- The largest conference around philanthropy ever held in Geneva
Under the initiative of WISE, philanthropy advisors, and the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation (SPF) and with the support of eight entrepreneurs and foundations, Geneva will host the largest conference to date in Switzerland around philanthropy, the annual conference of European Venture Philanthropy Association (EVPA). The event will take place from 26 to 27 November 2013 at the International Conference Centre Geneva (CICG).
- First university degree in sustainable finance in Geneva
Four institutions collaborate to provide a high level training strongly focused on practice, addressing issues and tools of sustainable finance. Classes will be held in May 2013 in Geneva. Etienne Eichenberger, co-founder of WISE, will teach the course on philanthropy.
- Dear David Beckham
By announcing that your entire salary as PSG player would be donated to charities supporting children, you have created the surprise. The admiration too. It is a decision "fairly unique" and "probably has not been taken before" in your words. Your decision appeals to all of us because it reminds us of our own questioning about our relationship to society, but also poses very pragmatic questions. (Bilan, www.bilan.ch)
- Philanthropy: to give more or better?
Last week, the Beacon Awards organized by the Community Foundation Network rewarded the most innovative or inspiring philanthropists in England. Two hundred people attended the Awards under the sign of "effective philanthropy." At the same time, at the end of January in New York, Michael Bloomberg announced a donation of USD 350 million to Johns Hopkins University, reaching a record donation of more than $ 1 billion to a single university. These two events are quite symbolic of the challenge of philanthropy today: to give more or better? (Bilan, www.bilan.ch)
- Workshop for Families in Philanthropy & Impact Investing
WISE collaborated with LGT Venture Philanthropy to host a workshop for Families in Philanthropy & Impact Investing which was held in Parpan on the 11&12 January 2013. The workshop offered both younger and senior members of families, coming from many different countries, the opportunity to learn from each other in a comfortable peer-to-peer environment, build a global network of families active in philanthropy as well as impact investing and benefit from synergies.
- WISE receives the Innovation Award 2012
WISE, philanthropy advisors received yesterday the "Innovation Award 2012" at the 10th economic event of the Chamber of Commerce, Industry and Services (CCIG), organized in partnership with the Office for the Promotion of Industries and Technologies (OPI) and the Department of Regional Affairs, Economy and Health (DARES). The award, given for the first time this year, was received by WISE for its innovative philanthropic projects and quality of services that contribute to Geneva’s recognition.
- A Resource board to leverage the knowledge of recognised professionals
A group of nine highly recognised professionals have joined WISE’s newly created Resource board to bring a complementary perspective to the field of philanthropy. By bringing together once a year experts from different fields interrelated to philanthropy, WISE seeks to benefit from the knowledge and experience of recognised professionals.
- STEP Private Client Awards: WISE, first Swiss firm to receive one of the most prestigious Awards for philanthropy advisors
WISE, philanthropy advisors, is the first Swiss firm to win the prestigious « Philanthropy Team of the Year » at the STEP Private Client Awards, which were held last Wednesday evening in London. This award, given by the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), is awarded every year to the organization delivering the best quality of philanthropic advice.
- WISE partners with the LIN Center for Community Development in Vietnam for their first roundtable on Strategic philanthropy
Maurice Machenbaum, executive direct of WISE based in Vietnam since October 2011, intervened at the Roundtable discussion around Strategic philanthropy organised for the first time by the LIN Center for individual philanthropists in the Ho Chi Minh City (HCMC) area in Vietnam. This first roundtable, held on the 11th of July 2012, brought together experienced and new philanthropists to provide an opportunity to develop their goals and strategies.
- STEP Private Client, Awards 2012/13 : WISE is among the finalists
The STEP Private Client Awards is an important award attributed by the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). This organization, with branches in 81 countries and over 17’500 members, gives every year these awards which highlight excellence among private client solicitors/attorneys, accountants, barristers, bankers, trust managers and financial advisors. For the 3rd consecutive year, wise – philanthropy advisors is among the finalists in the category “Philanthropy Team of the Year”.
- First course for grant-making foundations
Endeavouring to make philanthropy more professional, the Centre for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS) at the University of Basel and wise philanthropy advisors (WISE) are initiating the first course for grant-making foundations in the French speaking part of Switzerland. Developed in collaboration with the Graduate Institute of Geneva, this training intends to connect the theoretical knowledge and the practical aspects of managing a grant-making foundation.
- Individual Principles for the Responsible Investor
The association Sustainable Finance Geneva (SFG) presented its «Individual Principles for the Responsible Investor» (IPRI) during the launch event on the 8th of May. It is the first time that principles, designed around successive actions, are developed to assist finance professionals in their thought process.
- Training for social entreprises
You have created an organization working on social or environmental issues over a year ago? You wish to strengthen the strategy of your organization? Ensure its viability over the years? Improve how you measure your social impact? The “Concours Impact” developed by Ashoka offers a personalized complimentary coaching during 4 months to help you assess these elements and structure your business plan.
- At the heart of social innovation
What makes a social entrepreneur different from others? How to identify the most innovative social entrepreneurs that will drive systemic change in their field and have social impact on a large scale? How can innovative collaborations scale up the impact of social innovations? These are among the questions that will be raised at the next conference organized by Ashoka in partnership with WISE and Philias.
- To give is to choose
"It is not enough to give; it has to be done wisely" reminds an entrepreneur engaged in philanthropy.
(Banque & Finance, www.banque-finance.ch)
- Philanthropy, above the crisis
Etienne Eichenberger, co-founder of wise - philanthropy advisors, explains how giving is evolving in Switzerland. The profile of donors has changed.
(La Banque Suisse, www.labanquesuisse.ch)
- It is not enough to be generous to be effective!
The entrepreneurial approach as an essential factor to reduce poverty was at the heart of the debate organised by wise – philanthropy advisors during the fifth philanthropy breakfast that was held at the Société de Lecture in Geneva on 27th September. This vision revealed itself to be primordial for the three entrepreneurs invited on the panel.
- Wise – philanthropy advisors is developing internationally with the opening of an office in Vietnam
Following its strategy of international development, wise – philanthropy advisors (WISE), the Swiss-based company extends its international focus with the opening of its first regional office in Hô Chi Minh (Vietnam) to cover its activities in Asia. Through this action, WISE is supporting its desire to be even closer to the direct beneficiaries, strengthening as well its capacity to guide its Asia based clients.
- The rapid changes in Asia also inspires the philanthropic sector
In the last weeks, both Crédit Suisse and UBS have launched insightful studies on philanthropy. Noticeably, Credit Suisse’s White Paper refers to wise – philanthropy advisors (WISE) amongst the key global service providers enabling philanthropists ‘to unlock entrepreneurial potential in developing markets.’
- An exclusive meeting, Families in Philanthropy, 22-23 September 2011
For the 2011 edition of Families in Philanthropy, the center Les Pensières, a property of the family Merieux’s foundation, will be hosting individual donors and families of philanthropists represented over several generations. At this year’s gathering, the focus will be on the family dynamic, the obstacles that donors can face when engaging in philanthropy as a family as well as the relationship with partner organizations in the field.
- An « umbrella » foundation to support donors
In 2010 alone, the Swiss Philanthropy Foundation (SPF) has helped 121 individual donors, companies and foundations and has allocated 6 million Swiss Francs in social project locally as well as internationally.
- A field trip to Lebanon
Going on the field is a high point in a philanthropic engagement. This Spring wise - philanthropy advisors has once again experienced it when accompanying a family to Lebanon for a four days visit to meet with the organisation they are supporting. The objective of the visit was two folded : get a better understanding of the project the family is supporting and have a better comprehension of the local context.
- Philanthropy - What it provides to families in business
Family business philanthropy, though widely practiced all over the world, is an area that is still unexplored and little commented on. The field is, however, fast evolving and has witnessed much innovation. In this article we discuss what makes a successful engagement and the benefits for families that get involved in philanthropy. Two case studies are presented that illustrate the successful implementation of philanthropy for families in business.
(Tharawat magazine, www.tharawat-magazine.com)
- Trainings for trusted advisors
As philanthropy advisors, wise - philanthropy advisors also offers training to trusted advisors with the objective to give them the confidence and tools to address in a pro-active manner philanthropy with their clients. Over the last seven years WISE has introduced the subject to hundreds of bankers and lawyers in Geneva, London, Brussels, Luxembourg, Monaco and Paris in the context of institutional collaborations or events.
- 2011 CoF Family Philanthropy Conference: a report from Etienne Eichenberger
‘Keep it simple, human, humble and dare to try’: this was the essence of Paul Bennett’s message to the 2011 Council on Foundations (CoF) Family Philanthropy Conference, which took place between 23 and 25 January in New York. Bennett, chief creative officer at IDEO, was inviting the 800 representatives of family foundations who attended the conference to act creatively in their philanthropy – be it as grantmakers, trustees or advisers.
(Alliance magazine, www.alliancemagazine.org)
- Private foundations, umbrella foundations, which alternative for Swiss donors?
In recent years, the philanthropic sector has significantly grown in Switzerland and in Europe. In parallel to the change in legislation and in donors’ expectations, who want to give throughout their lifetime and wish to measure their impact, the number of new foundations and philanthropic engagements has expanded rapidly.
- The Giving Pledge an agenda for philanthropy advisers
On 16 June, Bill and Melinda Gates and Warren Buffett publicly invited US billionaires to pledge the majority of their wealth to charity. [...] What effect will the pledge and these potential resources have and what implications will they have for the role of philanthropy advisers?
(Courtesy of Alliance magazine, www.alliancemagazine.org)
- Fourth Philanthropy Breakfast
wise - philanthropy advisors has some traditions. One of them is the Philanthropy Breakfast in September which gives the opportunity to advisors (lawyers, bankers, fiduciaries) to be kept informed about the field. The first meetings of the kind focused on philanthropy as a growing sector. The fourth reunion, held on the 24th of September at La Société de Lecture in Geneva, recognized that the priority today is not to define the subject but rather understand the practical approaches. In other words, to speak about the «how» instead of the «what».
- wise – philanthropy advisers
This summer wise - philanthropy advisors (WISE) collaborated with an editor on a new brochure. In the form of a newspaper article, it relates the testimonial of two donors who have been working with WISE for several years. Etienne, executive director of wise, explains that «the intention with this brochure was to let donors speak about their personal stories and with their words tell concretely how wise supports them.»
- STEP Private Client, Awards 2010/11 : wise – philanthropy advisors is among the finalists
The STEP Private Client Awards is an important award attributed by the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). This organization, with branches in 33 countries and over 14’000 members, gives every year these awards which highlight excellence among private client solicitors/attorneys, accountants, barristers, bankers, trust managers and financial advisors. This year wise – philanthropy advisors is among the finalists in the category “Philanthropy Team of the Year” 2010/11.
- An exclusive meeting, Families in Philanthropy, 7-8 October 2010
For the 2010 edition of Families in Philanthropy, the center Les Pensières, a property of the family Merieux’s foundation, will be hosting individual donors and families of philanthropists represented over several generations. At this year’s gathering, the focus will be on the impact of engagements, giving in family, as well as the personal engagement in philanthropic projects.
- «Les dons pour la philanthropie n'ont pas diminué avec la crise»
(Hebdo, May 2010)
This article, publised in l'Hebdo, interviews Etienne Eichenberger to discuss about the pro-active engagements of donors in the current economic context. (Article available only in french)
- "Is a new form of philanthropy (re)inventing capitalism with a social conscience?"
This reference book, written by Virginie Seghers, gathers, for the first time, testimonies of 24 “philanthro-capitalists” and philanthropy experts. Among them, a reflective exchange with Etienne Eichenberger and Maurice Machenbaum, on Switzerland and wise - philanthropy advisors. The book gives for the first time a panorama on philanthropy and focuses especially on a “new generation of “philanthro-capitalists” for whom giving is a new form of “social investment”. A work which contributes to shed light on this still discreet practice.
- A trip to Asia.
Seeing the result of your donations with your own eyes and benefiting from a field visit to discover new philanthropic opportunities. Beginning of 2010 a couple experienced such a trip when they went for a week to Vietnam and Cambodia accompanied by Maurice Machenbaum, co-founder of wise - philanthropy advisors.
- Unique course at IMD for influential individuals.
The renowned International Institute for Management Development (IMD) has invited wise - philanthropy advisors to teach an optional two hours course on philanthropy. The course entitled « Responsible Leadership – An eye opener » lies within the program « Building on Talent – Developing the Next Generation of Leaders » (BOT).
- Reflecting on responsible leadership today.
(Philanthropy UK, December 2009)
Philanthropy is a discrete but active field in Switzerland with about one foundation for every 1000 citizens. Like many other economies, over the past few months Switzerland has been faced with a new reality, notably in the financial industry, which no one had predicted would happen within this generation.
- The association Sustainable Finance Geneva blows out its first candle.
With a common interest to increase the awareness of financial players to responsible investment solution and promote the Swiss and Genevan financial centres as major actors in sustainable finance, this association of Geneva-based professionals sees itself as a platform to share ideas and drive action especially around philanthropy, responsible investment or even microfinance.
- A week-end for exchange around family philanthropy.
Mid-September, wise brought together six families of entrepreneurs from all over Europe to share their experiences in terms of philanthropy. The Mérieux family welcomed the participants in the beautiful gardens of the Pensières center, around the lake of Annecy, in what turned out to be the first private meeting of families around the theme of philanthropy.
- Brainstorming around leading foundations in times of change.
wise - philanthropy advisors has been commissioned by the Banque du Luxembourg to jointly shape the agenda of a conference organized by the Bank on 8-9 October.
- «The role and impact of foundations in times of crisis»: conference for a public based in the French speaking part of Switzerland.
A conference on «The role and impact of foundations in times of crisis» will be held in Geneva on the 23rd of September 2009. Organised by SwissFoundations, it offers to analyse and answer some topical questions through debates and panels.
- «Confidence of a Philanthropist», six family entrepreneurs reveal their commitments to philanthropy
Mandated by the Banque de Luxembourg, wise - philanthropy advisors took an active role in publishing a booklet entitled « Confidence of a Philanthropist» relating to the philanthropy within entrepreneurial families.
- Field trip - News from Tanzania
During a five day trip, wise - philanthropy advisors allowed a young philanthropist to discover a project set up by CAMFED Tanzania.
- Wise - philanthropy advisors approached by Barclays Bank and the Economist Intelligence Unit for a new study
Within the context of its new reflection on the relationship between family offices and philanthropy, Barclays Bank has summoned WISE among others for advice on their report « Barclays Wealth Insights - Volume 8 : Family Business : In Safe Hands ? ».
- A training in philanthropy for the young generation
Upon an initiative lead by the Swiss bank Lombard Odier, « Make a Difference » offers a learning journey in Brazil in view of raising awareness and training family business members of the younger generation. The programme, scheduled from the 6th to the 15th of August 2009, offers a unique field experience with experienced professionals.
- "Why Others?", a reflection on the art of giving
Etienne Eichenberger and Maurice Machenbaum were among those who contributed to writing this essay on philanthropy. The work which explores the main principles of giving shows how anyone can give and the pleasure that results from intelligent giving...
- The role of advisors in philanthropy
(STEP, February 2009)
There is a seismic shift underway in the landscape of European philanthropy. Six out of ten of Europe’s most trusted advisors believe that philanthropy will become increasingly important over the next five years, ...
- Wise - philanthropy advisors invests in Luxembourg
Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker recently inaugurated the Fondation du Luxembourg to develop a philanthropy policy in his country. The project follows a joint study carried out by the Banque de Luxembourg, WISE and FSG Social Impact Advisors...
- Luxembourg fosters a culture of giving
(Philanthropy UK, 22 January 2009)
The Foundation de Luxembourg has been launched, less than one year on from Prime Minister Jean-Claude Juncker’s declaration that it was time for the country to develop a philanthropy policy. ...
- Why others ?
(LODH, October 2008)
One of today’s challenges is how to become more professional in philanthropic involvement. What are the project’s long-term prospects? How can the goals be achieved and how is the money being used? ...
- A new study shows that professional advisors are not meeting current demands in philanthropy
(Scorpio Partnership, 15 October 2008)
Six out of ten professionals from private banking, multi-family offices, board members of foundations, lawyers and accountants with private clients, believe that philanthropy will soar in the next five years ...
- Charities wise up to create a business opportunity
(The Financial Time, 9 October 2008)
Small and particularly mid-sized charities are now an important potential source of new business for UK private client and institutional money managers...
- Luxembourg invests in philanthropy
(Private Banking, September 2008)
Over the last twenty years, philanthropy has seen phenomenal development in Europe. Well, not quite everywhere in Europe. Although Luxembourg has a great many advantages, it has only played a minor role in philanthropy so far...
- Crossing borders: an essential guide for philanthropists
(Philanthropy UK, September 2008)
Overseas development continues to rank amongst the most popular causes for UK donors. Last year, donations to international development charities were around £1 billion, or 9% of total UK giving. Historically, however, Britain’s wealthy have been less likely to give internationally...
- Europe gets the bug
(Intelligent Life, Summer 2008)
American-style philanthropy is catching on over here. Matthew Bishop explains.
- The view from the other side
(Alliance magazine, June 2008)
Alliance asked four NGOs about their relationships with their funders, to what extent they welcome involvement, where they draw the line, and whether some types of donor are more likely to want to be involved than others. Although all four set clear boundaries, it seems that most of their experiences with donors wanting to be involved have been positive.
- Philanthropy for Next Generation
A Learning Journey in Brazil in August 2008
«(…) There is nothing more powerful than a social entrepreneur with a great idea.»