Source of information
SwissFoundations - Association of Grant-making Foundations in Switzerland

The establishment of a charitable foundation requires assets being dedicated to a special purpose. It is not possible to transfer the assets back to the founder. Apart from public-benefit foundations, there is a variety of foundation types in Switzerland, such as ecclesiastical foundations, staff welfare foundations, for-profit enterprises organised as foundations (corporate foundations), etc.

Number of foundations

Approx. 13,172 public-benefit foundations (2016 - source: Swiss foundation report 2017)

Pool of assets

CHF 70 billion / € 65 billion (Estimation - 2013 - source: Swiss Foundation Report 2016)

Total expenditure

CHF 1.5 - 2 billion / € 1.6 - 1.8 billion (Estimation - 2013 - source: Swiss Foundation Report 2016)

More on the sector
Centre for Philanthropy Studies at the University of Basel
Répertoire Fédéral des Fondations – publically available electronic database of foundations under federal supervision, with data on the purpose, address and board members. (Currently, 3’834 foundations are under federal supervision.)
Centre for Foundation Law, University of Zurich
Further reading
Swiss Foundation Report 2016, Centre for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS) and Zentrum für Stiftungsrecht, SwissFoundations, 2016 (For other languages or previous reports)
EUFORI STUDY : European Foundations for Research and Innovation : Switzerland Country Report, European Union, 2015. Die Honorierung der obersten Leitungsorgane von Nonprofit-Organisationen (DE) (Remuneration of the highest governing bodies of non-profit organisations), Centre for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS), 2012 Advancing Philanthropy in Switzerland. A Vision for a Cooperative and Recognized Philanthropic Sector, Fondation 1796, 2010 Swiss Foundation Code 2009. Principles and Recommendations for the Establishment and Management of Grant-Making Foundations. Good Governance Code for grant-making foundations, SwissFoundations, Center for Philanthropy Studies, University of Bale, 2009