WA the Capital of Australian Giving
10 December 2015 at 11:34 am
West Australians have been rated as the highest charitable donors in the country in a climate where the proportion of Aussies making charitable donations has slumped, but the average annual amount each person gives has risen, new research has found.
The latest Roy Morgan Research has revealed that in Western Australia 71 per cent of the population are donors, followed by Tasmania, where 63 per cent of residents give to charity.
The research found that the incidence of charitable giving was fairly consistent between the states, generally hovering around the national average – except for Western Australia.
“As well as being home to the country’s greatest proportion of charitable givers, WA also distinguishes itself in terms of average annual value given per donor,” the report said.
“Western Australians who donate to charity hand over around $355 each per year, ahead of donors from NSW/ACT ($331) and Victoria ($285) – and some $115 more than the average South Australian.”
The report said that earlier research from 2011 found that 70 per cent of Australians reported making at least one donation to charity in the previous 12 months, but the latest research found that this had slipped to 66 per cent.
The research found however that over that same time, the average annual amount donated had increased from $264 to $302.
The research also examined the attitudes of donors and why they give.
“Examining the attitudes of Western Australians towards issues such as raising living standards among the world’s poorest people or helping others, we find that they are slightly above average for believing that ‘helping others is my duty as a global citizen’ and ‘everyday people like you or me can help to raise living standards’,” Industry Communications Director at Roy Morgan Research, Norman Morris said.
“But then, so are Victorians, who, while almost as likely as people from WA to give to charity, are well behind them in terms of amount given.
“So why this difference in donation value? The fact that Western Australians are almost twice as likely as Victorians to live in households with an income of $200,000+ may have something to do with it.
“In Queensland and Tasmania, where charitable giving is not quite as popular, residents do not appear to have such a global outlook, and are more likely to feel that ‘my responsibility is just to other Australians’.”
Morris said Queenslanders were also noticeably less supportive of the Australian Government increasing “overseas aid to help reduce global poverty”.
“By understanding how different sectors of the population feel about helping the world’s poorest people, for example, or where the country’s high earners live, charities can be more strategic when communicating with current and potential donors, and waste less time on a ‘scatter-gun’ approach,” he said.
The research found that people who agreed with the statement “individuals can’t do anything – it’s up to governments” were 35 per cent more likely than the average Australian to make no donations in an average 12 month.
Those who do donate were more likely to give relatively small amounts.
The report said it was a very similar story with people who agreed with the statements “we can’t do much, there’ll always be poor people in the world” (37 per cent more likely to make no donations) and “my responsibility is just to other Australians” (39 per cent more likely to make no donations).
Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2014 – September 2015 (n=15,668).