Swiss dig into their pockets after disasters

More than two thirds of Swiss households gave money to charity in 2010, according to the gfs-zurich research institute.

This content was published on March 6, 2011 minutes

Details of the insitute’s donation monitor published in Sunday’s SonntagBlick newspaper put total donations from Swiss households at SFr1.2 billion ($1.3 billion), the second highest amount ever.

The only year when the Swiss have been more generous was 2005, following the tsunami in Southeast Asia.

The Swiss responded generously to the earthquake in Haiti in January 2010 and to the floods in Pakistan in the summer. In general sympathy for the victims was the commonest reason people gave for donating money.

Although the number of households making donations fell slightly in comparison with 2009  – from 72 to 69 per cent – those who did give money gave slightly more than half as much again as they had the previous year, averaging SFr694.

The number of households who gave single donations of more than SFr1,000 rose from five per cent  to 16 per cent. But three quarters of all donations were for less than SFr100.

The most generous are women aged over 34, with a good educational level and a monthly income of more than SFr4,000.

German-speakers turned out to be more generous the French-speakers, donating SFr786 as compared with SFr403.

The study authors attribute people’s willingness to give money in part to the fact that they trust the charities who receive it.

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