“Long-term promotion of democracy with a special emphasis on citizen-oriented, participatory and direct-democratic developments worldwide”.

The Swiss Democracy Foundation (SDF) promotes projects and collaborates with partners to safeguard and foster democracy, with a specific emphasis on citizen engagement, tolerance towards minorities, and global comprehension.

The foundation is overseen by a Board consisting of five members and is supported by an international Advisory Board. The foundation is headquartered in Lucerne, Switzerland, and is currently establishing its office in Bern, Switzerland. As of 1st January 2022, Stefanie Bosshard has been leading the office.

We are observing how different societies with varying democratic tendencies are handling the current global crises worldwide. In times of conflicts, pandemics, and emergencies related to the climate, it is of utmost importance to have careful leadership, unbiased scientific advice, and complete transparency. Trust is a crucial factor in maintaining a healthy relationship between citizens, politicians and authorities.

The most effective way to achieve this is by ensuring that individuals are fully informed about their rights and freedoms, and that they can rely on solid social welfare protection. Robust democratic societies are better equipped to deal with such challenges, while regimes with low levels of trust frequently have recourse to authoritarian and populist methods.

Building democratic trust capital constitutes the primary goal of the Swiss Democracy Foundation.

Would you like to support our work? We rely on your generous support and commitment.



Read the Article in the Einsiedler Anzeiger "The municipal assembly is at the heart of local democracy" in the Einsiedler Anzeiger by our Board Member Nancy Eckert

Read the Articel "'We vote on everything': Direct democracy in Switzerland" on Focus Taiwan - CNA English News

Read the Article "Elections in Taiwan: Switzerland Switzerland prefers to focus on China" on Watson.ch

Current Activities


Global Forum on Modern ­Direct Democracy

The Global Forum on Modern Direct Democracy is the largest global conference on participatory and direct democracy. The twelfth edition took place from 15 to 18 May 2024 in Bucharest, Romania.

Youth + Democracy Fund

Our instrument to support an promote the participation of young people in and for modern democracy


Here you will find an overview of publications to which the SDF and its predecessor organisations have made significant contributions in collaboration with partner organisations.

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The Direct Democracy Navigator

The Direct Democracy Navigator is a so far unique online tool which assembles data from around the world on direct democracy.