The Swiss bequeath their money for these purposes

In 2020, DeinAdieu surveyed 122 non-profit Swiss organisations on the topic of income from legacies and bequests. One finding of the survey is that animal welfare, nature conservation and environmental protection are at the top of the list in the favour of the testators.

The Swiss are generous: every year, eight out of ten households donate an average of 300 Swiss francs to four different aid organisations. But for what purposes do testators use the freely disposable part of their estate? DeinAdieu asked this question to 122 charitable Swiss organisations.

Animal welfare, nature conservation and environmental protection are the most popular donation purposes

The survey shows that testators most frequently bequeath their disposable assets to organisations in the field of animal, nature and environmental protection. Thus, on average, 11.5 wills per year were opened for these purposes at the organisations. ‘People with disabilities’ came second with 8.6 wills opened, ahead of ‘Human rights, humanitarian & consumer rights’ with 8.1 wills. An average of 3.9 wills were established for social welfare and assistance for the elderly. For ‘Development cooperation and refugees’ it was still 3.2 wills.

The focus is on future generations

‘Inheritances and legacies are mostly about long-term support and the added value for future generations’, suspects Nicolas Gehrig, Managing Director of DeinAdieu. Older people in particular want to preserve the original Switzerland for the future generation. Another common motivation for making a donation in a will is the need to give something back to an organisation. This is especially common among organisations that work for people with disabilities, serious illnesses or senior citizens. Donation behaviour is also influenced by current social issues. When the media and public discourse focus on climate change, for example, people donate more to organisations that are involved in climate and nature protection.

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