Strengthening Switzerland as a liberal foundation location

As a founding member of SwissFoundations, the umbrella association of Swiss grant-making foundations, Gebert Rüf Stiftung is committed to promoting of Switzerland as a liberal foundation location in the sense of professionalising the sector at the interface of politics, science and philanthropic practice.

Objective: Strengthen Switzerland as a foundation location

With its commitment, Gebert Rüf Stiftung wants to contribute to the launch of relevant initiatives and projects with clear added value for Switzerland as a foundation location. This includes the professionalisation of the foundation sector as well as continuing education, advocacy and discussion about the foundation sector. The scaling and sustainable funding of these initiatives are central to support. To this end, Gebert Rüf Stiftung cooperates with funding partners from the third sector, the state and the private sector.

Key funding partners include SwissFoundations, the umbrella association of Swiss grant-making foundations, the Center for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS) and StiftungSchweiz, the digital network platform.


SwissFoundations currently unites over 220 grant-making foundations in Switzerland and gives them a strong and independent voice. Through its members, the association represents more than 30% of the estimated total payments made by charitable foundations in Switzerland. It maintains a dense national and European network, champions optimum legal and social conditions for foundation activities and is committed to the entrepreneurial principles of good governance and results-oriented management.

Among other achievements, SwissFoundations has made a name for itself by publishing Europe’s first-ever foundation governance code for grant-making foundations (Swiss Foundation Code), by launching the Centre for Philanthropy Studies, Switzerland’s first interdisciplinary centre of excellence for foundations and philanthropy in 2008, and as publisher of the annual Swiss Foundation Report in conjunction with two cooperation partners.
Facts and figures about charitable foundations in Switzerland (German)

Center for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS)

As a think tank which concerns itself with the multifaceted topic of philanthropy, the Centre for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS) at the University of Basel considers a wide range of research issues to do with charitable activity, including the creation and management of foundations. The aim of the CEPS is to improve both the scientific foundation of and knowledge about philanthropy. Furthermore, the CEPS provides a direct benefit for foundations and other nonprofit organizations through professional education and coaching. The centre has an interdisciplinary focus and works with different faculties of the University of Basel and with research establishments at other universities as well as institutions rooted in society and business.
Center for Philanthrophy Studies


The Swiss online platform for charitable engagement aims to harness the potential of digitalisation for effective philanthropy.

The online portal provides the necessary information, digital tools and appropriate services for effective, well-connected and transparent philanthropy.  True to the motto "Well-networked to achieve more" and in dialogue with the sector.

StiftungSchweiz is an initiative of Basler Philanthropy Services AG. StiftungSchweiz is backed by Zürcher Kantonalbank and a broad-based consortium of grantmaking foundations.

Submission of projects

Project applications are accepted by invitation only.

Approved projects Foundation & Switzerland

Picture Credits Header

«Das Wildt'sche Haus am Petersplatz» in Basel, by kind permission of the same named foundation, 4 March 2014, Christoph Läser Photograph AG Basel