WISE in 2022: same vision, new perspectives

April 2022

For the past 18 years, WISE-philanthropy advisors have been relentlessly pursuing the realisation of its vision: to provide effective and personalised support for philanthropic initiatives that contribute to a better world. Over the past two years, our world has changed and WISE is changing too, as our 2022 outlook shows.

Outlook for 2022

Expansion of European-based projects. The war in Ukraine and the Covid crisis have raised awareness of the issues at hand and in Europe, on various themes such as refugees, migrants, autism, loneliness, or entrepreneurship of the most vulnerable. Over the past two years, we have developed an increasing number of local projects for our clients, particularly in Switzerland, France, England and the neighbouring countries of Ukraine.

Donor collaboration. The rapid evolution of technologies, as well as the increasing visibility of global challenges, are prompting the donors with whom we work with to engage in strategic collaborations. They are taking on more risk in a bolder joint approach, to achieve greater impact.

Professionalisation of foundation boards. To paraphrase Blaise Matthey of the Fédération des Entreprises Romandes, the time has come to strengthen the governance of all types of legal entities, and foundation boards are no exception. With this in mind, we have launched the Foundation Board Academy with two other partners in Switzerland to help board members face the challenges of a rapidly changing society. The first edition of our agile seminars in the French speaking part of Switzerland are take place this spring.

What about the younger generations? We see how important it is to create the right framework and conditions for younger people to take part in the new models of engagement that are currently emerging. Once again, we offer them the possibility to participate in our training courses: the NextGen Philanthropy Bootcamp or the grants available with Board for Good will enable them to acquire the necessary skills and develop their networks to become astute players in philanthropy.

Evolution of the team

After 18 years as co-founder and partner, Maurice Machenbaum decided at the end of 2021 – after careful consideration – to retire from the company. A pioneer in philanthropy advisory, beyond the success of WISE since its creation with Etienne Eichenberger in 2004, Maurice has contributed to the development of the sector as a whole by establishing the profession of accompanying philanthropists in their endeavours.

“It has been a wonderful adventure for me and a privilege to be able to contribute, with my partners and colleagues, to the development of philanthropy and to the social impact of many projects around the world,” Maurice told us. “As I embark on a new phase of my life with the ambition to dedicate more time to the passions that drive me, I am grateful to my partners for their support in my endeavours and feel confident in leaving a healthy company with a professional, solid and committed team”. Maurice is approaching this new stage from Vietnam where he has lived since 2013.

Martial Paris, who joined WISE in 2008 before becoming a partner in 2019, will continue to develop the company alongside Etienne Eichenberger. “The transition with Maurice was a very natural one as we have been working there together for the last three years,” confirms Martial Paris. “WISE is very well placed to continue to grow in a world where strategic philanthropy is playing an increasingly important role”.

Geneva, 13 April 2022