Swiss Re’s UK charity policy

Charities, please note the following changes to Swiss Re UK Charity Policy:

  • Charity of the Year is now a TWO-YEAR partnership
  • Application for Charity of the Year is by INVITATION ONLY
  • Corporate Donations (unrelated to COTY) have been discontinued

(Changes became effective in May 2011)

In the United Kingdom, Swiss Re operates the following charity programmes on behalf of its employees (based in London and Folkestone):

  • Charity of the Year (COTY)
  • Matched Giving
  • Payroll Giving

Except for Payroll Giving (which is managed by HR), these programmes are managed by the UK Communications team.

Charity of the Year

Our current Charity of the Year is the Alzheime's Society, A UK charity which works to improve the quality of life of people affected by dementia in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. This partnership will run for two years, from January 2015 to December 2016.

Our Previous Charity of the Year Partnerships:

  • 2003 Teenage Cancer Trust
  • 2004 RAFT
  • 2005 Friends of the Elderly
  • 2006/2007 Richard House Children's Hospice
  • 2008 The Alzheimer's Society
  • 2009 Macmillan Cancer Support
  • 2010 Starlight Children’s Foundation
  • 2011/2012 NSPCC
  • 2013/2014 Teenage Cancer Trust
  • 2015/2016 Alzheimer's Society

Historically, COTY partnerships have run for one year. However, in May 2011, following an independent review of the UK Charity policy, Swiss Re changed the COTY programme to run for a two-year period, starting from 1 January of one year to 31 December of the following year. This change allows more time to build a strong relationship with the charity and develop a wider range of fundraising events, as well as reducing time and cost spent on administration (particularly selection and induction processes). Given the advantages, the extension will come into immediate effect – ie. the existing COTY partnership will run Jan 2014 – Dec 2016. Therefore, the charity selection process will be held on alternate (even) years (ie 2012, 2014…).

COTY partnerships will be reviewed in August each year. In the unlikely event of an unsatisfactory partnership (for either party) in the Year 1 August review, the partnership may be terminated and a runner-up charity invited to substitute the COTY for remainder of the term (one year only).

UK Charity of the Year Selection Process


Application for Charity of the Year is by invitation only, following charity nominations by Swiss Re UK employees.

Please note: NO DIRECT UNSOLICITED* CONTACT WITH SWISS RE EMPLOYEES IS ALLOWED BEFORE OR DURING THE NOMINATION PERIOD. Any attempt to do so will result in the charity being excluded from the process. This includes, but is not limited to: telephone contact, e-mail contact, leaflet dropping outside Swiss Re offices, postal contact, etc.

(*This does not affect your existing relationships with our employees.)

Only charities meeting the following criteria can be put forward for consideration:

  • The charity must be a UK-registered charity (to verify eligibility visit: or )
  • The charity must not be a political or quasi-political organisation
  • The charity must not support “campaigns for justice” or fundraise for the costs of legal proceedings.
  • The charity must have a minimum income of £1million per annum and must have an office located within 60 miles of the City of London.
  • The charity must be prepared to provide an account manager who will dedicate approximately two days per week to the partnership, including a minimum of two days each month working at the Swiss Re offices.

COTY Application timeline

Nominated charities will be contacted directly by Swiss Re’s UK Communications team by 14 July (note: even years only – ie 2014, 2016) and invited to apply for the position of COTY by completing the application form provided.

Applications must be submitted by 22 August. Late entries will not be considered and will not be carried forward.

All applications will be reviewed and assessed by an internal selection panel and a shortlist of six charities will be invited to make a short presentation to the panel in late September / early October.

Three charities will be put forward to the final stage - an employee vote - which will take place over a 3-week period in October. The charity with the largest number of votes will be announced as the Charity of the Year during the first week of November. This allows the charity and Swiss Re two months to prepare for a successful partnership.


Payroll Giving & Matched Giving

Swiss Re operates a Payroll Giving scheme whereby employees can make regular charitable donations to UK registered charities direct from their gross (pre-tax) salary.

Swiss Re also matches employees’ charity donations, pound for pound, up to GBP 1,500 per person per annum, where they are directly involved in raising money for a specific, UK-registered charity that involves them participating in a physical activity (ie, running, walking, abseiling, etc). The company also matches employee Payroll Giving donations made to the current Charity of the Year.

Where we are asked to sponsor events, contribute towards costs, or match charitable donations, which fall outside of these categories, the money from the charity fund cannot be utilised.


Further Policy Information

Variations to the above are at the discretion of UK Communications.

Swiss Re is not interested in any self-promotion or PR through its charitable support.

Any use of our name and/or logo must have the express permission of UK Communications.

It is our policy to have a contract with the chosen COTY before any fundraising activities can commence and before any payment can be made.