Would you like to become a founder?

You wish to do something worthwhile with your assets. But you find donating money too impersonal and not sufficiently transparent. You wish to be personally involved in social projects and have a say in entrepreneurial decisions. Perhaps you wish to pursue a specific issue or a particular grant-making objective. We will support you in your plans and help you to find a solution.

Promoting education, research and innovation

Traditionally, in Switzerland more money is donated to cultural and social ventures than to the ERI (education, research, innovation) sector. However, it is a society's level of know-how today that determines its prosperity tomorrow – and with that a high standard of cultural achievement and a high degree of social stability.

However, some potential grant-makers are discouraged by the complexity of ERI themes. Gebert Rüf Stiftung has been engaged in the ERI sector for almost 15 years and has built up a dense network within universities and institutes of applied science, etc. We will be happy to advise you.

An independent foundation is often not a good solution

Establishing a foundation is relatively quick. However, many founders underestimate the annual administration costs, which experience shows can run to between CHF 50,000 and CHF 100,000 even for small foundations. And frequently the return on assets is not commensurate with the foundation objective and administrative costs. There is also a danger that smaller foundations soon become inactive and ossified. Many services suddenly have to be bought in from external providers. Setting up an independent foundation is only a good solution if the foundation assets are sufficiently large to ensure that the foundation can operate over the long term. It is advisable to hold minimum assets of CHF 10 million.

Your foundation within the foundation

One attractive alternative for smaller pools of assets is to establish an independent foundation (fund) under the umbrella of an existing grant-making foundation. The Swiss-wide independent umbrella foundation «Fondation des Fondateurs» offers this possibility: Under an umbrella foundation, fixed costs are shared. Individual solutions can nonetheless be implemented. The «Fondation des Fondateurs», which is subject to the Swiss Federal Supervisory Board for Foundations, therefore guarantees maximum impact while keeping administrative costs low.
More to the problem of dormant foundations
Link to «Fondation des Fondateurs»

Save the expense of costly consulting fees

Make a wise move: Contact independent institutions that do not live from consultancy mandates:
Fondation des Fondateurs