Foto: Ewan Robertson, unsplash

In brief

The Stif­tung Evan­ge­li­sche Gesell­schaft in the canton of Zurich supports the Malaika inte­gra­tion project, which provi­des inter­cul­tu­ral thea­tri­cal and culinary experiences.

The Malaika inte­gra­tion project offers an unex­pec­ted combi­na­tion of inter­cul­tu­ral thea­tri­cal produc­tions and profes­sio­nal cate­ring. The project has been running for six years, and focu­ses on foste­ring early inte­gra­tion among refu­gees who are not yet eligi­ble to parti­ci­pate in the usual inte­gra­tion projects. Refu­gees are thus able to meet and inter­act with local resi­dents and get to know Swiss culture for the first time, which helps them get to grips with local customs much faster and more easily.

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Encoun­ters in the kitchen and profes­sio­nal cate­ring business

[TEXT] A profes­sio­nal cate­ring service offe­ring cuisine from ten diffe­rent count­ries was meant to launch in Septem­ber 2020. This was post­po­ned due to the coro­na­vi­rus crisis, howe­ver. Cooking toge­ther leads to natu­ral inte­gra­tion. In prepa­ring dishes from their home count­ries, the refu­gees have the oppor­tu­nity to share part of their culture. The cate­ring service also offers pre-study intern­ships and inte­gra­tion job opportunities.

Theatre brings joy to all

Thea­tri­cal perfor­man­ces offer a wonderful oppor­tu­nity to cele­brate shared success. Performing a play provi­des plenty of oppor­tu­nity for inter­ac­tion and demands a great deal of trai­ning and disci­pline. Theatre produc­tions are rehe­ar­sed on an annual basis and perfor­med in German-spea­king Switz­er­land at the Thea­ter Spek­ta­kel Zurich, the Bern­hard Thea­ter and Schau­spiel­haus Zürich.

You can find more infor­ma­tion at:

To find out more about the Foun­da­tion of the Protes­tant Society of the Canton of Zurich, visit

Peer-to-peer trai­ning for form­erly home­l­ess city guides affec­ted by poverty

The ‘Inter­na­tio­nal Network of Social Tours’ (INST) is an inter­na­tio­nal umbrella orga­ni­sa­tion that was estab­lished in 2019. Along­side its presi­dent Paola Gallo, its foun­ding members include provi­ders from Basel (Surprise), Vienna (Super­tramp), Edin­burgh (Invi­si­ble Cities) and Athens (Invi­si­ble Tours). It offers support to orga­ni­sa­ti­ons that provide soci­ally orien­ted walking tours, and a pilot project has now seen INST orga­nise its first peer-to-peer trai­ning session for city guides, provi­ding them with rein­force­ment in their role as experts. 

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Making poverty visible

Across cities, the social-minded tours take atten­dees to hidden loca­ti­ons where home­l­ess people can (and cannot) spend the night, with form­erly home­l­ess people show­ing where food, clot­hing or advice are available free of charge. Over the course of the two-hour tour through their city, whether Athens, Basel, Zurich, Edin­burgh, Vienna, Glas­gow or other loca­ti­ons, guides make poverty, home­l­ess­ness and exclu­sion visi­ble. The city guides tell perso­nal stories rela­ting to their day-to-day lives on the streets.

More infor­ma­tion is available via: Become a member or give a gift that does good: a voucher for a city tour

Markus, city guide with Surprise Basel
‘On the tours, I expe­ri­ence a lot of respect and esteem. I feel inte­gra­ted and accepted in society again.’

proFonds: Schwei­zer Stif­tungs­tag 2020, live from Villa Bleuler

The Schwei­zer Stif­tungs­tag will take place on Friday, 20 Novem­ber. The event will be held virtually due to coro­na­vi­rus. The Stif­tungs­tag is orga­nised by proFonds, the umbrella asso­cia­tion for Swiss chari­ties, and will focus on the coro­na­vi­rus crisis. A large portion of the programme will be dedi­ca­ted to the topic of ‘Chari­ta­ble work under diffi­cult circum­s­tances: foundations/NGOs defy coro­na­vi­rus’. Fede­ral Coun­cil­lor Ueli Maurer will give the opening address and Dr Peter Buss, CEO of StiftungSchweiz, will give a talk on ‘Chari­ta­ble acti­vi­ties in the era of digi­tal trans­for­ma­tion’. Parti­ci­pants will attend remo­tely via live stream. 

More infor­ma­tion

Impact inves­t­ing – a new guide

Impact invest­ments are invest­ments that support a chari­ta­ble foundation’s aims. How do they work? The Alter­na­tive Bank Switz­er­land (ABS) and the Center for Phil­an­thropy Studies (CEPS) have published a guide for foun­da­ti­ons. It is aimed at trus­tees, foun­da­tion execu­ti­ves and consul­tants. The guide can be down­loa­ded free of charge at

Search for trus­tees, search for mandates

Boards of trus­tees need a diverse skill mix. It is not always easy for them to find the right person for a vacancy. A new online plat­form helps non-profit orga­ni­sa­ti­ons find their perfect candi­date and allows would-be trus­tees to create a profile and connect with an insti­tu­tion that is looking for their skill set.

The growing divide

The Gilded Giving 2020 report by the Insti­tute for Policy Studies concludes that incre­asing wealth inequa­lity is distort­ing the chari­ta­ble giving sector. The combi­ned wealth of the 62 billionaires who signed the ‘Giving Pledge’ in 2010 has almost doubled since. Bill Gates and Warren Buffett laun­ched the ‘Giving Pledge’ campaign to encou­rage the world’s wealt­hiest indi­vi­du­als to contri­bute to phil­an­thro­pic causes.

Aid for Beirut

Beirut was rocked by a devas­ta­ting explo­sion on 4 August. Cari­tas Switz­er­land, along with its part­ner orga­ni­sa­tion Cari­tas Leba­non, is provi­ding emer­gency aid and has set aside a million Swiss francs for the relief effort.

New Direc­tor of Conti­nuing Education

On 1 July 2020 Phil­ipp Erpf took up the post of Direc­tor of Conti­nuing Educa­tion at the Insti­tute for the Manage­ment of Asso­cia­ti­ons, Foun­da­ti­ons and Co-opera­ti­ves at the Univer­sity of Frei­burg. Follo­wing a two-year fami­lia­ri­sa­tion period, he succee­ded Hans Licht­stei­ner. Phil­ipp Erpf co-heads the insti­tute with Profes­sor Markus Gmür (Direc­tor of Research).

Reform of stock corpo­ra­tion law

The revi­si­ons to Swiss stock corpo­ra­tion law, recently appro­ved by parlia­ment, will affect non-profit orga­ni­sa­ti­ons. proFonds, the umbrella asso­cia­tion for Swiss chari­ta­ble foun­da­ti­ons, issued a state­ment at the end of July, poin­ting out that the requi­re­ment to disc­lose the sala­ries of trus­tees will jeopar­dise many non-profit orga­ni­sa­ti­ons’ tax-exempt status.

Promo­ting pellets

The charity mycli­mate has laun­ched a subs­idy scheme for pellet heating systems. It is open to property owners in loca­ti­ons where there is no finan­cial support from natio­nal, canto­nal or local government.

Neue Gene­ral­se­kre­tä­rin des Bundes­ver­ban­des Deut­scher Stiftungen

Kirs­ten Hommel­hoff (43) wird neue Gene­ral­se­kre­tä­rin des Bundes­ver­ban­des Deut­scher Stif­tun­gen. Sie ist die erste Gene­ral­se­kre­tä­rin in der 72-jähri­gen Geschichte des Verban­des. Ihr Amt wird sie am 1. Septem­ber 2020 antre­ten. Der Bundes­ver­band Deut­scher Stif­tun­gen ist der grösste Stif­tungs­ver­band Euro­pas. Kirs­ten Hommel­hoff ist Juris­tin und hatte in den vergan­ge­nen knapp zehn Jahren verschie­dene Funk­tio­nen bei der Stif­tung Merca­tor inne. In den letz­ten fünf Jahren hat sie das Projekt Zentrum Berlin der Stif­tung Merca­tor geleitet. 

Der Schwei­zer Stif­tungs­re­port 2020

At the end of 2019, the Swiss charity sector compri­sed 13,293 chari­ta­ble foun­da­ti­ons. While 349 chari­ties were foun­ded, 216 under­went liqui­da­tion. The Schwei­zer Stif­tungs­re­port 2020 pres­ents a multi-face­ted picture of the charity sector. In addi­tion to the fami­liar form of perma­nent chari­ties, today there are new forms such as umbrella orga­ni­sa­ti­ons and non-perpe­tual trusts. Almost 70 percent of all chari­ta­ble foun­da­ti­ons have emer­ged in the last 30 years, and 43 percent of all envi­ron­men­tal chari­ties were foun­ded after 2010. When it comes to newly formed chari­ties compared with the total stock, there has been an increase in envi­ron­men­tal (12 percent) and poli­ti­cal and lobby­ing (5.4 percent) orga­ni­sa­ti­ons. The charity sector is assum­ing incre­asingly clear contours. The sector is beco­ming more visi­ble and forming inter­na­tio­nal networks. The effec­ti­ve­ness of these deve­lo­p­ments has been reflec­ted in the swift, straight­for­ward response to the current coro­na­vi­rus crisis.

The Schwei­zer Stif­tungs­re­port 2020 is the eleventh edition of the report. It is published on an annual basis by the Center for Phil­an­thropy Studies (CEPS) at the Univer­sity of Basel, Swiss­Foun­da­ti­ons – the asso­cia­tion for Swiss chari­ties – and the Center for Foun­da­tion Law at the Univer­sity of Zurich.

Wegwei­ser für gute Betreu­ung im Alter

Sechs Stif­tun­gen lancie­ren gemein­sam, orga­ni­sa­to­risch unter­stützt durch Swiss­Foun­da­ti­ons (SF), den «Wegwei­ser für gute Betreu­ung im Alter – Begriffs­klä­rung und Leit­li­nien». Die Fach­hoch­schule Nord­west­schweiz (FHNW) hat in ihrem Auftrag den Begriff «Betreu­ung im Alter» geklärt und die Anfor­de­run­gen an eine quali­ta­tiv hoch­wer­tige Umset­zung formu­liert. Gemäss SF verste­hen die betei­lig­ten Stif­tun­gen den Wegwei­ser als Beitrag für den Dialog rund um Betreu­ung und Pflege älte­rer Menschen. Es gelte, verbind­lich zu klären, was unter guter Betreu­ung zu verste­hen ist und wie Sozi­al­sys­tem und Insti­tu­tio­nen der Schweiz die Betreu­ung als Bestand­teil eines ganz­heit­lich gedach­ten Unter­stüt­zungs­ge­fü­ges älte­rer Menschen einbe­zie­hen können. Nur wenn auch Betreu­ung die gebüh­rende gesell­schaft­li­che Aner­ken­nung erhalte, könne die Schweiz den Menschen ein selbst­be­stimm­tes und gesun­des Älter­wer­den und die Teil­nahme an der Gesell­schaft ermöglichen.

Heraus­ge­bende Stiftungskooperation

Age-Stif­tung, Beis­heim Stif­tung, MBF Foun­da­tion, Migros-Kultur­pro­zent, Paul Schil­ler Stif­tung und Walder Stiftung

Für die heraus­ge­bende Stiftungskooperation 

Patri­zia Rezzoli, Beis­heim Stif­tung,
041 768 76 14, 

Maja Nagel, Paul Schil­ler Stif­tung,
044 796 42 23

Für das Forschungs­team der Fach­hoch­schule Nord­west­schweiz FHNW

Prof. Dr. Carlo Knöp­fel, 079 536 46 76,
Riccardo Pardini, 079 787 39 51,

Stif­ter Hans Schöpf­lin erhält den Deut­schen Stifterpreis

Der Deut­sche Stif­ter­preis wird vom Bundes­ver­band Deut­scher Stif­tun­gen verge­ben. Er wird seit 1994 jähr­lich verlie­hen. Hans Schöpf­lin (78) erhielt den Stif­ter­preis 2020 gemäss dem Bundes­ver­band Deut­scher Stif­tun­gen für seine uner­müd­li­che Suche nach gesell­schaft­li­chen Inno­va­tio­nen, seinen Mut zum Risiko sowie seinen uner­schüt­ter­li­chen Glau­ben an die Ideen und Initia­ti­ven junger Menschen, die die Gesell­schaft gerade durch die Zivil­ge­sell­schaft posi­tiv gestal­ten wollen.

Hans Schöpf­lin

Die neue Geschäfts­füh­re­rin von SwissFoundations

In diesen Tagen star­tet Fran­ziska Juch bei Swiss­Foun­da­ti­ons als Geschäfts­füh­re­rin. Sie folgt auf Beate Eckhardt (siehe Inter­view Seite 24). Die 40-jährige Betriebs­wir­tin bringt einen gros­sen Erfah­rungs­schatz mit. Sie leitete während gut dreier Jahre das Fund­rai­sing der Stif­tung Kinder­dorf Pesta­lozzi. Sie verfügt über ausge­wie­sene Manage­ment- und Führungs­er­fah­rung sowie ein breit gefä­cher­tes Netz­werk im Stif­tungs- und Philanthropiewesen. 

The fede­ral govern­ment: a point of cont­act for civil society

Just as it invol­ved the scien­ti­fic commu­nity, the fede­ral govern­ment has also estab­lished a liai­son office between civil society and the Fede­ral Coun­cil Coro­na­vi­rus Crisis Unit (KSBC). From 16 March, our daily lives were radi­cally alte­red by the lock­down impo­sed by the fede­ral govern­ment. Civil society banded toge­ther and from day one, digi­tal plat­forms emer­ged across Switz­er­land to enable people to offer one another support.

Chari­ta­ble orga­ni­sa­ti­onslocal media and private compa­nies acted decisi­vely, and chari­ties offe­red straight­for­ward help where they could. To take full advan­tage of this commit­ment to tack­ling the coro­na­vi­rus crisis and make use of the full poten­tial of these initia­ti­ves, the fede­ral govern­ment estab­lished a liai­son office during lock­down, which func­tions as a chan­nel between fede­ral admi­nis­tra­tion and civil society. The COVID-19 Civil Society Point of Cont­act was set up and is run by the orga­ni­sa­tion staatslabor. 

The point of cont­act coll­ects requests from civil society in one place. The plat­form enables targe­ted inter­ac­tion with civil initia­ti­ves. This, in turn, allows poten­tial colla­bo­ra­tion between indi­vi­dual initia­ti­ves and the respon­si­ble fede­ral offices to be exami­ned. The aim is to improve the allo­ca­tion of resour­ces within fede­ral govern­ment and civil society. 

Your initia­tive can get invol­ved at

Wie hoch sind die Verteilkosten?

StiftungSchweiz hat Ende Okto­ber ihre Phil­an­thro­pie-Platt­form lanciert. Ein Video, welches den Nutzen der Platt­form aufzei­gen sollte, enthielt eine Aussage, die zu einer kontro­ver­sen Debatte führte. Am 14. Novem­ber 2019 stellte Profes­sor Georg von Schnur­bein, Leiter Center for Phil­an­thropy Studies CEPS in Basel, im sozia­len Netz­werk Linke­dIn eine Aussage von StiftungSchweiz in Frage. In einem Erklär­vi­deo hatte die Online-Platt­form errech­net, dass bei vier Milli­ar­den Fran­ken jähr­li­chen Spen­den­gel­dern in der Schweiz Verteil­kos­ten von einer Milli­arde Fran­ken anfal­len. The Philanthropist nahm diese Kritik zum Anlass, Georg von Schnur­bein einzu­la­den zu einem Gespräch mit Peter Buss, Grün­der von StiftungSchweiz. Der Stif­tungs­sek­tor ist viel­fäl­tig. Dies gilt ebenso für die Seite der geld­sam­meln­den Orga­ni­sa­tio­nen, sprich Projekt­trä­ger, wie für die Seite der Geld­ge­be­rin­nen und ‑geber. Bis heute gibt es keine umfas­sende Statis­tik über die Ausga­ben für den gesam­ten Sektor. Verschie­denste Studien und Auswer­tun­gen decken nur jeweils einzelne Teile ab. Sie beru­hen auf unter­schied­li­chen Grund­ge­samt­hei­ten und verschie­de­nen Stich­pro­ben. Wie sich zeigt, ist die Inter­pre­ta­tion der Werte schwie­rig und kontrovers. 

72 hours for a sustainable Switzerland

On 14 Novem­ber, repre­sen­ta­ti­ves from the non-profit and chari­ta­ble sector gathe­red in the main hall at the Museum of Trans­port in Lucerne, where 350 people took part in the proFonds confe­rence. Read morFrom 16 to 19 Janu­ary 2020, 15,000 child­ren and young people across Switz­er­land spent 72 hours working on 235 projects for a sustainable Switz­er­land. The young people’s projects revol­ved around the UN’s 17 Sustainable Deve­lo­p­ment Goals from its 2030 Agenda. They built bee hotels, repai­red scout centres, imple­men­ted recy­cling ideas and did much more besi­des. 72:00 is a project by the Swiss youth orga­ni­sa­tion SAJV, supported by the Fede­ral Govern­ment, Lote­rie Romande, Sophie und Karl Binding Stif­tung and Stif­tung Merca­tor Schweiz.

The 31st Schwei­zer Stiftungstag

On 14 Novem­ber, repre­sen­ta­ti­ves from the non-profit and chari­ta­ble sector gathe­red in the main hall at the Museum of Trans­port in Lucerne, where 350 people took part in the proFonds confe­rence. Read more

Study shines a light on social benefits

A study laun­ched by Swiss­Foun­da­ti­ons and carried out in colla­bo­ra­tion with PwC Switz­er­land reve­als that chari­ta­ble foun­da­ti­ons bene­fit Swiss society. One parti­cu­larly inte­res­t­ing ques­tion discus­sed was whether society would lose more funds through tax reduc­tions than it would gain in grants. Swiss­Foun­da­ti­ons published the study in July. 

Hand­book on Corpo­rate Foundations

The number of ‘corpo­rate foun­da­ti­ons’ is incre­asing and they are gaining in importance. As a result, it is important to have a better under­stan­ding of how they work. This task is the focus of the ‘Hand­book on Corpo­rate Foun­da­ti­ons’, which will be published by Sprin­ger in early 2020. Nume­rous contri­bu­ti­ons in the book come from the Center for Phil­an­thropy Studies.

Volun­tee­ring to step out of their comfort zone

Volun­teers travel to Greece to help refu­gees who arrive there by boat. In their docu­men­tary ‘Volun­teer’, Anna Thom­men and Lorenz Nufer reveal the birth of a citi­zens’ move­ment that defends Europe’s huma­ni­ta­rian values.

Under­stan­ding Bill Gates

Netflix is devo­ting a three-part series to Microsoft’s foun­der, Bill Gates. The docu­men­tary ‘Inside Bill’s Brain – Deco­ding Bill Gates’ not only shines a light on his succes­ses as a mana­ger; it also high­lights his phil­an­thro­pic work with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foun­da­tion and the role that it plays in current issues.

Eglan­tyne — a theatre play writ­ten and perfor­med by Anne Chamberlain

100 years ago Save the Child­ren was estab­lished by a very coura­ge­ous woman — Eglan­tyne Jebb — who dedi­ca­ted her life to helping the most disad­van­ta­ged child­ren in the world. She not only foun­ded one of the world’s leading orga­niza­ti­ons for children’s rights but also formu­la­ted children’s rights for the first time hers­elf, which laid the foun­da­ti­ons for the UN Conven­tion of the Rights of the Child — 70 years later. In honor of the extra­or­di­nary live and work of the foun­der Eglan­tyne Jebb and of the 30th anni­ver­sary of the UN Conven­tion of the Rights of the Child, Save the Child­ren is hosting an inspi­ring thea­ter play about her life. Please regis­ter for the event. Entry free, dona­ti­ons are welcome.

Charity for ethi­cal ques­ti­ons rela­ting to digitalisation

Digi­tals­witz­er­land laun­ched the Swiss Digi­tal Initia­tive (SDI) at the Swiss Global Digi­tal Summit on 2 Septem­ber. The initia­tive is to be supported by a charity led by former member of the Fede­ral Coun­cil Doris Leuthard. The Swiss Digi­tal Initia­tive aims to set ethi­cal stan­dards in the digi­tal world.

StiftungSchweiz is committed to enabling a modern philanthropy that unites and excites people and has maximum impact with minimal time and effort.

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