Foundation database Switzerland - Why does Switzerland need a foundation database? A public register of all charitable foundations does not exist. The state does not offer this. Only a register of all foundations under federal supervision is maintained. However, charitable foundations under cantonal or communal supervision are not listed. Foundations under ecclesiastical supervision are also not listed. Fundraiso.ch began registering all charitable foundations in 2014. It is the first platform to offer all foundations in this way. The site www.stipendium.ch operates a similar scholarship database, but does not go thematically beyond the topic of education funding.

Foundation database Switzerland

Who is the Swiss Foundation Database for?

Many target groups depend on the use of a foundation database. Numerous foundations have assets that they use for charitable purposes. Accordingly, charitable organisations or other potential recipients of these funds are interested in the individual foundations. Lawyers and trustees often act as administrators of foundations. A database helps them find new clients. Asset managers are also interested in foundations because foundations are potential clients. The various foundation associations use a foundation database to find potential new members. Finally, a foundation directory is also useful for each individual foundation because potential partners or like-minded people can be found easily. Synergies, joint projects and an increase in the efficiency of the Swiss foundation sector is ultimately the consequence of a high-quality foundation database.

What challenges does fundraiso's foundation database pose for foundations?

No foundation remains hidden. That is the short answer to the question. Therefore, sooner or later, every foundation will be forced to open up. Every foundation must make it clear what it stands for. Hiding behind the generally formulated purpose in the commercial register no longer makes sense. Otherwise, too many aspirants will send applications for support and cause a pointless paper war that no foundation wants to deal with voluntarily. It is therefore worthwhile to look to Germany and learn from the conditions there. It has become essential to have a website or at least a Facebook page. It must be immediately clear to everyone what a foundation does, how to contact it and who the contact person is. If this is not done, the problems mentioned above will arise.

Users' conclusion about the Swiss Foundation Database after 3 years

The efficiency gains in terms of saving time when researching foundations naturally make the users of the foundation database feel positive. At the same time, concerns are expressed. In the past, only professional consultants and agencies had access to similarly high-quality data material. Today, it is accessible to all. The advantage of individual consultants is melting away because the knowledge advantage, at least in the address file, is gone. A quote from a user in the field of foundation fundraising:

In the past, only a select group of people approached foundations with applications for funding. Since the launch of various internet platforms, numerous foundations have been flooded with applications. They are unable to respond to the requests and are thinking about liquidating their foundations.

As described above, it is no longer appropriate today (as in Germany) to be "bombarded" with applications. Accordingly, transparency measures are needed in the form of websites, contact persons, etc. where it can also be clearly communicated by whom one wants to be contacted in the first place.

At the same time, this is primarily public commercial register data which, according to the Federal Administrative Court, may be published timelessly. This is because, as the court argues, the public interest of the general public in simply having access to commercial register data outweighs this. This confirms the need for a Swiss foundation database that is accessible to every man and woman.