Why do people give to charities? It turns out that the old adage ” ‘Tis better to give than to receive” may have a deeper meaning than we think. Secular scientists say that seemingly, humans are born to give. The University of Washington’s Institute for Learning and Brain Sciences conducted a study using almost 100 toddlers and concluded that even when the children were hungry, they were compelled to give their food to someone in need.
Although it may be learned behavior, studies have shown that altruism boosts your health and that the act of giving may even increase your lifespan. People from countries around the world tend to give, even in hard times, and this includes Switzerland, one of the wealthiest countries in the world.
A 2022 report by Spendenreport Schweiz found that in 2021, Switzerland’s private donations were estimated at over CHF 2.05 billion. Let’s look at some of the best charities in Switzerland that help their own as well as those in need around the world.
Table of Contents
Founded in 1901 by Father Rufin Steimer, Caritas Switzerland is one of the oldest Caritas today. It’s a multidisciplinary organization for charity with headquarters in Lucerne and offers mutual assistance in Switzerland and 20 other countries worldwide. Its goal is “to fight poverty with strong partnerships.”
This charitable organization provides emergency relief and disaster reconstruction with international cooperation. It facilitates independence in fighting hunger, clean water, hygiene, climate protection, education, and the generation of income.
In Switzerland, 16 regional Caritas implement social projects within their respective cantons by implementing social projects to assist the disadvantaged including refugees, single-parent families, and the unemployed. It also organizes volunteers to assist mountain farmers and the terminally ill.
Caritas grocery stores sell items to low-income families and offer a Culture Card for the disadvantaged to attend events at reduced prices.
Swiss Red Cross
The Swiss Red Cross (SRC) is a historical organization highly recognized around the world. Founded in Bern in 1866 by General Guillaume Henri Dufour and Jakob Dubs, its original purpose was to support medical services to the Swiss armed forces. It is registered under Swiss law and abides by the Swiss Civil Code. The Red Cross Assembly, its highest body, is comprised of 97 delegates. It is led by the Red Cross Council which represents it in external relations.
Operating in 30 countries worldwide, the SRC’s missions include searching for missing persons, reuniting families, helping with humanitarian visas for you or at-risk relatives, and better access to healthcare.
Based in Zurich, the Drosos Foundation was founded in 2003 as a non-profit, charitable organization funded by a private endowment. It is politically, religiously, and ideologically independent.
The foundation is involved in over 100 projects to fight poverty, increase opportunities for education and creative activities for youth, protection of the environment, and the promotion of a healthy lifestyle. It operates under the premise that each individual is responsible for himself, others, and the environment. The key elements are life skills and technical skills for disadvantaged children and young adults to enable them to contribute positively to their communities.
The foundation plans, develops, and supports projects to improve the living conditions of particular groups in Switzerland, Germany, and the MENA (Middle East and North Africa) region. It does not provide individual or emergency aid.
Save The Children Switzerland
When disaster strikes, it’s the children who are the most vulnerable. Save The Children has been advocating for the rights of children in Switzerland and around the world since 1919. The organization prides itself on being the first to arrive and the last to leave.
The organization seeks to meet the unique needs of the children and make sure their voices are heard. It has helped millions of children including the ones that are the hardest to reach. Since it is anchored in 120 countries, immediate help in disasters and crises is available.
Save The Children provides both short-term assistance after a disaster and long-term development. Its vision is a world in which all children survive, prosper, and are protected. In Switzerland, refugee children are given shelter at Swiss asylum centers. Around the world, children who are suffering through wars, conflicts, and disasters are given assistance through Save The Children Switzerland.
Founded in December 2001, The Ameropa Foundation is a Swiss-based nonprofit international organization that focuses on humanitarian, educational, and agricultural projects primarily in underdeveloped countries. Since its inception, it has started more than 49 worldwide projects.
Although its projects are created and managed directly by the foundation, they are implemented by local partners and employees. The strategies are provided on a long-term basis and emphasize their belief that real change does not happen quickly.
To date, around 110,882 beneficiaries have been reached and over 6,400 jobs created. Educational and vocational support is provided for children, adolescents, and adults. Areas supported include self-help projects, jobs and income creation, educational projects, relief projects, entrepreneurship, and sports and culture.
Literally translating to ”Pestalozzi Children’s Village,” Kinderdorf Pestalozzi is a non-profit organization headquartered in Trogen in the canton of Appenzell. Established in 1945, it was named in honor of Johann Heinrich Pestalozzi, a pioneer in Swiss education The organization provides assistance to war-affected children around the world. Funds for the project are provided by fundraisers, legacies, and sponsorships.
The village was first the initial plan of Walter Robert Corti in 1944 who advocated for a refuge for World War II orphans. Trogen donated 4.5 hectares of land and the foundation stone was laid on April 28, 1942. The goal of the initiative was to provide children with an education, a friendly atmosphere, and the desire to become a cooperating world citizen. They are returned to their home country after graduation.
In 1993, the village’s own school closed. Since then, the children attend classes in the surrounding municipalities.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who regulates charities in Switzerland?
Eight short articles in the Swiss Civil Code regulate all charities in Switzerland.
Do charities pay taxes in Switzerland?
Legal entities with a charitable purpose are exempt from taxes according to the Swiss Federal Act on Direct Federal Taxes.
How many NGOs are there in Switzerland?
Over 750 non-government organizations currently operate in International Geneva.