The Foundation uses the donations for the purpose of fulfilling its mission. These contribute to ensuring that Swiss Science Prize Marcel Benoist, which plays a major part in consolidating Switzerland’s status as a centre of excellence research retains its strong position and is given the visibility it deserves. Donations must come from known and trustworthy sources. The Marcel Benoist Foundation is at liberty to accept or reject them. Such financial commitments are set out in written agreements. Donations must not compromise academic freedom, whether in relation to teaching or research, and donors must acknowledge that they may not influence either the process to select the prizewinner, or the ownership, publication and utilisation of the research findings.
II. Tax advantages
The Marcel Benoist Foundation for the Promotion of Scientific Research is a not-for-profit organisation based in Bern. As such, it is exempt from federal and cantonal tax duty (Art. 56 let. g Federal Act on Direct Federal Taxation; Art. 83 para. 1 let. g Tax Act of the canton of Bern; Art. 6. 1 Inheritance and Gift Tax Act of the canton of Bern). This means that natural persons can deduct their donations to the Marcel Benoist Foundation from their income which is subject to federal tax duty (Art. 33a Federal Act on Direct Federal Taxation), and to cantonal tax duty (e.g. Art. 38a para. 1 let. a Tax Act of the canton of Bern). In principle, they may deduct an amount equivalent to no more than 20 percent of their income that is subject to tax duty in the year during which the donation is made. Legal persons who donate to the Foundation may also deduct an amount equivalent to no more than 20 percent of their profits that are subject to tax in the year during which the donation was made, as the latter qualifies as business expenses. (Art. 59 para. 1 let. c Federal Act on Direct Federal Taxation; e.g. Art. 90 para. 1 let. c Tax Act of the canton of Bern). A written confirmation will be issued on receipt of the donation.
III. Foundation governance
The Board of Trustees, whose members work in a voluntary capacity, establishes the Foundation Statutes. It is also responsible for strategic decisions relating to the Foundation, and ensures that the latter fulfils its mission. The Foundation is subject to the oversight of the Federal Supervisory Board for Foundations.
IV. Asset management
The management of the Foundation assets is subject to the binding provisions set down in the Foundation’s Investment Regulations. An investment committee is charged with investing the financial assets of the Foundations in a manner which is safe and guarantees sustainable returns in the medium to long term.
The Marcel Benoist Foundation is open and accountable to donors, the public, media and supervisory authorities with regards to the ways and means it deploys to procure and use its financial resources. The Unico Thun AG conducts checks on the accounting records and financial statements of the Foundation. The Foundation also issues an annual report. Donors are regularly informed of the latest developments and results. Data submitted to the Foundation will not be disclosed to third parties without the consent of those concerned. The Foundation will respect the wishes of donors to remain anonymous.