Swissfundraising was founded in 1994 and is the professional association of fundraisers in Switzerland with currently over 750 members (all individuals).
Swissfundraising not only offer online news and hardcopy journals for its members, but also provides a benchmark service called Direct Mail Panel. In addition to this, the association organises numerous events that allow participants (members together with non-members) to share experiences and to network. Besides the SwissFundraisingDay, a symposium and event for networking that takes place annually in June, there are regular Swissfundraising meet-ups in Bern, Zurich, Basel, Lucerne, St.Gallen and Geneva/Lausanne.
Professional training options for fundraisers include workshops about specific topics as well as study programs at partner institutions such as ZHAW Winterthur and the University of Fribourg (VMI Institut).
Swissfundraising is committed to the recognition of fundraising as a profession and so to increasing its «brand awareness» and reputation. An important role in this respect is played by the association’s ethical guidelines which are binding on all members.
Swissfundraising is a member of the European Fundraising Association (EFA).
Swissfundraising Launches Special Interest Working Groups
– Wednesday, 19 September 2018
Swissfundraising’s member volunteers are taking on new responsibilities this year, with the launch of working groups focusing on topics of special interest, including data protection legislation and digital fundraising standards.
The new Swissfundraising working groups will be a vital resource to help members stay on top of relevant changes in the marketplace and to get to grips with common fundraising issues.
This includes the working group for GDPR and other data protection legislation, which is responsible for lobbying to influence change where necessary, as well as producing checklists and templates to help members meet legal requirements.
Swissfundraising has also launched a monitoring group. This will see volunteer members concentrate on preparing the fundraising community for any upcoming changes that may affect them, such as new laws, change of techniques or media, public perception of charities, or economic challenges.
A further working group is also in the pipeline, charged with preparing the launch of a Digital Fundraising Panel. This will follow Swissfundraising’s Direct Mail Panel, which has been used as a benchmark tool for the output of mail packages since 2009 in Switzerland, and since 2015 in Austria and Germany.
The Swiss fundraising association’s volunteers already carry out a wide range of activities including running the association’s regional chapters and meetings, helping to organise its annual conference, judging its awards, and working to grow the reach of Giving Tuesday in the country.
Andreas Cueni, Swissfundraising’s project manager and fundraising consultant, said:
“Swissfundraising not only counts on its staff and the board, but also on dozens of members volunteering and helping to produce services and information useful for all our 700 members. We have up to 30 members volunteering and they are integral in enabling us to provide and add to the services we are able to offer.”
Sozialwerke Sieber & Swiss Multiple Sclerosis Society Among 2018 Swissfundraising Award Winners
– Wednesday, 18 July 2018
Zurich based non-profit Sozialwerke Sieber has received the 2018 SwissFundraising’s Action of the Year Award, with the Swiss Multiple Sclerosis Society winning the Innovation of the Year category.
The charities received their awards during this year’s annual Swiss fundraising conference SwissFundraisingDay.
Sozialwerke Sieber received SwissFundraising’s Action of the Year Award for the outstanding return (1.5 million CHF or €1.29 million) of its cross media campaign ‚Living at the best residential address‘.
The NGO cares for the homeless and the title referred to the fact that in one of the world’s richest cities, homeless people are sleeping on benches by the lake or in the doorways of the financial district. The campaign combined a mail package, Facebook posts and street action with cardboard, which the homeless often use to cover themselves. It was also the campaign that received the highest number of votes from SwissFundraisingDay delegates.
Meanwhile, the Swiss Multiple Sclerosis Society won the Innovation of the Year Award for its campaign that saw people affected by the illness gather together in seven Swiss cities and form letters of the alphabet, spelling out the word ‚Signal‘. The campaign demonstrated how multiple sclerosis can be so disruptive to the body’s nervous system and its ability to communicate, generating awareness through social media.
The one-day conference in the Swiss capital Bern started with a keynote by speaker Alan Clayton, and featured approximately a dozen speakers as well as workshops and case studies, with Clayton following his keynote speech with a masterclass on Great Fundraising on day two for a selected audience.
Swissfundraising’s next event is a French language conference, Journées romandes de formation, which will take place on 9 October in Lausanne, with a hundred delegates expected to attend. As with SwissFundraisingDay, the conference is open to everybody in the sector. The day after the conference, delegates will be able to subscribe to seminars, known as cours intensifs. One is about using crowdsourcing and coworking spaces, one an introduction in legacy fundraising.
Sibylle Spengler Elected First Female President Of Swissfundraising
– Wednesday, 16 May 2018
Sibylle Spengler has been elected to succeed Odilo Noti as the new President of Swissfundraising.
Marketing director at Greenpeace Switzerland, Spengler was previously Swissfundraising’s vice president, and takes over the helm from Noti, who held the position for the last eleven years and is head of communication and fundraising at Caritas Switzerland.
Commenting on her appointment, Spengler said:
„Donations play a huge role in enabling civil society to carry out its vital work. I’m both delighted and grateful therefore to be appointed as Swissfundraising’s new president and very much look forward to supporting Switzerland’s fundraisers in my new role.”
The election took place at the Annual General Meeting at the Biovision Foundation in Zurich, attended by 40 members of the association. In addition, Swissfundraising elected Felizitas Dunekamp, managing director of Dunekamp GmbH to take over from Spengler as vice-president, while Alexandra Burgdorf (Fondation Barry) and Andrea Müller (ETH Zurich Foundation) were also elected to the board. They join existing board members Ruth Wagner (one marketing), Susanne Rudolf and Christoph Bitter (Salvation Army) and Vincent Maunoury (Swiss Cancer League).
In her inaugural speech as president, Spengler thanked her predecessor and paid tribute to Odilo Noti’s time as president, which saw the Association introduce and implement numerous projects and services, including the Swiss Fundraising Donation and Image Barometer, the annual Donation Supplement and the Direct Mail Panel. Membership of Swissfundraising has also reached 700 as of the end of 2017.
Under-Utilised Swiss Digital Fundraising Platform Letshelp.ch Closes
– Wednesday, 07 February 2018
Letshelp.ch, the Swiss digital fundraising platform, has closed as of 31 January.
Swisscom launched the platform in 2016 in partnership with industry bodies Zewo and Swissfundraising. In its first phase, letshelp.ch was open to all aid organisations bearing the Zewo quality seal and allowed these organisations to fundraise for projects online, either by crowdfunding, or through inviting individual donations. Charities using the platform included INTERTEAM, Medair, Save the Children, and the Swiss Red Cross.
However, demand for the platform proved to be low, meaning it was under-utilised during its 18 months of operation, making the cost of maintenance, support and acquisition disproportionately high.
Zewo assesses aid organisations in Switzerland and grants them its seal of approval if they meet its standards. Approximately 500 organisations have been awarded this seal and were therefore eligible to use the platform. However, statistics from Zewo suggest that aid organisations in the country have yet to embrace digital fundraising. Its figures show that its certified charities still receive 99% of donations via traditional payment channels such as postal or bank transfers rather than digitally.
Survey Reveals Average Wage Of Swiss Fundraisers
– Wednesday, 07 February 2018
The average salary for fundraisers in Switzerland is 105,300 Swiss francs (CHF) – approximately EUR 90,000 – according to a survey of Swissfundraising members by ZHAW.
The Center for Cultural Management of the ZHAW School of Management and Law surveyed the 640 members of Swissfundraising on how much they earn as well as on what else they consider to be important aspects of a job. 163 people completed the survey, 140 of which work at relief organisations, educational or cultural institutions while 23 are self-employed.
The study shows that salary levels depend on the age, experience and responsibility of the employees, rather than the area of activity or the size of the charity, with salaries ranging between 79,400 and 130,700 Swiss francs.
According to the survey, few major differences were noted in salary by gender, except among fundraisers in higher management roles, where men hold the majority of senior roles.
More than a third of those surveyed work in a managerial capacity and take responsibility for employees and the budget. Two-thirds of respondents also have a university or college degree. However, attaining this level of education does not significantly affect wages, the survey found, while holding fundraising-specific qualifications does positively affect remuneration.
The majority of fundraisers receive additional benefits through their employment, which reflect some of the factors they consider to be important for job satisfaction.
Swissfundraising’s project manager and fundraising consultant Andreas Cueni explained:
“Around 90% of respondents receive additional benefits such as public transport allowances, membership of professional associations or paid further education. Above all however, salaried fundraisers stated that they would like to have an open corporate culture, flexible working hours, a say and the opportunity to continue their education.”
In terms of the most favoured benefits, 81% said they would like to have an open corporate culture, while flexible working hours were important for 79%, having a say (68%) and the opportunity to continue their education (67%). Development opportunities (64%) and being able to work from home (53%) are also important.
SwissFundraisingDay Attracts Biggest Ever Audience
– Thursday, 20 July 2017
This year’s SwissFundraisingDay, the annual Swiss fundraising conference, attracted its biggest ever audience with 270 delegates in total.
The conference, which is held in German, took place in the Swiss capital Bern and saw almost a third more delegates attend than in previous years. The one-day event featured approximately a dozen speakers from both the profit and non-profit sectors presenting speeches as well as workshops and case studies.
During the conference, NGO Helvetas received SwissFundraising’s Action of the Year Award for the outstanding return of its mail package “Tansania”, while Public Eye won the Innovation of the Year Award for its campaign “Return to Sender”, which addressed the issue of dirty diesel usage in Western Africa and commodity trading companies in Switzerland.
Swissfundraising has also recently redesigned its website as well as the conference site. The conference website is a free knowledge resource for fundraisers and holds more than 100 presentations in German from nine years of the annual conference, dating back to 2009. It also includes case studies on fundraising campaigns.
A French language conference takes place later in the year. Journées romandes de formation Swissfundraising, will take place in Lausanne. This will take place on 10 October with a hundred delegates expected to attend. As with SwissFundraisingDay, the conference is open to everybody in the sector. The day after the conference, delegates will be able to subscribe to seminars, known as cours intensifs. These include a session on corporate fundraising and developing excellent partnerships with companies, and a session on reporting outcomes and impact to donors.
Spend-O-Mat Donation Machine Launches in Basel
– Wednesday, 07 June 2017
The Elisabethenkirche, a church in Basel city centre, has installed Switzerland’s first cashless donation machine.
The Spend-O-Mat was installed in May this year, and works in a similar way to a cash dispenser. Instead of giving cash however, it allows users to donate to the church with their credit or debit card. Donations of up to 150 Swiss francs can be given through the machine, which also issues a receipt.
The church is working with Basel’s state bank Basler Kantonalbank to provide the service, which is managed through an online portal. This records the amounts donated and the resulting data can be accessed via a standard internet browser.
The machine is an import from Sweden where it is known as the Kollektomat and raises millions of Krona for churches every year, reaching a total of over 50 million Krona in 2013. While in Switzerland, customers generally still use cash in shops and restaurants, as well as for collections in the church as cashless payments become more popular, it is hoped that this will encourage more people to give in this way.
Crowdfunding Soars In Switzerland
– Wednesday, 07 June 2017
Money raised through crowdfunding rose from 28 million Swiss francs (CHF) or €25.7 million euros to CHF 128 million (€117.5m) in Switzerland last year: a rise of 362 per cent.
Based on this growth, the market could reach transaction volumes as high as CHF 400 million in 2017, according to Crowdfunding Monitoring Switzerland: the 4th edition of the annual market report on Swiss crowdfunding platforms, published by the School for Applied Sciences Lucerne.
However, according to the report the steepest increases were seen in the for-profit categories of crowdfunding with online giving still estimated to represent just two per cent of donations to traditional charities in Switzerland.
The biggest rise (+597%) came in the crowdlending segment, which reached CHF 55.1 million, followed by crowdinvesting (+453%) at CHF 39.2 million and invoice trading (CHF 17 million).
Reward-based crowdfunding segments saw similar rises to 2015, up by approximately CHF 4 million with CHF 17 million raised for projects overall in 2016. The largest volumes went to projects in the technology and start-up (CHF 5 million), sport and health (CHF 2.6 million), and music and concerts (CHF 1.9 million) categories. 230 social, environmental and educational campaigns raised about CHF 2.5 million, with an average of CHF 11,000 per campaign.
Switzerland currently has 14 crowdfunding platforms. Swisscom’s Letshelp.ch started in summer 2016 and is the only platform exclusively for NGO use with the supervising authority ZEWO’s label of quality.
The Crowdfunding Monitoring Switzerland report is published on an annual basis with raw data supplied by crowdfunding platforms in Switzerland.
Swissfundraising Calls For Amendments To Proposed Data Protection Law Changes
– Wednesday, 19 April 2017
Swissfundraising is calling for amendments to draft changes of the country’s data protection laws, which it believes go beyond EU requirements and could hinder the ability of charities to fundraise effectively.
Swissfundraising is responding to the Swiss Federal Office of Justice’s consultation on the proposed changes, which aim to bring its data protection regulations, including the Federal Data Protection Act (FDPA), into line with EU laws and the GDPR.
The consultation ended earlier this month, with the new law expected to come into effect in Spring 2018. The proposed changes include more control for individuals over their personal data, explicit opt-in, great transparency, and stricter penalties for data protection infringement.
Swissfundraising has sent a 16-page document to the Federal Office of Justice with its comments and suggested amendments. These include greater clarity on a number of the changes and more precise definitions of a number of new or modified terms that appear in the draft law, including “profiling”, “sensible personal data” and “declaration of agreement”.
Swissfundraising is also arguing that some of the proposals go beyond EU requirements and risk increasing the administrative burden and cost of fundraising for charities, and could in some cases make fundraising more difficult.
In a statement, the Swiss association’s Board said: “Swissfundraising welcomes efforts to protect the rights of donors and consumers and agrees with the need to adopt EU directives in Switzerland. Measures and sanctions that go beyond these directives and that are partly ambiguous however aren’t in the public’s favour, restrain our work and increase the administrative workload not only in fundraising, but for charities overall.”
Swiss Digital Donations Rose By 14% In 2015 But Remain Low, Says Report
– Thursday, 08 December 2016
Digital donations in Switzerland rose from 2.24% of the total donation volume in 2014 to 2.55% in 2015: an increase of 13.9%.
RaiseNow’s second Digital Fundraising Study Switzerland report is a collaboration with Amazee Metrics and was published for GivingTuesday (29 November): the first year that the country has participated in the event. It shows that while Swiss people donated more to non-profit organisations via digital channels such as SMS and the web than in the previous year, the proportion of donations coming through digital channels still remains low.
Overall, average online donation amounts fell slightly in Switzerland last year, from 114 to 113 Swiss Francs (CHF), although some sectors saw more significant changes that can be attributed to specific events, such the humanitarian aid and development work sector, where charities saw average donation amounts rise from CHF 116 to CHF 142 over the same time period as a result of the Nepal earthquake.
Charities in this sector also had by far the highest average donation amount from one-off donations, at CHF 153, while the crowdfunding sector followed with CHF 105, and handicap, sickness and health was third with CHF 90.
Overall, monthly donations in 2015 had a much higher average total annual volume (approximately CHF 538) compared to yearly donations (around CHF 202), while the customer retention rate seen for monthly donors was the same as that for annual donors.
The study also reveals that credit card payments remained the most commonly used method of payment for online donations, used for 43%, followed by debit cards and e-finance at 22%, while SMS giving accounted for 15% of transactions in 2015. Typically, people were found to give the highest average amounts on Wednesdays at around CHF 130, compared to just CHF 100 on Fridays.
Marco Zaugg, CEO of RaiseNow, said:
“The positive trend from the previous year has been confirmed. We can once again see a double-digit growth in the share of digital donations, even if this does not fully meet our expectations. The biggest surprise from the Digital Fundraising Study 2016 was the confirmation of our previous hypotheses that online donations set to recur monthly achieve a significantly higher total sum within a year than donations set to recur annually.”
The study is based on data from 107 organisations that have all completed their 2015 digital donations in full or in part using RaiseNow tools. In the year under review, these organisations handled 118,705 transactions with a total volume of more than CHF 12.5 million.
SwissFundraisingDay Online: A Free Knowledge Resource
– Monday, 26 September 2016
SwissFundraising is sharing its SwissFundraisingDay conference website as a free knowledge resource for fundraisers.
SwissFundraisingDay is a one-day conference featuring around a dozen speakers from both the profit and non-profit sectors presenting speeches, workshops and case studies to over 200 delegates. This year’s event took place in Bern, Germany during June.
The website holds approximately 100 presentations from eight years of the annual conference dating back to 2009. It also includes case studies on campaigns using television, phone and text messaging, as well as cause related and search engine marketing, donor surveys, retention rates, managing fundraising budgets, and the branding and re-launch of charities.
Information on direct marketing and major donor fundraising with companies, privates and foundations, as well as photographs from every conference are also accessible.
Growth Of Crowdfunding In Switzerland
– Wednesday, 15 June 2016
Crowdfunding saw significant growth in Switzerland last year but volumes of funding remain low, according to the annual Crowdfunding Monitoring Report, published by The Institute of Financial Services Zug IFZ of the Lucerne School of Business, in association with Swisscom.
The report shows that funds raised by crowdfunding grew by almost 9.5m Euros (CHF 11 million) in Switzerland last year increasing from almost 14.5m Euros (CHF 16 million) to 24.4m Euros (CHF 27 million) year-on-year.
The report also found that in 2015, about 88,000 people backed projects in Switzerland, equating to one percent of the population.
Crowdlending posted the highest growth from 2014 to 2015, rising 127%, to CHF 7.9m, followed by reward-based crowdfunding and crowddonating, which rose 60%, to CHF 12.3m, and crowdinvesting , which saw a 54% increase, to CHF 7.1m.
In the reward-based crowdfunding and crowddonating segment, 1,059 campaigns were funded in 2015 out of a total of 1,639 launched: a success rate of 64.6 percent.
As of the end of 2015, more than 30 crowdfunding platforms were operating in Switzerland, a figure that rose to 40 as of April 2016.
Swissfundraising Direct Mail Panel Reveals Key Direct Marketing Trends
– Wednesday, 15 June 2016
Response rates to donor direct mail have remained steady since 2013, while donation amounts have risen slightly, according to Swissfundraising.
Swissfundraising has revealed a number of key findings and trends from its Direct Mail Panel from the past seven years. The Panel allows fundraisers to upload their own direct mail activity data and benchmark their results against those of other users. Users are able to observe which months of the year and which regions of the country perform the strongest, and how response rates and average donation amounts have changed over the last seven years.
Through analysing the data submitted to the Panel since 2009, Swiss Fundraising has revealed that while response rates of letters to current donors declined from 11% in 2009 to approximately 9% last year, this current figure has remained almost the same since 2013. Response rates to acquisition campaigns also remain fairly steady, falling slightly from 2.4% to 2.2%. Response rates to unaddressed mail have also remained steady at around 0.6%.
Average donation amounts have risen slightly since 2009; up from 53 to 58 Franks (47.8 to 52.3 Euros) for current donors. However, this changes year by year rising from 35 to 45 Franks (31.6 to 40.6 Euros) for new donors responding direct mail and from 55 to 60 Franks (49.6 to 54.1 Euros) for donors responding to unaddressed mail.
The Panel data also reveals a trend in the acquisition of new donors with an increasing number of campaigns using unaddressed mail, and a declining use of direct mail. Two companies have risen to dominate the list broking industry, while a number of others have seen a decline in the number of lists they have sold since 2009.
Finally, in terms of direct mail activity throughout the calendar year, the data shows significant differences in the number of campaigns printed each month. July, for example, sees fewer campaigns sent out with a corresponding increase in response that is higher than other time of the year except the Christmas period. November is by far the busiest month of the year for campaigns.
Swiss Study Explores Fundraisers‘ Career Motivations
– Thursday, 11 February 2016
Swiss fundraisers have reported that the most powerful motivator for starting and continuing a career in the fundraising business is the intention of being engaged in a meaningful activity.
According to a recent survey of 152 fundraisers by Swissfundraising, over half of which held senior executive positions (CEOs and Trustees), attractive career prospects and financial rewards are far less important motivators for working in fundraising than the engagement in a meaningful act and the desire to work for a nonprofit organisation.
Typically, most fundraisers joined the profession above the age of 30, implying that being a fundraiser was not his or her first job. Almost two thirds of those surveyed had an academic educational background.
Most participants linked the feelings of joy and pride to their occupation, although they acknowledge that the public image of fundraising does not convey the same optimism. Only one in 100 participants believed that the public viewed fundraising very positively, while 45 per cent said the public image was ‘rather positive’ and over a third (37 per cent) indicated it was ‘rather negative’.
Almost six in ten of those surveyed looked to the national fundraising association to promote the industry and work of fundraisers in the media and over half (52 per cent) want their support in securing legal recognition of fundraising as a profession.
Commenting on the findings, Roger Tinner, Executive Director at Swissfundraising, says: “This study goes to show that fundraisers – no matter how senior and how successful – are primarily motivated by their passion for the cause and the work of non-profit organisations more generally. It also shows the deepening gulf between their own pride in the work that they do on behalf of the charity and public perception of fundraising. There is certainly a role for fundraising associations and other representative bodies to champion the profession and communicate just how important fundraising is in enabling vital charitable services.”
For more information contact Roger Tinner, author of the study, Fundraiser – Careers and Motivation. An investigation on careers and motivation factors of fundraisers in the German-speaking part of Switzerland. Diploma thesis DAS Fundraising Management ZHAW Winterthur, 2015.
Swiss Fundraisers Value Exchange
– Friday, 11 December 2015
In a recent survey of Swissfundraising’s members, the provision of a platform for personal and professional exchange was perceived as the greatest benefit offered by the association.
The services most regularly used by participants are the internet job board (50%), the list of service providers (42%) and the intranet (36%).
The telephone helpline and information service and list of service suppliers reached highest satisfaction values.
Swiss Meeting Programme Extended
– Thursday, 05 December 2013
Swissfundraising has extended its progamme of regionally-based exchange meetings for fundraisers (ERFA-Treffs) to 5 key cities for 2014; Basel, Bern, St. Gallen, Zurich and, now, Luzern.
In each of these cities, volunteers from the Swiss fundraising community coordinate a schedule of 3-5 meetings diarized throughout the year. Each event addresses a different fundraising topic, enabling local fundraisers to come together, discuss common issues and share ideas.
Inspiration For Fundraisers In Switzerland
– Monday, 04 March 2013
Two new services have been introduced by SwissFundraising to assist and inspire fundraisers in Switzerland. Fundraising-Impulse, a new web-based service features short articles and interviews, delivering tips about a range of fundraising issues. Video interviews and guidance have also been developed and will be aired on a new portal, „SwissfundraisingTV“.
EFA Certified Qualification Available In Switzerland
– Thursday, 20 September 2012
Swissfundraising has been awarded EFA Certification for its Diploma of Advanced Studies in Fundraising Management, recognising professional fundraising training at the highest standard.
The Swiss qualification will be delivered by the School of Management and Law at Zurich University of Applied Sciences in Winterthur, which has delivered the fundraising course for 8 years. Graduates of the course will now gain the „Qualified Swissfundraising Certificate“. Around 20 delegates graduate each year.
„We are very happy with the EFA Board’s decision“, Thomas Kurmann from Swissfundraising said. „It acknowledges that we have done our homework and that the value of our accredited course receives a formal appreciation.“
Direct Mail Benchmarking Tool Launched For Swiss Nonprofits
– Thursday, 20 September 2012
Swissfundraising has launched a direct mail benchmarking tool, enabling nonprofits to review the effectiveness of their own campaigns and to make a comparison with the average value of other participating organisations.
The Direct Mail Panel is an electronic tool, exclusively accessible to the members of Swissfundraising and Zewo-Gütesiegel.
Every participating NPO must update its own direct mail-activities (date, edition, activity type, responses) on a montly basis so that the data may be anonymously compiled to build a respective figure for the average values of the market.
This confidential tool ensures each organisation has access to its own figures alone, while enabling participants to benchmark their activities to the market average. The data platform is provided by Dynelytics (formerly SPSS Schweiz AG) in Zurich.
Thanks to generous sponsorship from the Schweizerische Post the fee for the service may be reduced from 900 to 300 Swiss Francs per year, enabling smaller organisations to benefit from this new service.