Swiss Volunteering Survey
Since its foundation in 1810, the Swiss Society for the Common Good (SSCG) has encouraged active involvement from Switzerland’s civilian population. Since 2001, it has paid particular attention to carrying out research into and promoting voluntary work. The SSCG firmly believes that voluntary work is the glue that holds societies based on solidarity together and that in the long term many vital social services can be guaranteed and financed only through the encouragement of voluntary work.

In the past, the SSCG has promoted voluntary work in the following areas:

  1. Research:
    1. Publishing of the Swiss Volunteering Survey
    2. Publication of the “Volunteering” series by Seismo-Verlag
    3. Support for research work
    4. An annual convention on voluntary work and community spirit
  2. Promotional partnerships with third-party projects involving a high level of voluntary work
  3. Cooperation with the Swiss Network for Voluntary Work
  4. Promotion of voluntary work in the SSCG’s own programmes and projects
  • Job Caddie: Work integration supervised by voluntary mentors

Unlike most neighbouring countries, Switzerland has no state-supervised volunteering strategy and does not carry out systematic research into voluntary work. The SSCG, therefore, decided in 2002 to conduct a broad-sweeping survey on the status quo of voluntary commitment in Switzerland and thus create a well-documented source of information for research into the country’s volunteering efforts. Following studies in 2007, 2010 and 2016, the SSCG plans to carry out a fourth research project into the status of voluntary work in Switzerland and publish it in the Swiss Volunteering Survey 2020. Two-thirds of the questions in the survey will be identical to those of 2007, 2010 and 2016, which should help us to highlight trends in voluntary activity in Switzerland. The remaining questions will serve to provide fresh insights into the issue of voluntary work. The Volunteering Survey is a scientific instrument with a practical orientation and was designed to identify the level of willingness for public commitment and at the same time serve as an indicator of social change.

The Swiss Volunteering Survey was originally initiated and is maintained by the SSCG and is sponsored by the Migros Cultural Percentage and the Beisheim Foundation, as well as 30 other partner organizations. It is supported by the Federal Statistical Office and is under the scientific guidance of the research institute Lamprecht & Stamm with the collaboration of the survey institute LINK.

The Swiss Volunteering Survey project group, under the aegis of the SSCG and its Volunteering Research Committee, is responsible for the operation of the survey.

The members of the project group are:

Jeannette Behringer, Society & Ethics department of the Evangelical Reformed national church of Zurich
Sandro Cattacin, Directeur de l’Institut de recherches sociologiques, Université de Genève
Peter Farago, former director of FORS, Université de Lausanne
Cornelia Hürzeler, Head of the Work and Society Project for the Migros Cultural Percentage
Patrizia Rezzoli, CEO, Beisheim Foundation
Lukas Niederberger, General Manager of the SSCG
Jacqueline Schön-Bühlmann, Federal Statistical Office, Neuchâtel
Emmanuelle Sierro Schenk, founder of Compétences-bénévoles, Nyon