Research & Publications

Research projects of the GCP

“In merely a few years, the Geneva Centre for Philanthropy (GCP) has asserted itself as a leading academic platform for strategic philanthropy in Switzerland and abroad. To ensure that philanthropy can bring its full potential to bear on the public good in a changing world, continuing to incentivize and recognize new research is essential, both at the senior and the junior scholar levels. As a strategic partner of the Centre, we are delighted to also team up with GCP on the Fondation Lombard Odier Prize for Academic Excellence in Philanthropy, and are pleased with the results of the award’s inaugural edition in 2020.”

Dr Maximilian Martin, Global Head of Philanthropy, Lombard Odier Group, and Secretary-General, Fondation Lombard Odier

The GCP has defined 5 priority topics in the light of the 2030 agenda Sustainable Development Goals (SDG):

  • Taxation and Philanthropy
  • Social entrepreneurship and Hybrid entities
  • Why do people give?
  • Diversity in the governance of the non-profit sector
  • AI and philanthropy

 

 


Philanthropy and taxation: legal and economic analysis of the efficiency of the existing legal framework and legislative proposals


Prof. Henry Peter  and Dr Giedre Lideikyte Huber

This pioneering project, which was launched in 2019, examines the justification and influence that tax systems have on philanthropy and the possible solutions to foster pro-social initiatives. The researchers involved by the GCP are studying this issue both in Switzerland and internationally, identifying the various tax treatments than can be applied to individuals and companies who give or receive charitable contributions and issuing recommendations on how to improve tax policy.

This research is supported by the Swiss National Science Foundation over 4 years (2018-2022)

 

Latest output - the full list is available on the Taxation and Philanthropy website

Publications

Events

Teaching

>> Full list

 


Beyond Charity: the varieties of value-driven emotions in philanthropic behavior


Prof. David Sander and Prof. Florian Cova

This project aims to investigate the roles of emotions in philanthropic behavior beyond the limitations of past researches. Indeed, previous investigations of the role of emotions in philanthropy have mainly focused on giving to help people in need, which in turn has led them to focus on emotions such as compassion, pity, or empathy. The goal is now to investigate a wider range of philanthropic behaviors (e.g. giving for science, art, culture, environment) and a wider range of emotions, particularly positive emotions (e.g. awe, being moved, elevation, gratitude).

This project received a research grant from one of the Centre’s strategic partners.

Outcomes

Publications

  • Articles to be published

Events

 


diversity in the governance of the non-profit sector


Dr Aline Kratz-Ulmer and Laetitia Gill

This project looks at diversity – in its broadest sense – within the governing bodies of Swiss charitable foundations. To start with, the researchers launched a survey based on a questionnaire that collected data from 107 foundations, representing 720 board members in all parts of Switzerland. 

Outcomes

Publications

 Events

  • 15 Apr. 2021 - Online webinar "La diversité dans la gouvernance des organes dirigeants des organisations non-profit"
  • 29 Oct. 2020 - Philanthropy Lunch "La diversité dans la gouvernance des fondations en Suisse"

Teaching

  •  DAS in Philanthropy, Module on "Leadership and Diversity" - L. Gill and A. Kratz-Ulmer (Lecturers)
  • Semester course "Many Faces of Philanthropy - Module A" (Diversity) - L. Gill and A. Kratz-Ulmer (Lecturers)

 

 


social entrepreneurship


Prof. Henry Peter, Dr Giulia Neri-Castracane, Vincent Pfammatter, Dr Livia Ventura and Semia Bey

After the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and its SDGs, the essential role of business organisations in creating sustainable and inclusive economic growth and achieving the SDGs is undisputed. As a consequence, the past few decades have seen a proliferation, from the Americas to Europe, of new organisations (such as the benefit corporation) capable of bringing together social and environmental aims with business approaches. The research project is focused on the analysis of the different corporate forms and structures and the possible development of a uniform entity model (at regional or international level), as well as on the necessity to introduce or not in Switzerland dedicated corporate forms such as the benefit corporation or introduce special statuses.

Outcomes

Publications

Events

  • 08-09.06.2022 - International Conference "Social Entrepreneurship, Impact Financing and Philanthropy" - Programme to be announced

 


Warm Glow Effect (pure and impure philanthropy)


Prof. Samia Hurst-Majno and Dr Emma Tieffenbach

When trying to explain why people make charitable donations, economists often hypothesize that it is because of the warm glow that the act of giving brings. The warm glow concept was first put forward by James Andreoni, a member of GCP’s Scientific Committee, in 1990 and has since been used to explain a multitude of philanthropic behaviours. Yet the concept has not been formally defined, so researchers tend to use their intuitive understanding of the phenomenon instead. But could the warm glow effect be the rational incentive behind charitable giving? And if so, how should we view the moral standing of those who donate in order to experience it?

This project received a research grant from one of the Centre’s strategic partners.

Outcomes

  • Empirical study on the phenomenology of warm glow, E. Tieffenbach & F. Cova

Publications

  • To be published - The Warm Glow Theory of philanthropy, E. Tieffenbach & R. Bianchi
  • To be published - "The gifting Puzzle", The Routledge Handbook of Taxation and Philanthropy

 


Philanthropy and Social entrepreneurship


Dr Giulia Neri-Castracane

This research project covers the interactions and differences between philanthropy, corporate social responsibility and social entrepreneurship, mainly from a corporate governance perspective. The research aims at identifying which corporate governance aspects are mandatory by law and which ones are implemented in practice even if not mandatory by law by philanthropic companies, CSR-compliant companies and social entreprises. The research contributes to the reflexions on legal corporate forms available under Swiss law for philanthropists, CSR-oriented managers and investors and social entrepreneurs, their advantages and shortages and to what extent new legal forms or legal statuses promoting social entreprises shall be implemented and, in the affirmative, along which corporate governance patterns. It also participates to the similar larger debate at supranational level for a model law on social entreprises.

Outcomes

Publications

  • To be published (2022) - International Handbook of Social Enterprises and B-Corps (Springer)

Events

  • 08-09.06.2022 - International Conference "Social Entrepreneurship, Impact Financing and Philanthropy" - Programme to be announced
  • 12.05.2022 - Journée du droit de l'entreprise "Entreprises à mission: une nouvelle ère dans la gouvernance?", University of Lausanne

Teaching

 

 


Water, private companies and the Furtherance of the Public Good


Prof. Laurence Boisson de Chazournes, Dr Mara Tignino and Haoua Savadogo

This large-scale project will contribute to implementing one of the recommendations of the Global High-Level Panel on Water and Peace, which was set up by Switzerland in 2015. The aim of the project is to develop a code of good practices on water management and biodiversity protection that will apply to all companies regardless of their size and sector of activity.

This project received a research grant from the Fondation de bienfaisance du groupe Pictet in 2020. In 2021,  it received a grant from Fondation Barbour.

Outcomes

Publications

Events

  • 30 Nov. 2021 - Commission des droits de l'Homme de l'Ordre des Avocats de Genève. Webinar on the theme: "Crise climatique et environnement - sujet brûlant pour les entreprises et avocats". Panelists on the theme: « L’élaboration d’un code de bonnes pratiques pour les entreprises en matière de gestion de l'eau et de protection de la biodiversité » - L. Boisson de Chazournes and H. Savadogo
  • 22 Nov. 2021 - ENEL's Internal Practice Sharing Meeting with Sustainability and Innovation Professionals. Webinar on “Sustainable development in the management and protection of water resources: the role of international law” – M. Tignino
  • 23 Aug. 2021 - Stockholm World Water Week. Intervention on the theme: « Water, human rights and peacebuilding» - M. Tignino
  • 10 June 2021 - University of Neuchâtel. Presentation of the Prix Nexans 2020. Conference on « La gouvernance internationale de l’environnement, un enjeu pour l’avenir ». Intervention on the theme: « Les Objectifs du développement durable : Réflexions sur leurs contours juridiques » - L. Boisson de Chazournes
  • 18 May 2021 - Institut romand systémique éthique (IRSE) and Workshop for Water Ethics (W4W). Webinar, 6thinterdisciplinary colloquium on « Water Ethics: What does it mean in practice? ». Intervention on “The contribution of The Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) to access to water” during the 1st part on the theme: « 2021 and its Water Challenges » - L. Boisson de Chazournes
  • 26 Nov. 2020 - University of Geneva Workshop on: « Human Rights and the Climate Change Crisis: The Right to a Healthy Environment, the Right to Water and the Right to Development ». Panelist on the theme: « The right to water: a proxy for the right to a healthy environment? » - L. Boisson de Chazournes
  • 25 June 2020 - 114th American Society of International Law (ASIL) Annual meeting on « The Promise of International Law». Panelist on the theme: « Sustainable Development and International Law: Fragmentation, disconnects and the challenge of international policy coherence in meeting the SDGs» - L. Boisson de Chazournes

 

Other activities

  • OSCE E-learning Course on “Water diplomacy”.  Course on « Water in Human Rights Law” - M. Tignino
  • Supervision of the project Capstone on “Financialization of water, human rights and environmental protection: what are the issues at stake?” led by a group of students from the Graduate Institute of International and Development studies and organization of an event with a group of experts to provide input to the research (22 Nov. 2021) - M. Tignino
  • European Parliament In-Depth Study on “The Human Right to drinking water: impact of large-scale agriculture and industry”, report review - M. Tignino 

 


Philanthropy and artificial intelligence


Prof. Giuseppe Ugazio and Dr. Joost Mönks

Philanthropy has been largely absent from the debates on Artificial Intelligence. This project examines the impact that Artificial Intelligence (AI) has on the philanthropic sector. It proposes a holistic framework to understand how philanthropycan and should ensure that the technological potential of AI is translated into innovative solutions for positive social transformation while anticipating possible future trends and impacts of AI. The project is in its initial phase, it was presented in 2021 at the EFC Data Science Group and at the Quarterly Meeting of the WEF’s AI/ML Platform and is presently undergoing funding review.

Outcomes

  • 3 Dec. 2021 - Best ERNOP Conference Paper Award awarded to Lucia Gomez Teijeiro and Giuseppe Ugazio, University of Geneva, for "Mapping the Swiss Philanthropic landscape through big data".
  • 28 Sept 2021 - EFC Data Science Group "EFC Data Science Talks – Artificial intelligence"
  • 2021 - Quarterly Meeting of the WEF’s AI/ML Platform

 


 

In parallel, seven Academic fellows are exploring key topics in the philanthropic sector.

More info >>