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Aussies Giving More than Ever to Charity


7 November 2014 at 11:27 am
Xavier Smerdon
Australians are giving more to charity than ever before with the average annual donation amount hitting a record high, but still paling in comparison to the average amount spent on gambling and even cakes and biscuits, according to new research.

Xavier Smerdon | 7 November 2014 at 11:27 am


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Aussies Giving More than Ever to Charity
7 November 2014 at 11:27 am

Australians are giving more to charity than ever before with the average annual donation amount hitting a record high, but still paling in comparison to the average amount spent on gambling and even cakes and biscuits, according to new research released.

The National Australia Bank’s (NAB) bi-annual Charitable Giving Index shows that the average annual donation size for all charities increased by 3.6 per cent ($11) to $315 per donor in the 12 months to August 2014.

Overall charitable giving growth has continued an upward trend, increasing by 6.4 per cent in the 12 months to August and up 22 per cent since December 2010.

The rate of growth, however, has slowed from a peak of almost 9 per cent in early-2014, with subdued consumer confidence appearing to unsettle Australian consumers, the report said.

“Consumers are looking at where they can cut back on spending and charitable donations are one area they feel they can tighten the purse strings. Despite this, Australians should be applauded for their generosity with the average annual donation at record levels,” Group Chief Economist at NAB, Alan Oster, said.

According to the research donors from higher income postcodes tend to donate the most in dollar terms, but do not donate the most relative to their incomes.

Middle Park in Victoria recorded the highest average donation amount of $300, or 3.5 times the national average across all Australian postcodes of $85 per person.

In terms of giving as a percentage of income, residents from Castlemaine in Victoria leads the country for generosity, donating 0.36 per cent of their annual incomes.

Humanitarian Services continue to attract the most donations, with 34 per cent of all donations.

Average annual donation size typically increases with age, the report said.

In the year to August 2014, the average annual donation in the 15 – 24 age group was $108, compared with $398 in the 65+ group. Average donation size fell over the past year for those under 35, but grew in all other age groups, especially 65+ where it increased by $48 or almost 14 per cent.

Australian households on average are spending more on other items such as gambling, alcohol and confectionary than they do on charitable donations each year. 

The report said that while the average annual donation size has increased to its largest ever amount of $315, this is much smaller than the average amount spent on gambling, $2,263, alcoholic beverages, $1,682, confectionery, $612 and cakes and biscuits, $438.

For the first time, the NAB Charitable Giving Index compared giving by different payment types, revealing that donations by EFTPOS or credit cards (90 per cent of all payments) far outweigh BPAY and direct debit (10 per cent of all payments).

“The NAB Charitable Giving Index helps the community sector understand their audiences in order to identify opportunities and focus on core activities. Understanding shifts in audience behaviours such as payment choices is invaluable in helping community groups channel their efforts,” NAB’s Head of Community Engagement Rebecca Kotow said.


Xavier Smerdon  |  Journalist  |  @XavierSmerdon

Xavier Smerdon is a journalist specialising in the Not for Profit sector. He writes breaking and investigative news articles.

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