was established in 2000, the foundation has promoted geographical research and geography as a school subject. It aims to present the practical value of geography to a wider public, in line with modern geography, which addresses pressing societal problems.
After the sudden death (in 2004) of Professor Voss, Professor Dr. Dr. h.c. Günter Heinritz, the first President of the German Society for Geography and its honorary president since 2007, assumed the chairmanship. In 2012 he was succeeded by Professor em. Herbert Popp, who is a board member of the Association of Geographers at German Universities (VGDH) and who was the elected representative of the German National Committee within the International Geographical Union. As his successor from october 2021 Prof. Dr. Frauke Kraas of Cologne University has already been elected.
Every second year, during the German National Congress in Geography, the foundation awards its national prizes, a science award for physical geography and anthropogeography as well as an award for innovation in the field of school geography. Furthermore, since 2012, the foundation has awarded the International Science Award of German Geography once every four years as well as, since 2017, the Reserach Award for the combination of geography and history.
Professor Frithjof Voss (1936-2004), a passionate geographer, who founded the Foundation for Geography, gained his international reputation as both a professor and entrepreneur. His findings in the field of mass pest control in developing countries and emerging nations contributed to the protection of the means of livelihood for the local population. The commercial success of his enterprises enabled Professor Voss to set up his own foundation.