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Interim management at Heart to Heart (Dargebotenen Hand) - Tel 143

April 9, 2024


Heart to Heart (Dargebotenen Hand) - Tel 143 is the best-known contact for emotional first aid in Switzerland and the Principality of Liechtenstein. Its support services by phone, chat or e-mail are provided by more than 700 carefully trained volunteers.  Heart to Heart is a non-profit, politically and denominationally independent organisation. Its mission is to offer empathetic and professional counselling.


Following a recent change in the management of the umbrella organisation as part of a significant organisational development, Roots to Rise has been appointed to ensure a smooth transition and change of leadership between November 2023 and May 2024.

We look forward to this extremely exciting collaboration and to continuing to support Heart to Heart - Tel 143.


Agile strategy development: Perceiving and removing barriers

June 10, 2023


Agile, the Swiss umbrella association of self-advocacy organisations by people with disabilities, has been working for more than 70 years to increase their visibility, participation and self-determination in Switzerland. 

Its vision is that people with disabilities live independently, that their rights are realised and that true equality is achieved. Agile fight against ableism: the rejection and discrimination based on the idea that disabled people are less valuable to society and should “settle for less".  Rejection, often unconscious and subtle, has a negative impact on the self-esteem, opportunities and quality of life of people with disabilities. 

Roots to Rise is privileged to be accompanying Agile in the exciting task of developing its new strategy this year! As external coaches, we are working with Agile's staff and members of the board, who are personally affected on a daily basis by the many challenges faced by people with disabilities, to take a step back and make strategic decisions from an analytical distance. 

For our part, we learn about the complex and diverse barriers faced by people with disabilities at all levels of our social and political life, and we learn to reflect on our possible unconscious rejections. We are delighted with this collaboration!

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Empowering NGOs & Fostering Organisational Development: Interview with Beatrice Schulter

July 24, 2022 

"Inclusivity and mutual learning are the key ingredients for driving positive change," says Beatrice Schulter, founder and director of Roots to Rise. In this interview, she shares her inspiring journey in international cooperation and highlights the importance of participatory methods to strengthen organisations and promote global education.


Beatrice's expertise in strategic and organisational development has made a significant impact on non-profit organisations worldwide, particularly in education and children's rights.

During the interview, Beatrice emphasises the vital role NGOs play in shaping just societies and addresses the challenges they face. She also discusses her passion for participatory methods and their benefits in workshops and meetings.


If you're interested in creating positive change in non-profit organisations and discovering the power of participatory methods, take this opportunity to explore the valuable resources and insights shared by Beatrice.


Many thanks to Sorina Ioana Crisan for her excellent work and the inspiring project of interviewing researchers, scholars and professionals.

Check out her website !

Advancing Liberating Structures with RECI

January 30, 2023


Roots to Rise continued its ongoing mandate with RECI, the Swiss Network for Education and International Cooperation, in 2022.


One of the highlights that we were able to bring into the network was a series of workshops and activities to advance interactive workshop and meeting methods, that can be applied in working with adults.


Specifically, we used methods from the “Liberating Structures”. 


Finalising the strategy process with PEP

November 5, 2022 


After two years of cooperation to support PEP, the Swiss Expert organisation for the prevention of eating disorder, the process has been finalised with a strategy workshop.

With our help, PEP has strengthened its governance structure and functioning of the board, with a strong group of experts working under a joint vision to guide this small and unique organisation.


With a participatory process, involving the board, the team and all experts involved, PEP has developed a clear Vision and Mission, as well as four strategic corner stones for the coming years.

During the final strategy workshop with all stakeholders, we guided the group to finalise and prioritise the sub-objectives and activities, through which the strategic objectives will be achieved.


Good luck for the further work to PEP!


The work you are doing is incredibly important, as you fill important gaps in services to prevent eating disorders in Switzerland!


Swiss Foundation Symposium 2022 - Tango or walk on eggshells?

September 1st, 2022 

This year's Foundation Symposium 2022, organised by SwissFoundations, offered an exciting spectrum of perspectives on developments in the diverse Swiss foundation landscape. Representatives from grant making foundations and NGOs danced across the conference platform, inspiring ideas and innovations were exchanged, and some contributors and participants even dared to take quite unusual new steps.


But this year once again showed how difficult the tango between donors and recipients sometimes is. No matter whether it is about digitalised processes for matching and awarding, or whether a foundation only awards restricted or unrestricted funding. "Trust" was probably the most frequently mentioned premise for a successful collaboration with the greatest possible impact.


In any case, this year's symposium was once again a very exciting event that stimulated thinking and promoted knowledge and mutual understanding.

Cybersecurity: a key issue for Nonprofits

June 22, 2022 

Cyber-attacks have intensified in the development and humanitarian sector. Most organisations have become dependent on technology, which is essential for coordinating missions in the field.


However, many organisations are far from being prepared to face a cyber-attack and have little awareness of the problem. At the conference "Boost your cyber skills - a cybersecurity event for Nonprofit Organisations" on 22 June 2022, organised by CAGI, Alain Ceccato, CISO, warned that "it's no longer a question of 'if' but 'when' your organisation will be hit by a cyber attack."

The technical weakness of NGOs and their access to valuable data on vulnerable beneficiaries and donor funds make them attractive targets for cybercriminals.

However, implementing effective cybersecurity is costly and requires a long-term investment. This is why cybersecurity challenges need to be included in the strategy of an organisation. Senior management must be fully informed in order to include its costs in budgets. All this may seem complex and abstract, especially for small organisations that have no trained IT staff.

Fortunately, there are solutions!  For example, the CyberPeace Institute can guide you through the process of implementing your cybersecurity based on the size and needs of your organisation.


Opportunities and Limits in Collaborative Philanthropy

16 June 2022

What is collaborative philanthropy and what forms exist in Switzerland? What are current trends, opportunities and challenges?

The Center for Philanthropy Studies at the University of Basle, CEPS, organised a discussion on this subject on June 16, 2022 and provided insight in their research.

One of the specific topics was around umbrella foundations. “An umbrella foundation is a foundation that actively offers a platform for donors to establish their foundations with self-determined charitable purposes under its umbrella.” (

The first umbrella foundation in Switzerland, the Limmat Stiftung was founded in 1972. After that there was no further development in this area until the early 2000s.

Today there are 27 umbrella foundations with a capital of close to 1 billion CHF (1% of the total foundation capital in Switzerland). These umbrella foundations are of varied sizes and approaches. What unites them is the idea of increasing effectiveness in managing donations and bringing funds to organisations that implement projects towards realising the foundations’ goals.

The biggest challenge in collaborative philanthropy remains the collaboration between grant-givers and grant seekers. The prevalent secrecy and self-protection of grant-giving foundations is still a major barrier for efficiently directing funds for social change. It is clear that this issue deserves much more attention. Umbrella foundations could play an important role to foster exchange and trust-building between donors and grant-seeking organisations.

Stories for Advocacy


May 19, 2022 


At the “State of Advocacy – How to keep relevant in times of global disruption?” event organised by the International Geneva Welcome Centre CAGI, Lukasz Bochenek from Leidar shared an insightful and thought-provoking analysis of today’s global context and what it means for the advocacy work of NGOs. The issues were then discussed with two practitioners: Alexandre Munafò, Director of Strategic Partnerships and Communications at Interpeace and Catherine Laverty, Director of Communications and Policy at the Global Self-Care Federation.

In a nutshell: Advocacy is a strategic process with two interlinked targets: third party endorsement and shaping of the operating environment. This requires a dual approach and a system thinking with a circular process. In the current global context different narratives are competing for the attention of the audiences. After the Covid-19 pandemic and the seamless transition of global attention to  Ukraine, a fatigue among large number of the population is prevalent. In order for NGOs to be able to position their cause in this challenging context, strong evidence-based narratives are needed and purposeful storytelling becomes ever more important.

Inspiring Conversation with Rutger Bregman 

April 7, 2022 

Storytelling is what gives people purpose and a frame for making sense of their lives. This is one of the key theses of Rutger Bregman, Dutch historian, activist and author of «Utopia for Realists» (2017) and «Humankind» (2020). 

In a conversation at the 50 Year celebration of the ETH NADEL Centre for Development and Cooperation, Rutger Bregman spelled out, how to build new narratives about human nature – the need of which never becomes more evident than in times of crisis and war, when truth is the very first victim. 

Is it really true, that toilet paper became scarce in the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic, because humans are panic-prone egoistic beings without empathy?

Or was it just a symptom of the mere fact that toilet paper was suddenly needed in different places than before: at peoples’ homes rather than in work places of restaurants? A simple distribution shift? 

Instead of understanding the evolutionary rule of «survival of the fittest» as «survival of the strongest and most egoistic», it should rather be called «survival of the friendliest» - the human species would not have come anywhere at all without massive cooperation in the past hundreds of thousands of years! 

What a wonderful and uplifting perspective to take in the midst of bad and worse news everywhere. It is up to us to create such uplifting narratives that inspire humans to be kind. «People can be convinced through genuine interest and kindness – surely not by calling them idiots!».This is probably the simplest and also funniest explanation of non-violent communication attitude ever formulated 😊

Roots to Rise now has its headquarters in Vicques, Jura


April 26, 2022

Roots to Rise has changed its registration and has its seat in Val Terbi, Canton Jura, since 26 April.


The two permanent staff members Beatrice Schulter and Nadine Bernasconi continue to work from their home offices: Beatrice in Vicques, Jura and Nadine in Onex, Geneva, from where they continue to serve clients from all over Switzerland and the world.


Visualisation Workshop at


March 15, 2022

Beatrice Schulter participated at the visualisation workshop with Roland Siegenthaler of in Zurich. Participants were guided step by step and in the most fun way to understand how to convey abstract and complex information with the support of visualisation. Also, we all learned that everyone can draw - even if we might have retained from school that this was not the case for us.



Trusting the process!


January 26, 2022

The challenging organisational development process at Comundo has been brought to a happy end. After the successful workshop in June 2021 (link news article Comundo 2021), the core group elaborated criteria and options for structural adaptations. This stage once more brought forward opposing positions and fears that inevitably emerge with changes in an organisation with such a history.

At the second face-to-face workshop with all stakeholders on December 4 2021, the options were critically discussed and evaluated. At the end of the day it seemed that there are insurmountable differences and no solution in sight that might respond to the different positions.

On January 26 we conducted a final workshop with the core group. With the method “1-2-4-all” and a conversation café (Liberating structures) we looked back at the process, analysed the results of the last workshop and managed to come to a joint decision for the way forward. The process found a miraculous turn towards a feasible solution that can be carried by all stakeholders at the last moment.

Crossing to unknown fields for partnerships for the SDGs


November 30, 2021

Roots to Rise participated in the 2021 Building Bridges events in Geneva, with a focus on learning about recent developments in sustainable finance and impact investment.

Building Bridges brings together the different sectors that need to work together to realise the SDGs, that are sadly and traditionally rather working in silos. 

The events were extremely insightful, bringing forth once more the fact that the private and banking sectors are speaking a different language than the development cooperation and human rights sector.


This is a continuing challenge that needs to be addressed by both sides by continuing and further strengthening the interaction.

Bringing together different positions


June 26, 2021

On June 26 we held a joint workshop with representatives of Comundo and its member organisations in Lucerne. At this workshop we built on the extensive preparation and assessment done during the first half of the year: A holistic survey touching on issues of culture, values, structure, history and ideas for the future, to which more than 150 individuals participated; 8 online workshops with representatives of the member organisations and Comundo offices; and monthly meetings of the organisational development core-group. 


Sock game

​A rich basket of issues to be considered for the future development of Comundo was brought to the discussion with almost 30 participants. There was discussion of opposing positions, wrestling, listening, learning from each other and concrete proposals for solutions were developed.


And above all: The people involved in Comundo got to know each other and became closer. A very successful mid-point in a complex organisational development process.


Donor Magic Care


June 8, 2021

After the first year of capacity building and coaching support in 2020, Roots to Rise continued to support Santé Sexuelle Suisse. This year, the highlights lay on two workshops, one in April and one in June, during which we repeated the basics of fundraising.


Based on the priorities set by the team, we deepended the discussion on what we call “donor magic care” and developed ways on how the team can organise to make their relationship with existing and future donors truly magic.

Stepping up to the next level


January 23, 2021

PEP is an organisation specialised in the prevention of eating disorders in Switzerland. After many years of working in the field and building up expertise and projects. PEP has asked Roots to Rise for support in strengthening their governance and developing its first strategy.


On November 18 and December 16 2020 the first online workshops were held with the board, and on January 8 2021 with the whole team,  to learn about the key elements of a strategy and have a first discussion about the vision and mission of the organisation. 

Rewarding First Business Year


December 23, 2020

The year 2020 will go down in history as a very challenging year, posing difficulties, some of which will take years to get back to some kind of new normal... 2020 has certainly taught us something about learning and agile strategic management!


2020 was also the first business year for Roots to Rise. In spite of all the unforeseen, the need for ongoing adaptations to the ever-changing situation, it has been a very rewarding and successful one.


Our team has grown with one permanent staff and two freelancers to join the adventure of supporting non-profit organisations in what we have proven to be good at for ourselves:


organisational development, agile management and ongoing learning for strategizing in an ever-changing environment!

Kick-off for a complex organisational development process


October 30, 2020

Comundo, the largest Swiss organisation for personnel development cooperation, has entrusted Roots to Rise with the accompaniment of an organisational development process.


The aim is to consolidate the structure after significant organisational changes: one of three member organisations having left, and another one having been integrated recently.

On October 30 we facilitated the kick-off workshop with the core-group responsible for this process in Lucerne. Representatives from Comundo offices, member organisations and board elaborated specific objectives, key questions and potential pitfalls to be considered for the process, which will start in January 2021.


Nadine Bernasconi joins Roots to Rise


October 19, 2020


We are very happy to welcome Nadine Bernasconi Pétermann in our team! 

With her background in international relations and intercultural conflict management, as well as her broad experience in communications with various NGOs, she is joining us as to strengthen our team with her skills and ideas.


Roots to Rise entrusted with the back-office of RECI


July 1, 2020

Roots to Rise has been entrusted with the part-time mandate to manage the back office of RECI, the Swiss Network for Education and International Cooperation.


Beatrice Schulter's professional path started in the field of education and she  has been involved in RECI in its first years as a board member. Beatrice will be developing the new RECI strategy, including the strengthening of the network, the participation of its members, as well as the resources.



Going online for a series of fundraising workshops

June 6, 2020

Roots to Rise is supporting Santé Sexuelle Suisse to develop its resource development strategy and strengthen its capacities for fundraising.


Santé Sexuelle Suisse is the umbrella organisation for sexual health centres in Switzerland.

The highlight in the support process for this year are two workshops comprising training elements, group work and project tasks.


Due to Covid restrictions, the two workshops were conducted online on May 19 and on June 6, with individual and group coaching for tasks identified at the first workshop. We were excited to try interactive workshop methodologies online, and to find out how to adapt them.


Getting organised for a new strategy

June 2, 2020

Roots to Rise is accompanying Nonviolent Peaceforce in the participatory development of its new strategy and for strengthening its governance.


For the overall coordination of the process, a Strategy Management Team (SMT) with representatives from the operational management from different countries and the board, was set up. At the kick-off meetings with the SMT on May 29, and with the board on June 2, we set the stage for this challenging process.


Since Nonviolent Peaceforce operates globally, this strategy development process takes place online for the most part - for once not because of Covid.



Grant-giving Foundations during and after the Covid-19 crisis

April 7, 2020

Grant-giving foundations are particularly challenged in times of Covid-19!


  • What are possible effects of the crisis on the assets of the foundation?

  • Which measures does the Foundation Council or Board have to take for their further cooperation with beneficiary organisations?

  • What is changing, how do we communicate?

  • What are the concrete effects on our Foundation during and especially after Covid-19? What is the potential, what needs to be reconsidered?

  • How can our Foundation support the constructive resumption of social, cultural and economic life in our country and internationally?

The non-profit sector has the potential and the responsibility to make a decisive contribution to overcoming the crisis. The agility and innovative power of grant-giving foundations and NGOs to respond to the situation is required!


Foundations are important actors in ensuring the continued work and survival of small and medium-sized NGOs. They provide a wide range of services that are especially important now for the survival of the most disadvantaged groups in society and thus for us all!

Update August 2020


More than 60 grant-giving foundations have participated in our survey on what they have done to react to the situation and joined the discussion on shaping the future of #philanthropy #NotBackToNormal #ForwardToNormal

Covid-19: Emergency Coaching - for free!

March 21, 2020

Extraordinary situations require extraordinary measures - this truth has shown itself to all of us in these past days!

Due to the Corona-situation affecting the entire globe, non-profit leaders are facing tough challenges. They need to act fast on so many different levels:

  • Cancelling events, conferences, trainings and other programme activities;

  • Re-planning and adapting immediate actions;

  • Taking safeguarding measures for their beneficiaries, staff and partners; 

  • Making the team fit and technically equipped to work remotely; 

  • Negotiating with donors to get approval for necessary changes;

  • As well as considering different programmatic and financial scenarios for the rest of the year;

  • And all of this in a situation of great uncertainty.

Cooperation, mutual support and agility will help us to deal with this situation constructively!

Update May 2020


From March until May 2020 Roots to Rise provided free emergency at-distance-coaching, practical advice and support to non-profit leaders, CEOs and board members of more than 10 NGOs worldwide. 


  • Remote crisis leadership and team management

  • Mobilising top leadership - especially board members for urgent important decisions

  • Developing various scenarios for their work plan and fundraising during the crisis year

Read about the main learnings we had with our clients in our blog "What NGOs can learn from the Covid-19 situation for shaping the future".

Interview on authentic leadership with Roots to Rise Founder

March 31, 2020

Adriaan Groenewald, CEO of the Leadership Platform, invited Beatrice Schulter to be part of their Global Leadership Conversation. The initiative brings together leaders and leadership experts to come up with solutions for authentic and constructive leadership during the 2020 Decade of Authentic Leadership.

Key take-aways from the interview:

Leadership is a function, not a position.

Leadership is an attitude, not an event.

Leadership is a collective effort, not the achievement of an individual.

Beatrice's vision of authentic leadership is driven by her motto "involve - inspire - empower" as key steps in a process to create collective leadership.


Involving all stakeholders and especially enabling participation of those, whose voice is often not heard, makes it possible for those in leadership positions to consider different needs and perspectives.

Through participatory processes, all stakeholders are inspired to co-create a joint vision, as well as innovative ways to working toward it.

To empower means to equip individuals and the group with the necessary knowledge, capacities, rules and processes, that ensure cooperation to be effective.

Interview Leadership

Marco Dolfini joins Roots to Rise

March 18, 2020

We are very happy to welcome Marco Dolfini, highly professional and experienced fundraiser and resource developer, with outstanding knowledge of and strong network within the Swiss donor landscape, in our freelance team!

How feasible is our strategy?

February 26, 2020

This is the question the team of mä wanted to clarify. Mä is the umbrella organisation of Swiss men's and fathers' organisations, working with a feminist approach to achieve holistic gender equality in Swiss society. Roots to Rise supported the mä team to conduct a strategic and financial analysis and a clarification of the theory of change.


On February 26 we facilitated a team workshop to define how to tackle the challenges: Which activities are to be prioritised, where are additional funding opportunities and how can time and energy be used with the strongest results?

Can non-profit and entrepreneurship go together?


February 20, 2020

Roots to Rise was part of the discussion around social entrepreneurship, conducted by the Centre for Philanthropic Studies at the University of Basel.

How can entrepreneurial success be merged with social causes traditionally tackled by non-profit organisations, and how can the two logics be married?

Most NGOs engaging in long-term social change have been using entrepreneurial elements in their business models for a long time.

Diversifying our Team


February 18, 2020

Roots to Rise is working on enlarging its freelance team to better serve our clients.


What are the skills and competencies needed to equip NGOs to deliver effectively on their mission in a fast changing environment?

It is really around EVERYTHING: Strategy, leadership, resource development, agile management, communications, and of course the diverse thematic areas our clients are working on...

The birth of Roots to Rise


January 3, 2020

Roots to Rise was registered as Limited Liability Company in December 2019 and is now fully operational.

Huge thanks to all partners and friends for the vivid exchange, brainstorming, discussions, ideas, support and warm encouragement throughout the past months!

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