For most of its almost 540-year history, the activities of the University of Copenhagen have been financed by its extensive landed property donated to it, first by the church and after the reformation in greater amounts by the king.
From the last half of the 16th century until the end of the 18th century the university property was divided into 13 “corpora”, one for each professorship. So the professor of mathematics received most of his income from the many farms of his corpus, which was among the smallest corpora; the professor of theology had the most lucrative corpus.
About 1800 the corpora system was abandoned when all the university positions were joined into one fund administered by the university who then paid the professors. This change was necessitated by a desire to hire more professors. However, from the middle of the 19th century, the need for new professorships outgrew the financial means of the university, and the State had to fund some of the extraordinary professorships directly.
Finally, around 1920 the University had to hand over its properties to the state who from then on funded the university directly.
During the 20th century, the funding of the university including the Department of Mathematics primarily came from the steadily growing amount set aside for the purpose of the finance bill. However, increasing amounts came from private and public foundations. Indeed, the creation of the Department of Mathematics was the result of a donation from the Carlsberg Foundation financing its first building on Blegdamsvej.
After the Second World War, the National Science Foundation also supported mathematics. In particular, they funded PhD students, travels, guests and meetings.
Around the new millennium private and public foundations began to contribute massively to the daily running of the department. The result has been a dramatic increase in the number of PhD students and temporary postdocs.