In 2023, the 14th workshop of the umbrella foundations focused on the topic of “umbrella foundations – a look abroad”. Thanks to three speakers from Germany, France and Luxembourg, 29 participants from 22 Swiss foundations were able to gain new insights into the sector of umbrella foundations in other countries. Compared to Switzerland, many philanthropists in France and Luxembourg focus on one large, comprehensive umbrella foundation. In Germany, the foundation landscape is more diverse. Their legal terms are slightly different from those in Switzerland.
Alice Hengevoss from ceps (Center for Philanthropy Studies) reported that the number of umbrella foundations is constantly increasing. The latest analysis confirm the existence of 28 umbrella foundations in Switzerland. This upward trend was also reported by speakers from abroad. The results showed that the assets of all Swiss umbrella foundations exceeded CHF 1 billion for the first time in 2021. On average, 9.2 million Swiss francs were distributed to social projects. Between 4 and 7 percent of all distributions from around 13,500 non-profit foundations in Switzerland are attributed to the 28 Swiss umbrella foundations. Most of the funding went to Education and Research.
Christoph Degen from proFonds talked about the innovations in the legal and tax sector. Among others, it was crucial that the Federal Tax Administration dispenses with the calculation of VAT on donations in kind, such as the provision of office space.
Finally, Alice Hengevoss explained the guide of the Sunset Studies. How can a foundation be successfully dissolved? An interesting discussion with all participants closed the workshop. Everyone reported on their activities during the past year of the foundation.