One World. Zero Barriers.
This statement describes our purpose and credo. GivenGain tries to live up to this ideal by being a place where you can follow, discuss and contribute to causes and projects, thereby helping all of us to break down the barriers that separate us from our better selves.
It was the French philosopher Auguste Comte who coined the word altruism. And yet altruism is not a new idea. We see it every day. Some believe it to be an acquired evolutionary trait. Others believe it to be evidence of the existence of a higher power. Either way, we believe it’s what GivenGain should be about.
What we don't believe is that altruism and self-interest need be opposites, because to truly act in our own interest, we must act in the interests of others.
Ultimately, whatever altruism is to any of us, it is its underlying spirit of giving that really matters. We like to think that a concern for the welfare of others is a universal Truth.
And whatever reason we have for practising that, it is meaningless if we don't believe in the equal dignity of everyone, or respect each other's choices. Whatever our daily struggles with the implications of our wish to serve others, we know that it will not serve our purpose to pursue narrow political, religious or sectarian goals.
And so, for us, real philanthropy is about altruism, equal dignity and freedom of choice. Nothing would have happened without the belief that "it is more blessed to give than to receive". And nothing will keep happening if we forget it.
The vision of the GivenGain Foundation is to enable global philanthropy. By doing this well, and by empowering others to do what they do best, we will see a world where altruism, equal dignity and freedom of action become a reality for the many who continue to be bound by poverty, ignorance, superstition, fear, hate and war.
Yes, it takes courage to act. But, as Franklin D. Roosevelt famously said, "the only thing we have to fear is fear itself."
We want to challenge you to join our global movement and make things happen for the causes you love.
Action cures fear.
Switzerland is one of the most progressive economies in the world, and has an impressive banking tradition. The Swiss Confederation also has a long history of neutrality - it has not been in a state of war internationally since 1815. But even more importantly for us, it is home to many international organisations, including the World Economic Forum, the Red Cross, the World Trade Organisation and the second largest UN office. In the European context it is a founder of the European Free Trade Association and party to the Schengen Agreement.
These and other factors influenced us in our decision to base the GivenGain Foundation in Switzerland. It was officially founded on 6 April 2009 in the canton of Vaud.
We found offices for the Foundation in Villars-sur-Ollon. Chalet La Renarde is situated in a quiet area on the edge of a forest, 700 meters from the Villars station.
IT’S ABOUT TIME
All group employees, including company directors, are encouraged to donate of their working time to the GivenGain cause community through the Foundation. Simply put, we recommend that each employee receives an additional 12 days per year of paid leave to volunteer. The Foundation and its partner organisations help to plan activities and programmes within its cause community to make this happen.