07 Nov 2014

Australians continue to give record amounts to charities

Australians are giving more to charity than ever before with the average annual donation amount hitting a record high, according to new research released today.

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 also continues 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.*

“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,” said Alan Oster, Group Chief Economist.

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, 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. 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 average annual donation size of $315 compares to:

  • $2,263 spent on gambling
  • $1,682 spent on alcoholic beverages
  • $612 spent on confectionary
  • $438 spent on cakes and biscuits

For the first time, the report compares giving by different payment types, revealing that donations by EFTPOS or credit cards (90 per cent of all payments) far outweighs 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,” said Rebecca Kotow, NAB’s Head of Community Engagement.

 

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