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helping hands Volunteers in Switzerland equivalent to 4,700 full-time jobs

man packing crates of food

A volunteer in Geneva at the recent "Samedi du partage", where shoppers can donate certain products to people living in poverty.

(Keystone)

Research by Basel University has found that non-profit organisations in Switzerland benefit from a yearly total of 39,000 volunteer hours. This amounts to the equivalent of 4,700 full time positions.

The figuresexternal link, prepared by the university’s Centre for Philanthropy Studies together with the consultancy PPCmetrics, were released to coincide with the International Volunteer Dayexternal link, which this year takes place on Tuesday 5 December.

According to the researchers, this shows just how much aid organisations rely not only on donations and government contributions, but also on volunteer time and goodwill.

The study also looked deeper into the financing of Swiss non-profits, finding that they are on average made up of 56% bank deposits, 18% securities, and 9% real estate (which organisations often occupy themselves).

It also reported that for 70% of all such groups in the country, the most recent and complete financial statements are available on their website. Fundraising groups are most transparent, it found, coming in ahead of associations and foundations.

However, it said, there is “room for improvement” across the board when it comes to the disclosure of asset structures, investment methods, and administrative expenses. Some 14% of all non-profits do not disclose financial statements at all.


swissinfo.ch and agencies/dos

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