In the five days following the devastating tsunami in Asia, Swiss Solidarity received one-and-a-half times as much as during the rest of 2004 combined.
A total of almost SFr39 million ($30 million) was donated in 2004 to the fundraising arm of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (SBC), swissinfo’s parent company.
Until the tsunami on December 26, Swiss Solidarity said last year was "very average" with donations of SFr15.4 million, half the total amount spent on relief projects (SFr29.6 million).
This "excess expenditure" of SFr14.2 million demonstrated the time lapse between collection and conversion into relief work. Last month – six months after the tsunami – Swiss Solidarity had already spent or earmarked SFr70 million for relief work.
According to Swiss Solidarity’s annual report, the tsunami had only a slight bearing on the foundation’s business year – the main impact will be felt in the 2005 report.
Yet following the tsunami a further SFr23 million was donated within five days.
At the end of 2004, Swiss Solidarity was engaged in 221 disaster relief and children’s aid projects in 50 countries, accounting for a total of SFr78 million and involving 30 Swiss partner relief organisations.
It received 2,397 requests for social aid in Switzerland and helped in 1,393 cases (3,578 persons), spending SFr1.42 million.
Swiss Solidarity is not only well known but also very popular in Switzerland.
This is the result of a representative survey of 1,904 people carried out by the SBC Research Department, and published for the first time in the annual report.
Of those questioned, 36.4 per cent said they had made donations to Swiss Solidarity in recent years.
The main reasons given were: because appeals appear in the media (64.5 per cent); because Swiss Solidarity collects money only if it is really needed (50.8 per cent); because it provides relief quickly (48.8 per cent); because donations are used 100 per cent (42.9 per cent); and because it is neutral (36.7 per cent).
Eight out of ten people questioned believed Swiss Solidarity was a "reputable" charity that was well adapted to the times.
swissinfo with agencies
Swiss Solidarity received donations of almost SFr39 million in 2004.
At the end of 2004, Swiss Solidarity was engaged in disaster relief work and children’s aid in 221 projects spread across 50 countries.
It received 2,397 requests for assistance in Switzerland.
Founded in 1946, Swiss Solidarity is the fundraising arm of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation (swissinfo’s parent company).
It is not an aid organisation but a means of collecting funds on behalf of the Swiss media.
Swiss Solidarity is well known for its disaster appeals.
Its aid programmes support tens of thousands of children in developing countries and in Switzerland.