10 OCTOBER 2022

MSC Foundation hosts SwissFoundations workshop based on its own benchmarking work

Workshop brings members of Corporate Foundations Working Group together to examine best practices in the management of administrative and overhead costs


 The MSC Foundation conducted a thorough benchmarking study of the practices of 51 charitable foundations worldwide to support the development of its administrative and operational costs management policy with evidence-based analysis. In subsequently making its related learnings and findings available to fellow organisations in SwissFoundations - a membership association serving 217 Swiss charitable foundations that MSC Foundation joined in 2019 - the idea was formed to hold a workshop to share group findings and thinking on this important matter.

The result was a workshop attended by 15 foundations in the SwissFoundations Corporate Foundations Working Group, a representative cross-section operating in a wide spectrum of fields all across Switzerland, which both gathered at the MSC Headquarters in Geneva and participated online on the 10th of October 2022.

The workshop, entitled “How do corporate foundations deal with administrative/overhead costs” was wide-ranging in its considerations, with sessions examining the following questions amongst others: “What do different foundations define as overheads,” “What do foundations include in overhead costs,” “How are indirect costs calculated,” “Foundations and administrative expenses” and “What are foundations’ main funding sources”.

The outcome of the workshop was a strong agreement that the question of administrative costs management needs to be addressed in depth and that general guidelines for all corporate foundations would be very useful.

Aline Freiburghaus, Co-Director of SwissFoundations, expressed the gratitude of all involved, commenting: “We thank the MSC Foundation for having conceived and hosted this workshop, which has highlighted the need for corporate foundations to cover this important question”.

Marina Anselme, MSC Foundation Secretary General, responded: “We are pleased to have contributed to creating an opportunity to learn from each other, openly discussing and generating consensus on how to improve the management and approaches of corporate foundations, with the direct result of more efficiently advancing the institutional missions to which we are all committed”.