The Zewo seal of approval is unique in Switzerland. The label distinguishes those non-profit organisations which manage the funds entrusted to them in a conscientious manner. It is aimed at the public. It is intended to assist private individuals, institutions, authorities, church communities and companies in their decision-making process regarding funding, donations, contributions, benefits or sponsorship.
What does the label stand for ?
The Zewo seal of approval certifies that the donations will be used economically, effectively and for their designated purpose. It stands for organisations which offer transparent information and true and fair financial reporting, have independent and appropriate control mechanisms, provide open communications and which procure their funds in a fair manner.
What does the sign mean ?
The sign means that the relevant organisation has been “inspected and approved”. It appears on collection calls, deposit slips and other printed items issued by certified organisations. Zewo advertises the seal of approval to the public and especially donors.
Who can apply for approval ?
Any non-profit organisation based in Switzerland may apply for the Zewo seal of approval, if they believe that they meet Zewo’s standards. The prerequisite for this is that the organisation is committed to carrying out social, humanitarian and socio- cultural tasks or to protecting nature and the environment, and that it has been in existence for at least two years.
How can new organisations obtain the Zewo seal of approval ?
The inspection by Zewo is a two-stage process. The first stage, the pre-inspection, involves clarifying whether the organisation fulfils the basic requirements to successfully obtain certification. On the basis of the interim report, the organisation then decides whether to go ahead with the second stage, the main in-depth inspection procedure, which involves a visit to the organisation. If the organisation fulfils the requirements, it will be awarded the seal of approval for a period of five years. At the end of this period, recertification will be subject to a repeat inspection.
What sanctions are in place ?
If the inspection shows that an organisation no longer fulfils Zewo’s requirements, the organisation will be required to remedy the situation within a certain period. At the end of this period, the organisation will be inspected again. If the situation has still not been remedied by the end of this additional period, the seal of approval will be withdrawn.
What is inspected ?
• Non-profit status
• Use of donations for designated purpose, effectiveness, cost-effectiveness
• Effective internal and external control mechanisms
• Transparency with regard to activities and financial reporting
• Ethical procurement of funds and communications How is the inspection carried out ?
• Analysis of public information
• Data collection via questionnaire
• Inspection of internal documentation
• Visit to the organisation
• Review by independent experts
• Proposal issued to board of trustees
• Recourse court checks decisions on request Regulations
• Regulations regarding the ZEWO seal of approval
• Regulations for collections
• Swiss GAAP FER