The group of persons eligible for support is specified in the Foundation Deeds. According to its statutes, the Stähelin Family Fund addresses a wider group than the Adolf Stehelin Family Foundation. Only the descendants of Balthasar (§117, the founder’s father) may receive support from the latter, whereas the Stähelin Family Fund is primarily for the descendants of Balthasar Stähelin-Ryhiner Balthasar Stähelin-Ryhiner (§ 61) , its Founder, but secondarily also includes the other descendants of the patriarch Hans Stehelin (§1).
‘Descendants’ within the meaning of the Foundation Deeds are:
- The descendants of the above-mentioned persons, who by virtue of this descent are called Stehelin, Stähelin or Staehelin or had that name when they were single.
- The children of these descendants,
- The widows and widowers of these descendants, unless they have remarried.
The Management Board has the authority but no obligation to take into consideration also other descendants than those mentioned above. (For the Adolf Stehelin Family Foundation this authority was granted already in 1998, for the Stähelin Family Fund this authority was only granted in April 2012, when the charter of the fund was revised by the General Meeting of the Descendants.)
Eligible cases of hardship
Whilst the circle of eligible persons is precisely defined in the Foundation Deeds, the ‘hardship’ they refer to is left to the common sense of the Governing Body.
Social insurance or public welfare schemes are primarily responsible for the relief of hardship. The Family Foundation therefore sees its purpose not in easing the burden of the public services, but in complementing them. In particular, the Foundation can bridge the gap if there is a potential shortfall, or step in until the public services intervene. In addition, support can be given for example to help with education, for a necessary, larger outlay or to improve the quality of life for eligible individuals on very slender means.
Finally, hardship is constantly further defined by the Governing Body through its practical experience of providing support.