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In Switzerland, the pandemic triggered solidarity with those in need, changed donation behaviour, drove nonprofit digital transformation, and shaped media reports on the sector, according to the 2021 Spendenreport.
It highlights how, in Switzerland, the pandemic saw 8 out of 10 households donate, with the average annual amount given per household rising from around €288 to €337, according to a survey by Swissfundraising and the Zewo Foundation. In 2020, this led to the projected total amount donated exceeding the CHF 2 billion threshold (€1.9bn) for the first time.
Donations not only rose during the pandemic, the report shows, but significantly more came in via digital payment channels such as Twint. Charity websites also proved a key channel for donations, while many organisations made great strides in digitisation, for example, supplementing traditional communication channels and marketing tools with digital, and increasingly integrating their online and offline worlds.
In the media, with the pandemic remaining a key focus until mid-2021, coupled with a growing focus on health and human rights issues, the report finds that Swiss NPOs and their involvement in these areas were largely viewed positively.
However, one significant media issue did arise for the sector during this time. This centred around the Corporate Responsibility Initiative (KVI), which was narrowly rejected at ballot in late 2020. The initiative was launched by a coalition of Swiss civil society organisations in 2015, aimed at holding Swiss companies accountable for their actions abroad. This sparked debate over whether NPOs should be political, and led to an increase in negative media reports on NPO governance issues.
Roger Tinner from Swissfundraising commented:
“Swissfundraising is very pleased that for the first time over CHF 2 billion in donations were made and that solidarity with those in need was strengthened during this difficult time.”
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