UBS Optimus Foundation: Grants for Global Development

OVERVIEW: The UBS Optimus Foundation centers its global development grantmaking on protecting children from poor health and child abuse, as well as expanding quality education.

IP TAKE: UBS seeks innovative and novel approaches to pervasive problems within its areas of grantmaking interest. While UBS looks for brilliant ideas, it also emphasizes supporting research. Without supporting data, the likelihood of winning funding here is close to zero. 

PROFILE: The UBS Optimus Foundation is the philanthropic arm of the global financial services company UBS. While the foundation is headquartered in Zurich, Switzerland, its website supports many different languages, making it accessible to grantseekers from all over the world. UBS Optimus seeks to ensure "[c]hildren are safe, healthy, educated - and ready for their future." It awards grants in the areas of child health, protection, education, and emergency response.

Through its dedicated Protection and Education programs, UBS supports groups that work to break the cycle of poor health, lack of access to education, and child abuse. UBS is also interested in organizations developing solutions to end long-term poverty.

UBS Optimus also gives widely to efforts to improve children’s health and health outcomes in developing countries around the world.

Grants range from between CHF 80,000 and CHF 150,000 (around $84,000 to $157,000), and cover between 12 to 18 months. This foundation gives widely to large organizations that are trying to effect widespread change on an international level, such as Teach for All and BRAC. It is also a generous supporter of smaller groups working on a local level to make progress in children’s protection and education. To learn more about other organization the foundation has funded, explore its All Projects list.

The UBS only accepts grant applications during its open calls, which are announced each year. Those announcements don’t seem to follow any pattern or deadline, so grantees should be sure to check the foundation’s grant application page for those upcoming dates.


  • Search for staff contact info and bios in PeopleFinder (paid subscribers only.)