CAS Strategic Philanthropy 2022

Achieving a better future through philanthropy

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September 2022 - February 2023
15 ECTS credits
176 Teaching hours
80 Distance teaching hours
256 hours of teaching, 534 hours of personal work, including final work. The number of hours of in-class and/or online teaching may vary




Blended learning


Giuseppe UGAZIO, Danièle CASTLE, Laetitia GILL


Uni Mail


Early bird deadline

31 March 2022

Registration deadline

31 July 2022
Modules can be followed individually


CAS: CHF 7'500.-

Single module: CHF 2000.- (2 ECTS credits) / CHF 3000.- (3 ECTS credits)

Early bird: 10% discount


  • Master the complex, multifaceted context of contemporary Swiss and international philanthropy
  • Understand philanthropy from a systemic perspective
  • Learn about the principles, best practices, and key strategic elements to set up and run a structured and professional philanthropic organisation


The program is designed for mid-level professionals involved in national and international philanthropic organizations, corporate philanthropy, single and multi-family offices, as well as those interested in pursuing a career in philanthropic organizations

Learning outcomes

At the end of the programme participants will be able to:

  • Understand and master conceptual philanthropy frameworks along with novel financial instruments with special consideration of the U.N. SDG agenda 2030 and ESG metrics
  • Develop an effective theory of change using state-of-the-art tools to implement, monitor, and evaluate the financial and social impact of a philanthropic endeavour
  • Design a philanthropic strategy in line with an organisation’s mission, legal and tax parameters, general goals, and specific objectives
  • Master new cutting-edge approaches to philanthropy, including emerging digital technologies
  • Become an inclusive leader who successfully harnesses the potential of staff and volunteers, develops partnerships with public and private actors; and understands both the funder and funding sides of philanthropy
  • Learn how to think critically about philanthropy


  • Module 1: Introduction to philanthropy and social investment
  • Module 2: Exploring the diversity and strategies of philanthropic foundations
  • Module 3: Legal structuring of philanthropic projects and relevant financial, governance, and tax parameters
  • Module 4: Theory of change and impact measurement
  • Module 5: Selecting and managing philanthropic projects
  • Module 6: Leadership and diversity


Prof. Giuseppe UGAZIO, Geneva School of Economics and Management (GSEM) and Geneva Finance Research Institute (GFRI),Laetitia GILL, Geneva Centre for Philanthropy (GCP), University of Geneva and Danièle CASTLE, Genevensis Communications


Christelle GERMANN, University of Geneva


Genevensis Communications
CAS/DAS Philanthropy 2021
The philanthropic sector is evolving rapidly in an increasingly complex world. This interdisciplinary course merges traditional approaches to philanthropy with unconventional perspectives. You will acquire state-of-the-art knowledge, models and best practices to successfully achieve your goals.


2 September 2022
3 September 2022


2000 CHF


Prof. Giuseppe UGAZIO, Assistant Professor, Geneva Finance Research Institute (GFRI), University of Geneva


This module provides participants of different professional, educational, and cultural backgrounds with a common analytical and conceptual framework for philanthropy. It further introduces a definition of public good in relation to the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), examines relevant ethical perspectives for philanthropy, and highlights some of the psychological drivers of philanthropic action. This preparatory work allows to clearly distinguish social investment and philanthropy and to grasp the need to professionalise the philanthropic sector to promote collaborations between different actors. To this end, we examine the opportunities and challenges for philanthropic organisations to partner with grassroots movements, public and private investors through different schemes, such as public-private partnerships (PPP), social impact bonds, or impact investing. In this module, we also introduce concrete examples of how digital transformation and other technological advances contribute to the effectiveness of philanthropic engagement.


23 September 2022
24 September 2022


3000 CHF


Karin JESTIN, Philanthropic & Humanitarian Initiatives (PHI)


This module prepares participants to address the essential questions of setting up a philanthropic organisation. It showcases how to translate philanthropic ideals, good intentions and moral values into actionable principles defining the essence of a philanthropic organisation. It will address questions such as:

  • How detailed should a mission statement be, i.e. what are the trade-offs between specificity and (in) flexibility in the areas in which an organisation sets out to operate?
  • What time-frame should it consider?
  • What risk mitigation strategies should be put into place?
  • What legal options do founders have to allow different degrees of agility for the organisations?


19.09.2022 - 23.09.2023 : asynchronous online activities


14 October 2022
15 October 2022


3000 CHF


Giulia NERI CASTRACANE, Associate Professor, Faculty of Law, University of Geneva


According to the purpose of the philanthropic organisation and the country in which it is based, legal possibilities for structure and tax aspects can vary. This module considers available Swiss, European and international philanthropic legal structures, and will focus on those structures available under Swiss law. These range from traditional single purpose forms (foundations and associations) to hybrid (profit/non-profit) models. Innovative contract-based solutions, such as public-private partnerships (PPPs) and impact bonds will also be presented. Tax, governance and financial-related restrictions and/or requirements are addressed when reviewing the various possible structures. Finally, the module also covers data protection and General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).


10.10.2022 - 14.10.2022 : asynchronous online activities


4 November 2022
5 November 2022


2000 CHF


Marta ARRANZ, Senior Adviser, Monitoring and Evaluation Management, Oak Foundation


This module covers evaluative practices to value, assess and increase the chance of sustainable and fair positive impacts. How can philanthropic organisations know if they are doing the right things and are investing strategically? How can they gather evidence and communicate about their impact to others? Developing a strategy and understanding how to measure its effectiveness is a requirement in today’s philanthropic activity. In this module participants will learn how organisations can evaluate their impact, learn from experience and use evidence and insights to inform their decisions. Participants will learn about practical planning tools and frameworks such as logical frameworks, theory of change and theory of philanthropy. They will understand the importance of learning and how it can increase the organisation’s effectiveness and programme quality. They will be exposed to different evaluation approaches and will be able to choose the most appropriate one in each case.  This module also covers how to identify unintended (potentially negative) consequences of philanthropic interventions and how to best adapt strategies to course-correct in real time.


25 November 2022
26 November 2022


3000 CHF


Nathalie MARTENS JACQUET, CEO, Make a Wish Switzerland


A rigorous selection of projects in line with the vision and strategy of the organisation is the best way to ensure efficiency and to maintain donor trust. This module therefore looks at a strategic and structured assessment of benefits, risks, collateral efforts and key success factors of each project. We examine how to distribute and coordinate resource allocations across projects, strategies for maximising complementarity between projects, and effective project management. It will include best practices in working with grantees, acknowledging the power dynamic of the funder-donor relationship, using trust and relationship building. The module also proposes monitoring and evaluation tools adapted to different sectors of philanthropy e.g. health, education, poverty reduction, as well as sourcing opportunities, such as using open applications, call for proposals, invite-only etc.


22.11.2022 - 25.11.2022 : asynchronous online activities


16 December 2022
17 December 2022


3000 CHF


Laetitia GILL, Executive Education Associate, Geneva Centre for Philanthropy (GCP), University of Geneva


For philanthropic organisations to reach their objectives with the minimum operating expense and (on the understanding that engaged employees deliver higher performance) they must ensure that employees are engaged and active. It is crucial for organisations to have an effective Board. This module explains the levers that enable leaders to motivate teams and reassure donors. Understanding what leadership means to different generations, how strong leadership selects diverse teams, how to mobilize and motivate teams, members and volunteers and how to manage in complex situations are all part of this course. When poorly managed, the interaction between Board and staff can be harmful to a philanthropic venture. As such., this module examines how philanthropic boards and staff can interact most effectively. Finally, this module explores how to integrate ethics and what ethics means for a philanthropic leader.


12.12.2022 - 16.12.2022 : asynchronous online activities


Depending on the module, different evaluation methods will be used from analyses of case-studies, writing of reports, and more traditional multiple-choice exams.

Pedagogical method

  • Blended learning (online and in class): a combination of in-class lectures, supervised group activities, flipped classroom exercises, and other interactive learning activities
  • Online learning consisting of a combination of short pre-recorded videos and interactive webinars
  • Interactive experience-based learning embedding theoretical and practical knowledge
  • Personal work and research
  • On-site visits of key institutions
An effective strategy is a base upon which to develop a successful philanthropic journey. In this interdisciplinary strategic course, you will acquire all the necessary knowledge, skills, and instruments to set up the right philanthropic organizational structure.

Admission criteria

A minimum of three years professional experience is required, a Bachelor’s degree or equivalent. English proficiency is also required. No prior responsibilities in philanthropy required.

The course is particularly suitable for:

  • Family office philanthropy managers
  • Managers in philanthropic giving organisations
  • Managers in organisation who receive philanthropic giving
  • Project managers
  • Operational and strategic foundation managers
  • Social entrepreneurs
  • People desirous to enter the field of philanthropy
  • Wealth managers interested in integrating philanthropic instruments to their (sustainable) investments portfolios (e.g. blended finance)

Steering committee

  • Professor Giuseppe UGAZIO, Geneva School of Economics and Management (GSEM)/Geneva Finance Research Institute (GFRI)
  • Laetitia GILL, Geneva Centre for Philanthropy (GCP)
  • Danièle CASTLE, Genevensis Communications

Scientific committee

  • Helen ALDERSON, Advisory Board Member of the Global Thinkers Forum
  • Cheryl CHANG, Chief of Staff,  Oak Foundation Geneva
  • Alexandre EPALLE, General Director of Economic Development, Research, and Innovation of the Republic and Canton of Geneva, represented by Catherine Zimmermman, Scientific officer.
  • Aline FREIBURGHAUS, Co-director, SwissFoundations
  • Thierry RENAUD, Deputy Secretary General - Head of the Animals and Ecosystems Unit, Hans Wilsdorf Foundation
  • Isabella RIES-BOWMANN, Philanthropy Adviser

Number of participants

Max. 25 participants

Detailed fees

CHF 14000.- for the DAS, CHF 7500.- for each CAS, CHF 2000.- for 2 ECTS modules and CHF 3000.- for 3 ECTS modules. 10% early bird discount before March 31 2022


Fridays and Saturdays 09:00 to 17:00 and online