What type of fund is right for me ?

  • If you want to support specific projects without incurring the cost and management burden of running your own private foundation, a donor advised fund is the best choice for you.
  • If you want to join forces with several other like-minded philanthropists, a donor collaborative is a good option.
  • If you want to support a cause you care about (health, education, etc.), thematic funds are right for you.
  • If you want to donate to an organisation elsewhere in Europe as easily as when donating to a charity in Switzerland, TGE is the best solution for you.

What contribution to administrative costs?

  • For each hosted fund, a one-off opening contribution is deducted, as well as a regular annual contribution, to cover administrative costs. Depending on the characteristics of the hosted fund, the annual contribution consists of a percentage of the annual disbursements or a percentage of the fund’s capital. The most appropriate contribution for your situation will be determined when your fund is set up.
  • We offer a range of bespoke solutions, including assistance with project management (identifying beneficiary organisations, grant planning, monitoring, etc.).

Is there a minimum contribution required ?

  • The minimum contribution is CHF 100,000 per year for donor advised and donor collaborative, with a minimum commitment of 3 years.

Am I free to manage my fund according to my wishes ?

  • You are free to recommend organisations or projects you wish to support through your fund.
  • The cooperation agreement you sign with the Foundation defines the members of the steering committee, which must include the founder and/or a representative, a member or representative of the Foundation. You may also decide to include outside experts, family members or friends as committee members
  • You are also free to recommend service providers to manage your fund’s assets.

What is my legal responsibility ?

  • Donor advised funds are independent but have no separate legal personality. The Foundation is legally liable for the activities of the funds it hosts. It therefore ensures that the recommendations made by the fund’s steering committee are legally sound and aligned with its stated aims. The role of the founder(s) is clearly defined in the cooperation agreement.

Can I make changes to a fund or close it down ?

  • You can make changes to your fund, for instance by adding a member to the steering committee, by modifying the amount of your annual contribution or by changing its stated aims (provided these are aligned with your original intentions and the Foundation’s objectives).
  • You can also decide to close a fund if the necessary financial resources are no longer available, or if you wish to transfer its capital to a foundation of your choice, including one you have set up yourself.
  • For a donation to be tax-exempt, it must be disinterested and irrevocably earmarked, as defined in art. 56, let. g LIFD. As donations are irrevocable, they cannot be returned to the donor. These conditions apply to all donations made to the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation via a hosted fund, including the Transnational Giving Europe fund for cross-border donations.

How time-consuming is it to run a philanthropic fund ?

  • Thematic funds are the least time-consuming : you decide how much you want to donate, in the form of an initial capital or periodic contribution, and the Foundation Board selects the projects supported by the fund. You are informed on a regular basis about how grants are used. Your level of involvement in the process can be discussed on a case-by-case basis.
  • Donor advised funds allow you to engage more fully in the running of the fund, depending on where your interests lie. It is especially suitable for individuals or families who want to focus on supporting specific projects over a defined time period, or who want to engage in philanthropy without setting up a private foundation.
  • Donor collaborative are the most time-consuming of the three, since founders need to coordinate with each other, although the time required can vary widely depending on the nature and complexity of the fund’s aims. This solution is especially suitable for established foundations seeking to work differently by leveraging their collective impact.

Is there an ideal time to set up a philanthropic fund ?

  • Swiss Philanthropy Foundation supports philanthropic projects of various levels of maturity; the nature of the funds it hosts reflects this diversity. You don’t need to have a detailed plan of action before setting up your fund, as we will assist you in defining your objectives.
  • There is no ideal age to begin your philanthropy. Swiss Philanthropy Foundation can help you get started by recommending external advisers and experts to assist you in developing your project.

How can I involve my family or relatives ?

  • The steering committee makes all the important decisions concerning the fund, including which projects to support and how grants are allocated and disbursed. Committee members can include family members and/or external experts and partners. If necessary, Swiss Philanthropy Foundation can recommend philanthropy advisers and other highly qualified experts to help you define and realise your philanthropic objectives.

Will my fund be visible or discreet ?

  • It is entirely up to you how visible you wish to be. You can give your fund your name or choose a more generic title.
  • The question of your fund’s positioning is addressed in the cooperation agreement with the Foundation. Please note that the Swiss charities regulatory authority has access to all relevant information about the fund.

What relationships does Swiss Philanthropy Foundation maintain with its service providers ?

  • Swiss Philanthropy Foundation regularly works with external service providers such as banks, lawyers, notaries, accounting firms and philanthropy advisers.
  • On this basis, the Foundation occasionally calls on WISE Philanthropy Advisors for expert guidance, ensuring a bespoke and highly professional approach, especially for its thematic funds. Moreover, one of WISE’s partner serve in a volunteer capacity as members of the Foundation Board in order to support the development of a hosting foundation in Western Switzerland.