The latest research from the Swissfundraising association and certification authority Zewo show that Switzerland’s non-profit organisations received a record 1.85 billion Swiss Francs (CHF) last year, accounting for around one third of their income, with eight in ten households donating.
Zewo’s figures show that three out of every five donated francs went to certified not-for-profit organisations (NPOs), and a good half of these donations come from private households as individual donations, membership and patronage contributions or sponsorships. The majority of these donations still arrive via bank or postal transfer with newer payment channels such as SMS or crowdfunding continuing to play a minor role. Less than one cent of every 100 francs donated is given in this way.
The majority of households support charities, according to Swissfundraising’s annual Donation and Image Barometer. Nine out of ten respondents to this survey said they found NPO’s work important or rather important, with eight out of ten households donating, giving a median (value) of 300 francs a year overall. On average, in German-speaking Switzerland households donate more, at 400 francs per year, compared to 200 francs in Romandie and 300 francs in Ticino. In addition, the top three most popular causes are disabilities, children and teens, and people in need or living in poverty.
Large and corporate donations are also on the rise. Zewo’s figures show that every fourth franc donated comes from a foundation such as Swiss Solidarity (the public broadcasting emergency appeal charity) or a religious institution, and this is a rising trend. Donations from companies are also growing, but still make up the smallest part of the donations.
In addition, legacies are also gaining importance. While Swiss NPOs inherited 110 million francs ten years ago, last year saw the annual total rise to 162 million francs. Three out of every twenty people interviewed have made a will with every 14th will including a legacy. Zewo predicts that legacy revenues are likely to continue to increase in the future with one quarter of people who have not yet made provisions for their inheritance saying they can imagine including an NPO in their will, according to Swissfundraising’s Barometer survey.
According to Zewo, figures from certification authorities in surrounding countries show that Switzerland has the most generous population in Europe with more than 80% of its households saying that they donate. This compares to around 60% in France, Austria and Sweden, and around 20% in in Italy and Spain.