Helping to shape digi­tal trends

Claudia Dutli interviews Pascale Vonmont

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 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.


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