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"Giving Australia" Report Revealed

Thursday, 27th October 2005 at 1:10 pm
Staff Reporter
The most comprehensive research on philanthropy in Australia has found that Australians and businesses are giving and volunteering more than ever before, contributing more than $11 billion in 2004.

Thursday, 27th October 2005
at 1:10 pm
Staff Reporter



"Giving Australia" Report Revealed
Thursday, 27th October 2005 at 1:10 pm

The most comprehensive research on philanthropy in Australia has found that Australians and businesses are giving and volunteering more than ever before, contributing more than $11 billion in 2004.

Commissioned by the Department of Family and Community Services, on behalf of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership, the research shows the value of individual giving was $5.7 billion last year – an increase of 88 per cent since 1997.

These latest figures exclude giving in response to the Asian Tsunami Appeals in late 2004 and early 2005.

Some of the key findings include:

– An additional $2 billion was provided by 10.5 million Australians who lent their support by participating in raffles, lotteries and other fund-raising events.

– 87 per cent of all adult Australians, 13.4 million people, donated an average $424 each in the year to January 2005.

– Business giving has more than doubled since 2000-01, with more than 525,900 businesses, or 67 per cent of all businesses, giving $3.3 billion in money, goods, services and time during 2003-04.

– Melbourne and Sydney were responsible for nearly half of all individual donations (47.5 per cent), but Adelaide had the highest giving rate with donations from more than 90 per cent of adults.

– The number of hours donated by volunteers has risen 16 per cent since 2000, with 41 per cent of adult Australians volunteering 836 million hours with an average of 132 hours per year per volunteer.

The Giving Australia: Research on Philanthropy in Australia project is described as the most comprehensive survey ever of the contributions made in money and time by Australian individuals and businesses with more than 10,000 people contributing to the quantitative and qualitative research.

The quantitative components expand upon the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ (ABS) Survey of Individual Giving completed in 1997 and the ABS Business Generosity Survey commissioned in 2000-2001.

Key features of giving to different fields within which NFP organisations operate include:

Community and welfare service organisations receive about one in eight of all dollars donated by adult Australians. This sector receives over one in four of all hours volunteered and attracts 30% of business giving.

Health NFP organisations, including medical research organisations, receive about one in six of the total value of donations by individuals, one in ten of all hours volunteered and almost one in five of the total value of business giving.

Religious institutions are significant beneficiaries of donations by individuals, receiving more than one in three of the total value. About one in six of all hours volunteered goes toward these institutions.

International aid and development organisations receive about one in eight of all dollars donated by individuals. This does not include total giving of more than $300 million through Tsunami appeals in 2005.

Education NFP organisations receive about one in twenty dollars of all donations from individuals and of business giving. These organisations receive about one in
eight of all hours volunteered.

Environment and animal welfare groups receive about one in twenty of the value of all donations by individuals, about one in forty of total hour volunteered and less than one percent of the total giving from business.

Sporting and recreation groups receive 3% of the total of all individual donations, about one in five of all hours volunteered and one in six of the dollar value of business giving.

Arts and cultural organisations receive only a small proportion of individual donations and volunteered hours but receive almost one in ten of the value of all business giving.

The research included a specific Survey of Not for Profit Organisations which confirmed that fundraising and volunteering are the two most widely adopted ways of generating resources. However the use of particular practices varies based on the size of the organisation.

Smaller NFPs rely more heavily than larger ones on gambling (lotteries and raffles) and volunteers an generally use a smaller array of strategies.

The researchers found that not only do these organisations lack the resources to diversify they also lack the knowledge to do so.

They found that larger organisations engage more often in a full array of fundraising activities, support from volunteers, commercial ventures and partnerships with business. However, even with experience larger organisations face constraints, especially financial and human resource limits, in particular attracting, retaining and training good fundraisers.

The report says that as with any organisation, leadership at a CEO level is important and, as a defining characteristic of the NFP sector, voluntary board members providing good advice, support and contacts are a factor in success.

The Survey of Business found that of all businesses 30% allow employees to make pre-tax regular donations to NFP organisations through their pay. Of this group 4% of businesses offer a company matching scheme (eg dollar for dollar) for payroll deductions to organisations.

The proportion of businesses allowing employees to make donations through their pay was above average in Education and Health and Community Services industries, but below average in Transport/Storage, Utilities and Retail Trade businesses.

Despite a high proportion of businesses in Education and Health/Community Services allowing employees to make donations through their pay, very few of these businesses offered a company matching scheme. Company matching of donations was above average among Construction businesses.

When asked, 301,300, or 39% of businesses, said that they encourage their employees in some way to give their money, time or services to NFP organisations or charities.

The main ways were circulating information on local charities through the organisation (167,300 businesses or 22%), flexible work hours to accommodate unpaid volunteering (150,800 businesses or 19%) or paid time off to volunteer (34,200 businesses or 4%).

Some businesses encouraged their employees in more than one way.
Of all businesses 63% were aware that there are tax concessions for payroll deductions by staff to DGR organisations.

The project was coordinated by the Australian Council of Social Service (ACOSS) in cooperation with the Queensland University of Technology Centre of Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies; University of Technology, Sydney, Centre for Australian Community Organisations and Management; Roy Morgan Research; McNair Ingenuity Research Pty Ltd; and the Fundraising Institute of Australia.

Following the completion of the report, the Federal Government is expected to have further discussions with those involved in the research about outcomes and future directions.

Those discussions will centre on the role of government in philanthropy and the recommendations on strengthening partnerships.

The Summary of Findings Report will be reprinted as a fully bound edition in early November and the full report will be available on the PMCBP website in late November.

The Summary of Findings can be downloaded in PDF format at:http://www.partnerships.gov.au/pdf/Giving%20Aust.pdf.

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