The foundation of the Pontifical Swiss Guard, based in Fribourg (Switzerland) was founded in 2000 with the purpose to support the Swiss Guards financially, materially and socially. Specifically, this includes the following priorities:
- Recruitment of new Guardsmen
- Education and training (Swiss federal professional security and protection certification - VSSU)
- Improvement of infrastructure facilities in the barracks
- PR assistance
– Reintegration of Guardsmen into the labor market.
To help achieve these goals, a foundation board was comprised of personalities from church, science, politics, economy and military. Former Swiss Federal Councilor Pascal Couchepin serves as chairman oft he foundation. The head of the Swiss Bishops' Conference and the Commander oft he Swiss Guards are ex officio members of the Board of Trustees as well. The Foundation works closely with the command of the Pontifical Swiss Guard. The task of the Foundation Board is to review and approve the individual grant applications. In order to obtain the necessary financial resources, the Foundation conducts various fundraising events.
The Foundation supports the Pontifical Swiss Guard with an annual contribution of around CHF 500 '000. Additional donations are assigned to donor-specified projects.
In 2016 the Papal Swiss Guard Foundation in the Vatican promoted the establishment of a second Foundation with the purpose of commissioning a project to modernize the equipment and to restructure the barracks of the guard, an important initiative within their mandate. This new Foundation is entitled "Foundation for the Renovation of the Barracks of the Papal Swiss Guard in the Vatican".
In fact, the buildings of the barracks of the Guard, which dates back to the 19th century, is outdated and no longer fulfills the current lodging requirements and obligations of a troop. A modernization of the equipment and restoration of the premises, specifically their reconstruction, is necessary. The Foundation for the Renovation of the Barracks supports the Vatican Authorities in this endeavor, providing their technical and real estate skills and know-how as well as financial aid. Additional information on the progress of the work can be obtained under the paragraph "Renovation Barracks".
When the objective that motivated the creation of such a Foundation will be reached, the Foundation for the Renovation of the Barracks of the Papal Swiss Guard in the Vatican will be dissolved, and any remaining proceeds will be transferred to the Foundation of the Papal Swiss Guard.