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Give a little bit Charity donations increase in 2012

Finance Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf takes part in a charity fundraising drive

(Keystone)

The Swiss donated a total of CHF1.64 billion ($1.82 billion) in 2012 to various charities, CHF28 million more than the year before, according to the Swiss charities certification office (ZEWO).

Almost CHF1.05 billion was given to ZEWO-certified charities, of which a third came from individuals, the office said on Thursday. It also included CHF198 million from members, patrons and sponsors. Bequests were particularly high at CHF141 million.

While total donations increased by 4.3 per cent compared with the previous year, the amount given to non-ZEWO-certified charities decreased by 2.4 per cent.

Sums from NGOs, churches and collections also dropped from CHF236 million to CHF217 million.

The office said that together with public funding and self-generated funds from the likes of foundations and NGOs, the 431 registered ZEWO charities received a total of CHF3.1 billion.

ZEWO director Martina Ziegerer said it was often the case that individuals donate more in economically difficult times because the sense of solidarity is stronger. It was different with companies, she added, whose level of donations depends on business results.

ZEWO also said that the 93,000 volunteers in the evaluated charities had put in more than five million hours of work: 571 years, it calculated.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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