Swedes give much to charity
Swedes are more giving. Last year private persons gave away 5.2 billion SEK ($771,467,330.32) to charity organizations, an increase of close to 6 percent compared to the year before. “I’m delighted with these numbers,” says Tommy Jonsson, controller at Svensk Insamlingskontroll (The Swedish Fundraising Control), which put the numbers together. “It’s obvious that there’s a generosity among Swedes that is not decreasing in spite of critical financial times.” Looking at the top ten charities, it is Läkare utan gränser (Doctors Without Borders) and Frälsningsarmén (The Salvation Army) that increase the most, by 15 percent. Erik Johansson, who is responsible for collecting charity at Läkare utan gränser, believes the Swedes' increased giving to the organization has to do with its process and concrete results. “What we do is save lives here and now, we’re quickly on the spot in areas hit by catastrophe. Also our work has received a lot of media attention.” Röda korset (The Red Cross) hasn’t fared as well—its charity decreased 15 percent, which means the decline which began in 2009 continues. That's when it was revealed that director of communications Johan af Donner had been swindling money for the organization. “But we think it’s beginning to turn around now. The decrease last year had more to do with the fact that the charity given to catastrophes didn’t collect as much as the year prior,” says Press Secretary Maude Fröberg.