Geneva has a long tradition of philanthropy and is especially notable for its long-standing involvement in humanitarian action, such as the creation of the Red Cross. Philanthropy changed little during the 20th century ; however, a new generation of philanthropists emerged in the 1990s and is now exploring new approaches. Donors are often highly involved, have a strong personal commitment and a desire to witness the impact of their actions in their own lifetimes. They are eager to measure the effectiveness of their donations and seek expert advice and guidance in their initial choices and to assist them in implementing their philanthropic programs.
Geneva-based WISE was a pioneer in this field, positioning itself as an independent consultant in philanthropy in 2004. From its inception, WISE’s goal has been to support donors and their families in defining and organizing their philanthropic projects in the manner that best reflects their aspirations and resources. This consultancy provider has benefited from the significant wealth transfers that have taken place in recent years, which are often the source of new philanthropic vocations. This is why Geneva, a global leader in wealth management, is also one of the leading centers for philanthropic consultancy.
WISE now enjoys a reputation beyond Switzerland’s borders. Its experts work for private donors and their families, and for charitable foundations. The latter benefit from the particularly favorable regulatory framework for philanthropy in Switzerland. This attractive environment, and the significant presence of wealthy clients in Geneva, largely explains the city’s position as a global center for philanthropy. On average, a new charitable foundation is set up every day in Switzerland, with Geneva one of the fastest growing cantons in this area.