FondsGoetheanum: Economy

Ursula Piffaretti

Founder of several institutions and companies, Ursula Piffaretti was active for many years as the administrator of a trading company and as trustee and board member of the Anthroposophical Society in Switzerland. Married with five grown-up children, she lived for 33 years in Ticino. A year ago, she took over the Beer bookstore in Zurich. Her concern is the promotion of the modern cultural impulse of anthroposophy.

Gift money gives strong impetus

"Learn to Share"! Give what we have – as children we are encouraged to volunteer, to give – and not always voluntarily. What is giving all about?

Most of us are not clearly aware that parents give to their children when they provide them with what they need to live, to grow, to develop. This is not considered a special virtue, but as something completely natural and obvious.

To give money is to show interest

We can easily see that this giving by parents has an economically productive side: thereby today’s children become tomorrow’s economic actors and are seen as the guarantors of humanity’s further progress.
At the heart of giving is the feeling: Money needs to be active somewhere in order to make the present or future possible. Money which we do not need directly calls to be used in this way.
To give is to presume to understand what others have need of – be it bread, clothes, money, happiness, affection. It also means that we show interest in what other people undertake, or have resolved to serve. To give assumes that the donor has something the other needs. It belongs to the giving of money that one is interested in the recipient or the impulses that he wants to achieve with the money.

Gift money as catalyst

For the recipient of donations, previously accumulated impulses and actions can find their way into life, thanks to the facilitation by donations, make their way in life. Gift money always engenders immediate activity.
The large number of associations, foundations and other collecting organizations in Switzerland shows how varied and individual they are, and how richly they are supported with gift money. We can imagine how productive all these initiatives are for the present and the future.

Money disappears, opportunities emerge

Giving is part of our economy. What ‘disappears’ from the perspective of the donor of money becomes a powerful, productive and forward-looking force when it rises again as diverse and completely new, even unpredictable, impulses and possibilities: that is giving.

Ursula Piffaretti