The devastating earthquake in Nepal in spring and the escalating refugee crisis in autumn dominated the year 2015 at Swiss Solidarity. According to the annual report published today, the foundation raised 73 million francs in donations last year and approved 102 aid projects in 33 countries, while also evolving at an institutional level as well as in terms of communication.
The solidarity of the Swiss population was apparent last year in particular after the catastrophic earthquake in Nepal (32 million francs donated) and during the on-going refugee crisis (26 million francs). Further 5.3 million francs came together during the #TogetherForSyria campaign on behalf of the victims of the Syria crisis. “The campaign took place entirely online and signalled a new, digital approach to fundraising for the foundation,” Swiss Solidarity Managing Director Tony Burgener explains.
47 million francs for 25 aid organizations
In the year under review, 47 million francs in funds raised by Swiss Solidarity went to 25 aid organizations. Around two thirds of this amount were used for the benefit of those affected by Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines, the earthquake in Nepal, as well as war victims and refugees of the Syria conflict. More than 80 percent of the approved projects were run by Caritas, Terre des hommes – Helping children worldwide, the Swiss Red Cross, Medair, Solidar Suisse, HEKS, Handicap International, Helvetas and ADRA. Independent experts appointed by Swiss Solidarity and the foundation’s project team primarily assessed emergency relief, construction and water projects in South Sudan, Iraq, Nepal, the Philippines, on the Balkan route and in Haiti. The evaluations were shared in an open and transparent dialogue with the partner NGOs.
Strong commitment in Switzerland
In Switzerland, financial assistance totalled more than 4.7 million francs, 3417 people in need benefited from support, as well as to 40 families affected by storm damage. Swiss Solidarity also carried out, pro bono, the mission entrusted to it by the Federal Office of Justice-appointed round table on behalf of the victims of enforced welfare measures. The seventh Swiss Solidarity and SRF 3 joint fundraiser Jeder Rappen zählt (Every penny counts) was held in December 2015 to raise donations for young people in need. Half of the collected 4.1 million francs in donations have been earmarked for the support of young people in Switzerland.
Mobile, digital, anytime and anywhere
Swiss Solidarity is keeping pace with the times and revised its donation process in 2015 to make donating easier and quicker via smartphone, website, online banking or at the post office counter. The foundation also launched a new donation platform in addition to the Swiss Solidarity and Paymit applications and other donation channels.
Last year, the SRG-supported foundation launched a strategy review under the direction of its new president, Ladina Heimgartner. “How do we want to evolve in order to prepare ourselves for the future? Be it in view of the power shift in delivering aid or with respect to the needs of young donors in a society that is becoming increasingly fragmented, globalized and digitalized?” Ladina Heimgartner asks in the annual report published today.
Positive financial result
Net operating expenditure in 2015 amounted to 3,783,225 francs. In contrast, the positive financial result of 435,744 francs, achieved despite the volatile financial environment, was not sufficient to cover Swiss Solidarity’s operating costs. The shortfall was covered by releasing part of the operating reserves (2,300,000 francs) and the extraordinary release of 2.5% (1,059,454 francs) from the “Typhoon Haiyan” fund. The Foundation Council has designated a 5% reserve requirement for all large campaigns, which is only drawn if investment performance and reserves are insufficient to cover operating costs.