A consortium of eight grant giving foundations has had a stake in StiftungSchweiz for a year now. This commitment reflects their desire to not just go along with the digitalisation of philanthropy as passive observers: instead, they want to play a role in actively shaping it. What is the motivation behind taking this step? We introduce the consortium and its members.
‘Nobody knows how “big data” is going to impact our sector, but one thing is clear: data will play a vital role. As a result, StiftungSchweiz is a key testing ground, a place where we can jointly see what helps us as foundations – and what we want to avoid. We don’t want StiftungSchweiz to be a playground for foundation nerds. Instead, we want it to inspire and enthuse large numbers of foundations.’
‘Strong digital philanthropy opens up huge amounts of potential for boosting transparency and forging the ideal partnerships between foundations and funding partners. Our ambition is to help support this trend and create a wealth of opportunities that can be effectively discovered and exploited. We hope small foundations, above all, will actively get involved to make their work more impactful.’
Lukas von Orelli Director, Velux Stiftung
‘Collaboration is key to boosting the impact wrought by philanthropy. That’s why the Ernst Göhner Foundation believes in ensuring projects and organisations are strongly networked and is dedicated to interdisciplinary dialogue within the nonprofit sector. We have no doubt that digital tools can play a key role in this endeavour. As far as StiftungSchweiz goes, we hope the platform can work with stakeholders to develop these tools and try them out in practice – so we can have a bigger impact, together.’
Patricia Kopp Responsible for education and science at the Ernst Göhner Foundation
We are committed to digital philanthropy because, in our role as society’s risk financer, we want to play a part in constructing a shared data space that adds value for the sector and society. Alongside specific possible uses for grant giving foundations and project owners, stiftungschweiz.ch can also serve as a central communication platform to refine and grow the perception and importance of the sector.
Pascale Vonmont CEO/Director, Gebert Rüf Stiftung
‘Boosting transparency at lightning speed – and digitally, to boot. StiftungSchweiz is leading by example and launching the “match.com” of philanthropy. We wish it every success and hope it makes some successful pairings.’
Fleur Jaccard Managing Director, Age-Stiftung
‘Digitalisation is not an option but a necessity – and that goes for foundations, too. It offers major benefits, such as broader reach, which, in turn, reinforces a foundation’s presence and networks. Beyond this, it makes administration and communication more efficient and simplifies collaboration and coalitions when both financing and implementing projects. All told, this enables a foundation’s purpose to be put into practice better. It bolsters the sector as a whole, not just individual foundations. We would like the foundation sector to use the opportunities offered by digitalisation in an agile way.’
Martina Venturini Managing Director, Minerva Foundation
‘Digitalisation is becoming an increasingly inevitable part of our work and our daily lives. Digital solutions boost efficiency, reduce administrative costs and, when paired with strong management tools, can underpin swift decisions. We hope that Switzerland’s foundations can take as unanimous a stance as possible in sharing their experiences on a single platform.’
Hans Rainer Künzle Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Green Leaves Education Foundation
‘Digitalisation is changing how we interact as a society, how we communicate and collaborate, how we engage in public debates. Foundations are right in the thick of these trends, whether they want to be or not: they will be forced to shift more of their activities to the digital space moving forward. Within this process, digitalisation does not just impact their operational endeavours. Instead, it hits at the very heart of how foundations function – from requirements relating to transparency and legitimacy to the handling and usage of data, right through to ways of attracting new funding partners and integrating target groups into their work. We are getting involved in this field because complex societal challenges can no longer be overcome by individual stakeholders on their own. Rather, it requires civil society, businesses, academia, politicians and administration to come together. Digital technologies facilitate new forms of collaboration, thereby generating a ‘collective impact’ and increasing the effects of the funds deployed by individual foundations. We hope that foundations can work more closely at a strategic level to jointly achieve greater influence, that we can move away from ad-hoc interventions and towards systematic approaches, and that collaboration and, its more advanced form, co-creation become more common methods.
Andrew Holland Managing Director Mercator Foundation Switzerland