In the fall of 2012, the Annette von Droste zu Hülshoff Foundation was established under the auspices of the Landschaftsverband Westfalen-Lippe (LWL). One of the foundation's primary goals is to permanently preserve Burg Hülshoff in Havixbeck together with Haus Rüschhaus in Münster-Nienberge for the public and to develop them as cultural sites. Further objectives are the preservation and communication of the cultural and art historical values associated with the name of von Droste zu Hülshoff as well as the support of art and culture, education and research.
More than 20 donors participated in the foundation, which has an initial capital of 19.3 million euros. The project associated with the establishment of the foundation - the expansion of the culturally and historically important site into a literary and cultural center - is supported by a high level of public acceptance and a broad consensus on cultural policy in the Westphalia-Lippe region as well as at state and national level. The income from the existing capital stock can be used to cover the costs of maintaining and operating Burg Hülshoff and Haus Rüschhaus in their current condition.
The last owner, Jutta Freifrau von Droste zu Hülshoff (1926-2015), transferred the family estate of Burg Hülshoff, including the library, art and furnishings, and all the land, to the Annette von Droste zu Hülshoff Foundation. The stately estate consists of a moated castle complex with a Renaissance manor house, an outer castle, farm buildings and an extensive park, which was already mentioned in documents in the 11th century.
The second Westphalian residence of Annette von Droste-Hülshoff, Haus Rüschhaus, only five kilometers from Hülshoff, was also entrusted to the care of the foundation. It was acquired by the North Rhine-Westphalia Foundation for Nature Conservation, Heritage and Cultural Preservation and made available to the Annette von Droste zu Hülshoff Foundation for permanent use. Annette von Droste-Hülshoff wrote her world-famous novella Die Judenbuche (The Jew's Beech), among other things, in this architectural gem built by Baroque master builder Johann Conrad Schlaun, which has a special charm as a mixture of manor house and farmhouse.
The business operations of the Annette von Droste zu Hülshoff Foundation, consisting of gastronomy (café-restaurant at Burg Hülshoff), are an important pillar of the foundation, along with museum operations (Droste Museum at Burg Hülshoff as well as public tours of Haus Rüschhaus).
The foundation is a member of numerous associations and networks, including the Arbeitsgemeinschaft literarischer Gesellschaften (ALG).