Today’s generation of philanthropists is not confined to the ultra-wealthy.
They are increasingly taking a business-like approach to donating, aimed at ensuring
their donations will be used to maximum effect.

Ceres a Swiss Umbrella Foundation

Establishing a Swiss foundation is an act whereby a founder irrevocably commits funds to a separate legal entity in order to achieve a specific purpose which can be of a charitable nature. The governing body of a Swiss foundation is the Foundation Board, which has the ultimate responsibility for organizing and supervising the foundation’s activities in compliance with its purpose clause.

The concept of an umbrella foundations liberates the donor form all administrative tasks related to the handling of a Swiss foundation (like accounting, auditing, reporting to tax, supervisory and other authorities etc.) which are taken over by the Board of Ceres. The donor has thus the freedom to concentrate on the charitable activity he has chosen, while benefitting from the supervisory regime and charitable tax exemption of a standalone foundation. Ceres has the ability to help him select, supervise and audit his charitable projects either directly or via its vast network of advisors.

Ceres undertakes charitable activities worldwide. test

Ceres is tax exempt and supervised by the Swiss Federal Department of Home Affairs.

Ceres has an independent board of professionals with banking, legal and tax background and is audited by KPMG.

Ceres is remunerated for its services on an arms’ length basis and in accordance with the requirements of the Swiss Supervisory Authority.

Advantages of using a Swiss Umbrella Foundation





Board members


Jean-Philippe is a qualified Swiss lawyer. He pursued his studies in Switzerland and the US and completed them with a Master in Laws at Cambridge University and a PhD from Zurich University. Over the last twenty years, he has practised law within internationally known law firms and financial institutions in Geneva, Zurich and Washington. He has been involved for many years in setting up and managing charitable foundations in Switzerland and elsewhere. He teaches at the University of Lausanne and is a regular speaker at international expert gatherings.


Christian holds a Swiss law degree. He has been working for Banque Pictet & Cie SA since 1990 as client relationship manager. Previously, he spent six years at UBS in Geneva and New-York. Christian has been involved for many years in managing charitable foundations created by the initiative of some of his private clients.


Benoît is a leading competition law expert. He has extensive experience in all areas of Swiss and European competition law. Benoît is also a recognized specialist in the law of tax-exempt/non-profit organizations. He has incorporated numerous international foundations and associations and regularly advises clients with respect to the structuring and implementation of charitable projects in Switzerland and abroad.


Mariella has a law degree from the Univerity of Geneva and qualified as a notary in Geneva in 2001. Having worked as a notary for a large firm in Geneva, she became a partner at Poncet, Buhler, Lacin & Vallery in 2008. Over her career she has gained extensive experience of setting up numerous foundations for her clients.

Structure of Ceres

Examples of projects supported by Ceres

NEPAL: Nepal Orphans Home (NHO)

Since 2005, NHO has been working to improve the live of children in the Katmandu Valley. The purpose of this association is not only to save children from poverty by providing shelter, food and care, but also to give them an education to help them to develop and achieve their full potential.

DEMOCRATIC REPUBLIC OF CONGO : Fondation Apprentis d’Auteuil International (FAAI)

Ceres Foundation has renewed its support for the third phase of this project in Kinshasa. Over a period of four years (2019-2022), Apprentis d’Auteuil and REJEER (a network of organizations working with street children in the Congo) together seek to help over 8’000 street children offering them shelter and support and depending on their age, their return to school or professional training so facilitating their social and economic integration. The project will also promote and raise awareness of children’s rights within their communities and with local and international authorities.

LAOS : Swiss Red Cross

The programme undertaken has 4 major activities:

  1. To provide the schools concerned with access to water and sanitation facilities.
  2. To enhance institutional capacity of key stakeholders to maintain washing facilities and healty beaviour.
  3. To improve sanitation and hygiene behaviour among students.
  4. To improve the availibility and access to a varied diet for boarding students.


Ceres Foundation
c/o Bastions Conseils
Rue des Noirettes 40
CH-1227 Carouge GE