FAQ National Fundraising Day

On which criteria does Swiss Solidarity base its decision to hold a fundraising day? 

 Swiss Solidarity’s decision on whether to hold a national fundraising day is based on the following criteria:

  • the extent of the disaster; 
  • an appeal by the affected region to the international community for aid / support;
  • Swiss Solidarity partner organizations are already present in the area or can become active there. 

It makes no sense to raise funds if it is then impossible to use the money in a useful and target-oriented way.

In terms of extent, the number of victims who can be helped plays a far greater role than the degree of devastation or the number of deaths. 

How does a fundraising day work?

People not only have the chance to donate online or with a payment slip as usual, but can also simply telephone and pledge an amount. Many people also appreciate having the chance to demonstrate joint solidarity. In addition, on a national fundraising day, many find it a relief to be able to talk to our volunteers on the telephone and so handle the horrific images.  

How many volunteers work on the telephone exchanges at such a time?

There are 5 main exchanges with over 100 telephones (Geneva 60, Bern 20, Zurich 10, Basel 10, Chur 3, Lugano 10 and over 500 volunteers man the phones in shifts for the 18 hours. 

How has Swiss Solidarity used the money until now?

Swiss Solidarity has held 34 national fundraising days in the last 30 years. Of the around 1.7 billion francs raised, 25% has gone to people in need in Switzerland, 6% to help children abroad and 69% to disaster relief in foreign countries. It has only been possible to provide assistance to the victims thanks to the untiring work of our 25 partner relief organizations, their teams and local partners. 

Which fundraising campaigns have raised the most money in the history of Swiss Solidarity?

1. Asia quake (tsunami), December 2004: 227 million francs 
2. Natural disaster in Switzerland (Valais and Ticino), October 2000: 74 million francs 
3. Earthquake Haiti, January 2010: 64 million francs; 
4. War victims in Kosovo, April 1999: 49.9 million francs 
5. Natural disaster in Switzerland (Central Switzerland, Bernese Oberland and Graubunden), August 2005: 49.5 million francs.

Swiss Solidarity is a foundation, started as an initiative of the Swiss public media SRG SSR | Partnership & collaboration

  • Keystone
  • Swisscom
  • SRG SSR alt




One picture often says more than a thousand words. Thanks to the partnership with the internationally operating Swiss picture agency Keystone, Swiss Solidarity has free and rapid access to recent pictures at any time. 

The Keystone picture agency takes a Swiss view of our country and the world. A team of 20 full-time photographers throughout Switzerland as well as international partner agencies ensure that no current event is missed. As the largest picture agency in Switzerland, Keystone has an almost unending store of material on Swiss social history (around 11 million archive images).




A national fundraising day is unthinkable without the means of Swisscom: In six regional fundraising centers, provided by Swisscom as well, between 120 and 150 phone lines are in use. This meant that, at the Tsunami’s fundraising day, over 70’000 calls were managed. On fundraising days, this service is free of charge.

The internet as a means of communication is vital for Swiss Solidarity, too. Therefore, Swisscom supports Swiss Solidarity’s web presence year after year with a considerable contribution. Swisscom (formerly PTT) has been an abiding partner for Swiss Solidarity for over sixty years.



Swiss Solidarity originated in 1946 from a radio show in western Switzerland – the first fundraising campaign was for the benefit of the orphans of World War II. The idea became more and more successful, and in 1983, Swiss Solidarity was granted the status of a foundation initiated by the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG. Today, Swiss Solidarity is a foundation that raises funds for humanitarian relief projects and works with the SRG SSR.

On national solidarity and fundraising days, Swiss Solidarity demonstrates just what is meant by «idée suisse»: The solidarity and support of Switzerland’s entire population. This is only possible because the SRG SSR idée suisse supports Swiss Solidarity with its free broadcastings. Swiss Solidarity itself is – with a few exceptions – not a relief organization, but rather a solidarity network, cooperating with 25 relief organizations.

Additionally, the company’s entities SRF, RTS, RTR, RSI are all represented in the foundation board.