The lifecycle of our foundation means that we will cease all our grant-making by 2022. Leading up to this date, MAVA’s partners and staff are working together to deliver lasting conservation change for the benefit of people and nature.

We get asked a number of questions by our partners and other MAVA friends about our closing and our approach in this last phase. Here are some answers to the questions we get asked the most. At the bottom of the page, you will also find interviews with André Hoffmann and Lynda Mansson which will give you more details.

If you have any other questions, please contact us.

Why is MAVA closing?

The MAVA Foundation was founded by Dr Luc Hoffmann in 1994 as an expression of his life-long commitment to conservation. Luc Hoffmann planned MAVA’s closing a long time ago. His wish was to give his heirs the freedom to pursue their own philanthropic activities, a decision which they have confirmed.


What are MAVA’s experiences from being a limited-life foundation?

There are some inherent challenges any foundation in such a situation would face (e.g. ensuring impact and dealing with partners’ dependency). But there are also some benefits such as sharpened strategic focus and sense of urgency. In this article written for the Foundation Review, Lynda Mansson shares some reflections and learnings on the closing. And in this podcast, she discusses the strategic challenges of winding down.


What is the closing timeline?

The foundation will cease all its grant-making at the end of 2022. Therefore, all MAVA-funded projects will end no later than 31 October 2022 (or sooner depending on the contract). The foundation will officially close mid-2023 when all administrative tasks are completed. Celebrations are planned for the spring of 2023 to mark our journey and successes together with our partners and friends.


How will MAVA be replaced?

MAVA will not be replaced (it would not make sense to close MAVA and then reopen a new structure!). We hope that other donors will be able to take on some of our work and we are helping our partners secure new means of funding (conservation finance, self-financing, trust funds, etc.).


Could the MAVA Board change its mind about the foundation’s closing?

The MAVA Board has repeatedly confirmed the closing. Numerous legal steps for the termination of MAVA’s activities are already underway. The Board will not change its mind.


Is MAVA planning any new grants before it closes?

There will not be any new grants within the Outcome Action Plans (OAPs). Any remaining funds are already earmarked. Some grants outside our programmes are planned for a short list of partners. There are no more funds available for unplanned or unsolicited projects.


Will other donors take over from MAVA and provide funding to MAVA partners?

The partners are responsible for their organisation’s funding but MAVA will be there until the end of 2022 to support them to the extent of our possibilities and on their initiative. There will be no systematic handover to other funders.


Will it be possible to approach the Hoffmann family directly for new grants once MAVA has closed?

No. After MAVA has closed, the Hoffmann family will not have the capacity to respond to new requests.


How has MAVA supported its partners in this final phase?

MAVA has already offered various support/development opportunities to its partners, such as organizational support, an online fundraising course in 2021 and 2022, a scenario planning course as well as coaching, leadership/communication forums, and the MAVA Leaders for Nature Academy.


Will MAVA promote its partners before the end of 2022?

MAVA will continue to promote its partners (blog, newsletter, informal discussions, etc.) and will remain available to relay their communication efforts related to MAVA-funded projects. Partners can contact Suzanne Amrein at MAVA for this purpose.


What is MAVA’s strategy for this last phase of funding?

MAVA’s strategy for 2016-2022 places a strong emphasis on close collaboration between partners to achieve concrete results. To know more about how we define a successful collaboration, read this blog from Julien Sémelin.

We also focus on the sustainability of projects and our partners beyond 2022. Our goal is to have a lasting impact that goes beyond our funding and thus strengthens our legacy.


Will MAVA continue to monitor its grants like it did before?

Project monitoring will continue and MAVA will pay particular attention to project implementation, expenditures and impacts. However, increased leadership from the Steering Committees of the Outcome Action Plans is expected in the monitoring of projects. Read the blog written by Julien Sémelin and Luis Costa on MAVA shifting from chairperson to partner.


What will success look like in 2022?

Our success rests both on the projects’ impact before the end of 2022 and on the continuation of the collective work after 2022.


How much has MAVA granted out during its lifetime?

MAVA’s grant-making totals more than CHF 1 billion since 1994, covering over 1300 grants.


What will happen to MAVA’s staff?

In the same way MAVA is supporting its partners, MAVA is also supporting its staff in the planning of their professional activities post-MAVA. Each staff member will evolve in his/her professional life as per his/her personal desires and opportunities, with the support of MAVA. Read the blog written by Lynda Mansson for the National Center for Family Philanthropy on managing MAVA’s staff transitions.


Want to learn more?

André Hoffmann on MAVA’s closing


Lynda Mansson on MAVA’s closing


Lynda Mansson on MAVA’s final strategy