Summary of History and Activities

The Swiss Benevolent Society of Chicago, an Illinois not-for profit corporation, was founded in May of 1872 under the name “Schweizerische Wohltaetigkeits-Gesellschaft” as a result of a $2,060 grant provided by the Swiss Confederation and private Swiss citizens to help members of the Swiss community of Chicago weather the hardships inflicted upon them by the disastrous Chicago fire of October 1871.

Over the subsequent decades, people here and in Switzerland were helped with small grants at times of personal disaster, disability or inability to find work.

Distributions of the Society are limited to the proceeds generated from its accruing funds. These revenues make it possible to provide support in the following categories:

  • Aid to former or present Swiss-Americans or descendants in financial need
  • Promotion of Swiss-American friendship and understanding
  • Scholarships that promote cultural and educational exchanges between Switzerland and the Midwestern region as defined by the Board of Directors
  • Cultural projects that promote the image of Switzerland, the Swiss heritage and the Swiss community in the Midwest
  • Assistance to other non-profit charitable or cultural societies in the United States or Switzerland with substantially similar activities

The Board of Directors of the Swiss Benevolent Society of Chicago