Pascale, why is digitalisation so important for the sector?
As a grant giving foundation, we want to do good – and we want to do it well. This works particularly successfully when foundations are visible, accessible and transparent. That’s why SwissFoundations has been keen to set up a foundation register for many years. However, the platform stiftungschweiz.ch is not just a register: it’s a modern digital solution. Digitalisation is playing an ever more important role and is becoming increasingly present. We believe it is crucial for the sector to actively play a role in shaping these digital trends with an eye to the future and use them to its benefit.
What opportunities has SwissFoundations identified as a shareholder?
The powerful, visual depiction of sector datain the form of geographical, thematic, organisational and individual information offers opportunities for pioneering development and collaboration.
It enables us to do good in a better way. That’s why we believe in the shared vision of a digital platform for foundations.
Why a consortium – and who is able to get involved?
At SwissFoundations, we don’t just pay lip service to the notion of collaboration: we make it a reality, as we’ve been doing for years with our support for CEPS, for instance. That’s why it was clear to us that we’d also put together a consortium of StiftungSchweiz’s shareholders. To do this, we opted for a pool of shareholders: a solution that’s both lean and impactful. Organised as an association, it represents all the shareholders and speaks on their behalf.As a board member, I represent the shareholders on StiftungSchweiz’s board of directors at present. Eight grant giving foundations have already got involved in the form of tied funding or direct impact investments. Other foundations are very welcome to jump on board – and, until the end of the year, they can acquire their stake at the terms offered to us as initial shareholders.
When will the mission have been successful? What could put it in jeopardy?
As grant giving foundations, we can offer a prime example of how we collaborate in the digital realm, how we share and use data to create added value for the sector and society at large.
StiftungSchweiz has asked grant giving foundations about their needs and developed prototypes. They will be unveiled for the first time at SwissFoundations’ general meeting before being put into practice and fine-tuned.
Actively sharing thoughts needs to be followed by actively getting involved – and that goes for the whole sector. That’s the recipe for success. The platform would only be put in jeopardy if we didn’t have enough courage or confidence to all commit to it as a joint endeavour.
Pascale Vonmont is the CEO/Director of the Gebert Rüf Stiftung, an organisation focused on science and innovation, and is responsible for its operational management. She networks the key strategic initiatives, clusters and partners involved in its programmes and topics. Pascale is a board member of SwissFoundations and has represented the foundation consortium on the board of directors of StiftungSchweiz | Philanthropy Services AG since July 2022.