The Berlin-Hohenschönhausen Memorial Foundation is funded by the Berlin State Government and the German Federal Government. The financial responsibility rests with the Berlin State Senator for Culture and the Federal Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs. The Foundation belongs to the group known as "institutional beneficiaries," i.e. those receiving regular annual payments. The budgetary specifications follow the provisions laid down by the donors, and hence the Foundation, like all public-sector institutions, applies the principles of managing state property to its economic activities. In accordance with the law regarding foundations, the Foundation's accounts are verified annually by an external auditor. Moreover, both the Berlin State and the Federal Government audit offices have the right to examine the books.
The responsibility for administering the funds provided rests with the Foundation itself. Every year, the Foundation's Administrative Board – the Memorial's Executive Director – draws up a draft budget, which has to be ratified by the Board of Trustees. The Executive Director's submission takes into account all the funds necessary for the Foundation to fulfil its tasks. The sum granted is related to the budgets potentially available to public authorities. Over the last few years, the annual funding has totalled over a million Euros, contributed by the Federal Government and the Berlin State Government in roughly equal proportions. The Foundation does not own any fixed capital assets other than those listed in its financial statement.
Apart from the funds received as an institutional beneficiary, the Foundation may also occasionally apply for smaller additional sums from the public investors for specific projects. Such funds may be granted by the Stiftung zur Aufarbeitung der SED-Diktatur (Foundation for a Contemporary Understanding of the GDR Party Dictatorship) or the Federal Commissioner for Cultural and Media Affairs. In a number of cases, the Federal Agency for Civic Education (BPB) has also supported the Memorial in this way. Additionally, the Foundation has been able to generate funds via donations and membership fees and has received material donations. In recent years, the number of visitors has risen sharply, leading to a corresponding massive increase in the sum paid for freelance tour-guides. As a result, a fee for visitors had to be introduced in March 2001. In 2023, this fee was then increased and the target payment group extended.
Since the costs for reconstructing and refurbishing the Memorial fall under the remit of the Berlin Senator for Urban Development, they are not a part of the Foundation's budget. These costs are equally divided between the Berlin State and the Federal Government.