Private players such as foundations and sponsors play a significant role in the Swiss cultural sector when compared to other European countries. According to SwissFoundations, there are six times more foundations per capita in Switzerland than in the USA or Germany, more than 13 000 charitable foundations with total assets of just under CHF 100 billion. Around a quarter of all Swiss foundations support cultural projects, with up to half a billion CHF per annum directed towards cultural purposes. Swiss foundations also play a role in the international field of art. For example, the Roswitha Haftmann Foundation Prize, worth 150 000 CHF, is the highest endowed European art prize.
As mentioned in the Culture Dispatch 2021-2024, in addition to the charitable foundations, private companies support culture in the amount of approximately 370 million CHF annually, with sponsoring accounting for about 50 per cent of the total amount. (Swiss Federal Statistical Office: Kulturfinanzierung durch die Unternehmen, Neuchâtel 2003, p. 32ff.) One of the country’s most important private promoters of culture is Migros, Switzerland’s largest retail company, which – in simple terms – dedicates one per cent of its turnover to cultural purposes (Migros Culture Percentage). In 2020, 142 million CHF were spent on projects in the areas of culture, society, education, leisure and business. Migros has also set up cultural offices in the cities of Zurich (since 1998), Berne, Basel, Geneva and St. Gallen to support cultural practitioners off and online. The Kulturbüros have different funding models: The office in Basel, for example, is supported by a state contribution from the Canton of Basel-City (70 000 CHF in 2021).
The importance of the private sector’s commitment to the Swiss cultural landscape is also evident in the museum sector, whose anchoring in private and local structures gives museums additional legitimacy. According to the Federal Office of Culture, the main funding bodies of Swiss museums (almost 1 100 museums in 2018) are evenly distributed between public and private actors, with cities and municipalities on the one hand, and associations on the other, being the most important funding bodies.
The data on the quantitative share of the private sector in the total volume of cultural promotion is insufficient: according to estimates, approximately every sixth to seventh CHF for cultural promotion comes from the private sector. A study (sample survey) on cultural policy in the cantons of Zurich, Glarus, Schaffhausen, both Appenzells, St. Gallen, Thurgau and the Principality of Liechtenstein, in the period from 2008 to 2018, showed only minor shifts over time in the financing structure of institutions and projects: the share of public funding for supported cultural institutions was between 40 and 47 per cent, and between 33 and 40 per cent for projects.
Public-private partnerships can be observed on all levels. One example is SWISS FILMS, a non-profit organisation and agency that supports the marketing and distribution of Swiss films nationally and internationally. In addition to support from private and public funds, SWISS FILMS has a performance-based contract with the Federal Office of Culture (2.66 million CHF in 2019).
Since around the mid-2010s, Crowdfunding has become an increasingly important way to finance projects. According to the FOC’s Statistical Data on Culture in Switzerland (Taschenstatistik Kultur in der Schweiz 2020), the cultural and creative industries accounted around CHF 8.25 million of the funds raised via crowdfunding in Switzerland in 2019 (largest share: music, concerts, festivals). Around 650 cultural and creative industry projects were successfully financed via crowdfunding in 2019.
Wemakeit.ch, founded in 2012, is the biggest swiss crowdfunding platform. Here, too, a private-public partnership is evident: the development of wemakeit.ch was supported by the Ernst Göhner Foundation, the Migros Culture Percentage, the Swiss Arts Council Pro Helvetia and by start-up funding from the Department of Culture of the city of Basel.
 Federal Office of Culture: Culture in Switzerland – Pocket Statistics 2020.
 Federal Office of Culture: Culture in Switzerland – Pocket Statistics (2020).
 Keller, Rolf. Kulturpolitik der Schweiz. In: Kompendium Kulturmanagement. Verlag Franz Vahlen, 2011, p. 130.
 Schwenkel, Christof; Ritz, Manuel; Stamm, Mélanie; La Mantia, Alexandra: Entwicklungen in der Kulturförderung in der Ostschweiz und im Fürstentum Liechtenstein seit 2008, Interface Politikstudien Forschung Beratung, Luzern, 2020.