JUNE 2012 - 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 from the 31st of October to the 2nd of November 2012. 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.
The number of foundations in Switzerland continues to increase. This is one of the conclusions from the 2011 report published by the Centre for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS), the University of Zurich, and SwissFoundations. There are currently 12'715 foundations of public interest in Switzerland. One of the most striking finding of this report is the high number of new foundation created, no less than 374 in 2011. The financial resources of these foundations have also increased, showing the resistance of the sector to the economic crisis. The conclusions of this report are encouraging for professionals in this sector, and in particular with regards to the real needs on the ground, which are unfortunately also increasing.
As the philanthropic activities are growing, the necessity to turn towards professionals is higher. Subsequently, how do you ensure the coherence between the projects supported and the mission of the foundation?
To answer this question, WISE and CEPS are offering training focusing on the challenges of grant-making foundations with regards to management and legal issues. In the German speaking part of Switzerland, CEPS has been offering for several years this intensive course on management of grant-making foundation. « Amongst the ten cantons with the biggest number of foundations, the canton of Geneva remains the one with the highest percentage of newly created foundation (4,4%). After the success of the course in Basel, it was important for us to be able to offer this training in Geneva, where the density of foundations is the third highest in the country.» underlines Georg von Schnurbein, director of CEPS.
For Etienne Eichenberger, co-founder of WISE : « This training will allow participants to share their experiences, exchange with experts and above all better apprehend the challenges linked to philanthropic engagements. The objective of this course is to fill a gap as no training of this type existed in the French speaking part of Switzerland. By offering this new training, we seek to reinforce the position of Geneva and contribute to the professionalization of the philanthropic sector. ».
The aim of this programme is to share best practices and address key issues such as governance, strategy, evaluation and impact as well as the collaboration between foundations. Its academic root is reinforced in the French speaking part of Switzerland through the unique collaboration with the Graduate Institute.
This course is specifically designed for foundation managers (grant-making foundation or enterprise foundations), individuals who intend to create a foundation, as well as professionals working directly with foundations.