About us

The Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Humankind -FPH- is a grantmaking Swiss foundation that supports the actions of civil society movements and organisations in favour of a social and ecological transition.
To find out more about the Foundation’s activities, you can consult the 2018’s activity report (only in French).

Rapport d’activité 2018

The FPH was created in 1982 under Swiss law and is monitored by the supervisory board for foundations of western Switzerland. Its headquarters are in Lausanne.

The foundation’s resources are derived from income from the estate of Charles Léopold Mayer (1881-1971). A Frenchman of Irish extraction, Mayer was a chemical engineer, investor and humanist. After amassing a fortune, he placed it at the service of innovative scientific and humanistic projects. Charles Léopold Mayer is the author of several works, many on the theme of ‘drivers of progress’.

The value of the patrimony is of 400 M CHF at the end of 2017, and is invested in property and financial assets that provide it with a stable annual income of ten million Swiss francs.


  • 1982: the foundation is established in the form we know today.
  • 1982-1989: the foundation finances projects combining analysis and action. Hundreds of projects have been funded all over the world, regarding aid and development, health, education,habitat, agriculture, business creation, micro-credit, environment, reflection on the future of our planet...
  • 1990-2002: shift from projects grantmaking to support to the construction of international theme-based networks and collective strategies for change. The foundation also invested more permanently the field of methods and tools to pool, share and disseminate experience and information.
  • 2003-2011: pro-active commitment and implication of the FPH team. The foundation encourages the creation of socioprofessional alliances and thematic institutes.
  • 2012 to nowadays: the foundation abandoned its activist stance and chose to strengthen structural support to civil society organisations, and to invest in networks of foundations to encourage collective grantmaking strategies.


Log-book 1982-2009
Fondation en Chemin N°1
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