Swiss non-profits

This kind of information really should be accessible as open data. Currently Swiss organisations which are tax exempt are listed on the websites of the cantons (see search results). In the meantime…

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:point_up: Data Package

Contact me directly if you need help getting the complete data set for private use. We hope @stiftung_zewo replies to us soon, in the meantime - have a wonderful :christmas_tree: season of giving!

This list could be useful:

The topic of NGOs with a seat in Switzerland is related:

And I’m reminded of

Hi, I created an account, my name is Julius, behind the @CharitiusOrg account, my personal Twitter account is @Juliu.

For the search engine I would like to go by all public (legal) data. So perhaps somehow add pressure to make it more public.

My goal is a global charity search engine, with ‚end goal‘ of providing a single source of truth where other platforms can be built on via an API. All code open source:

Live version here:

I’m taking an iterative approach, as you can see if you look at the twitter account. Things that would be great:

  • Links to open data sources for other countries beyond the once already included
  • Feature requests. I’d like to figure out what a great early use case can be for the search engine. What would it take for this engine to become of use for you?

Best regards,

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:wave: Welcome Julius and thanks for sharing your project here! I had a quick look at your website and tried the search engine. You’re off to a very good start!

Have you looked at Wikipedia and Wikidata already? For a global project, you should find excellent references for semantic terms, data structure and properties there. Translations and CC licensed images as well.

Thanks for the suggestion.

My first focus is on the ‚quick wins‘, so huge CSV files provided by countries/official organizations. But after that I think I can use data like this:

As long as the source is mentioned, and perhaps a filter on search can be applied to (not) use crowdsourced data or something like that.

At the moment I’m working on the most rudimentary version of categories: Human vs Nature.
Since al countries have their own set of categories, I have to do the mapping myself. With this first step I can test the technical side of it.

After that I’ll look into the Swiss lists you provided.

Source: Bundesamt für Statistik

Did you know that on average over 50% ( of the Swiss population are passive or active members of a non-profit? When I said „this should be open data“, I should have been more clear: I think this should be open government data, and you did the right thing by reaching out to But they only publish what they are given, so we might want to take the request to the office actually in charge of monitoring institutions: the Federal Office of Justice, which runs the online registry of commerce, - according to whose 2018 statistics there are over 9’000 registered associations and 17’000 foundations in this country. Of course, that does not include the non-registered ones, and getting bulk data from Zefix is not possible. And the more I think about your use case, the less it makes sense to just collect business names.

Two more ideas following from this: talk to OpenCorporates: „not only is it the largest open database of companies in the world, it’s also probably the large database on nonprofits and charities in the world too“

Using this query (login required), I got a count of 3’483’813 currently active non-branch non-profit organizations. And that’s a pretty big number.

The other idea, for Switzerland, is to talk to FORS Center - who specialize in getting social science data like the one you are interested in published from research projects. For example, you can find this rather outdated but well catalogued study on The third sector in Switzerland along with its data in their search engine.

We are planning an event on the topic of social work next year (details soon!) which will partially explain my enthusiasm to discuss this topic :slight_smile:

I’ve sent a mail to OpenCorporates asking if I can join their Slack channel, so I can ask some question on how available their data is.

Yesterday and today I’ve been adding links to the search results to what happens to be the official website for that country. Sometimes a direct link, sometimes a link to the search page prefilled.

Two more doors to knock on with thanks to the cool team at who inform and coach associations: (see also Basel equivalent)