In January 2003,  ten museum development associations came together from throughout Germany with the goal of institutionalizing their cooperation on a national level by founding a federation. Today the German Federation
represents more than 120,000 art lovers in 86 societies of Friends all over Germany.
The Federation creates a strong presence for the interests of these museum development associations, transcending their individual regions.  The idea consists of getting to know each other better, nurturing dialogue, helping one another, and in particular, representing the concerns of these associations externally.