Strengthening the Swiss foundation sector through philanthropic expertise

Next submission deadline: 01.12.2021

As a founding member of SwissFoundations, the umbrella association of Swiss grant-making foundations, Gebert Rüf Stiftung is committed to promoting the dynamic development of Switzerland’s foundation sector. To remain effective and innovative going forward, it is essential to actively participate in a debate on issues of self-regulation, positioning and the development of strategic concepts. The «Foundation & Switzerland» area of activity is used by Gebert Rüf Stiftung to support organizations such as SwissFoundations and the CEPS, which initiate such processes.

Objective: Conveying Knowledge

The transfer of knowledge from research to practice has long been a pivotal objective of Gebert Rüf Stiftung. This is why the foundation supports projects that are relevant to actual practice and contribute to the development of the foundation system or drive the debate on foundations forward. The knowledge generated should be passed on through courses, conferences and workshops and made available to a broad spectrum of stakeholders. Other activities that promote the dissemination of knowledge include advocacy and consulting, areas in which Gebert Rüf Stiftung works closely with established institutions such as SwissFoundations and Fondation des Fondateurs. The latter is an independent umbrella foundation which is active throughout Switzerland and offers the opportunity to set up a dependent foundation under the umbrella of an existing grant-making foundation.
Fondation des Fondateurs


SwissFoundations currently unites over 130 grant-making foundations in Switzerland and gives them a strong and independent voice. Through its members, the association represents more than 20% 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.
10 Fakten über gemeinnützige Stiftungen in der Schweiz
SwissFoundations – die Stimme der Schweizer Förderstiftungen

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

Submission of projects

Projects may be submitted to Gebert Rüf Stiftung by one of the quarterly deadlines (1 February, 1 May, 1 September, 1 December) in accordance with the general requirements. The submission procedure has two stages.

Use our web portal to submit your project and upload all the required documents as described in the following guidelines. 

Project evaluation

Projects for the «Foundation & Switzerland» area of activity may be submitted at any time. For ongoing calls for projects the selection process lasts approximately six months, from submission of the project proposal (step one) to the decision on the project application (step two). The board of trustees reaches the grant-making decision at its quarterly plenary meeting on the basis of the support criteria and the strategic objectives of the area of activity.

There is no procedure for appeals or applications for re-examination or reconsideration; no correspondence will be entered into regarding grant-making decisions.

Approved projects Swiss foundation's locations

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