A record number of Swiss foundations went into liquidation in 2019, but there was also an annual increase in the number of new foundations launched, a preview of the 2020 Swiss Foundation Report has revealed.
The figures collected by the Center for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS) at the University of Basel highlight rapid change in the foundation marketplace. 349 non-profit foundations were founded in Switzerland last year, while 216 were liquidated.
According to the report, due to be published on 28 April, this reflects a general change: although the Swiss foundation system continues to grow, currently comprising over 13,000 charitable foundations, many older foundations appear to be struggling with low interest rates and changes in the funding area. Establishing a foundation remains attractive when focused on today’s social issues, such as the environment. The proportion of funding foundations is also increasing.
The report preview also reveals Switzerland to have one of the highest proportions of foundations compared to the population in the world. On average there are 15.6 foundations per 10,000 inhabitants. The canton of Basel has the most with 45 foundations per 10,000. With 2,219 foundations, the canton of Zurich has the most foundations. The strongest growth however took place in French-speaking Switzerland. In Geneva alone, 65 foundations were founded, while the canton of Zurich shows negative growth.
In addition to current figures and legal developments, the Swiss Foundation Report 2020 also covers topics and trends from the sector, including a European perspective on the relationship between foundations and politics, and the different cantonal foundation strategies in Switzerland, both those already implemented and planned.
The 11th edition of the Swiss Foundation Report will be published on 28 April in German and French. Both versions will be available for download free of charge from www.stiftungsreport.ch. The report is published annually by the Center for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS) at the University of Basel, SwissFoundations, the Association of Swiss Funding Foundations, and the Center for Foundation Law at the University of Zurich.