FOUNDATION GOVERNANCE

Effective realization of the foundation mission



As a social non-profit organisation Gebert Rüf Stiftung is tax-exempt. It endeavours to use its limited funds as best possible to make an effective contribution to supporting innovative, non-mainstream projects in the public interest. It bases its decisions of best practice rules and adheres to the principles and recommendations of the Swiss Foundation Code.

Entrepreneurial support foundation


The bodies of Gebert Rüf Stiftung follow entrepreneurial guidelines of Good Governance, which are applied to the specific funding context: transparency in terms of strategy (supporting/selection criteria), professional organization and activity; continuous monitoring and coaching activities; ongoing support activities; avoiding conflicts of interest; implementing checks and balances. The goal of all funding activities is the effective realization of the foundation’s statement.

How Switzerland’s foundation sector is organised


Switzerland’s foundation sector is not a socially and politically autonomous force. In fact, the Swiss foundation sector is extremely underorganised. There are three main reasons for this:
  • Wide variety of diverse foundation types (lack of common ground)
  • A foundation landscape dominated by small and micro sized foundations (problem of subcritical mass)
  • The majority of foundations are closely tied in with law offices and banks (stamp of discretion)
     
However, there are two associations with quite different focuses that are open to foundations for membership:
  1. proFonds serves all kinds of charitable organisation; as a result of this broad membership diversity, association activities are very confined.
  2. By contrast, SwissFoundations caters exclusively for traditional foundations, i.e. foundations which essentially finance their grant-making activities from their own income (grant-making foundations). The fact that members’ interests overlap to a very high degree allows for a large number of theme-driven association activities.

Commitment for Switzerland as foundation domicile


Gebert Rüf Stiftung is a founding member of SwissFoundations. This association of grant-making foundations in Switzerland promotes Switzerland as a location for foundations and the foundation principle itself through a number of internal and external activities. Gebert Rüf Stiftung plays an active part in the association's managing committee and by initiating, funding and accompanying various projects it makes major contributions to emerging issues such as «Foundation Governance» (according to what principles should foundations be managed?) and «Foundation Management» (how can a foundation's work be made as effective as possible?) Insights gained are put into practice in Gebert Rüf Stiftung's own work.

Gebert Rüf Stiftung bundles its activities in support of the Swiss foundation scene in its passive area of activity Stiftung Schweiz.