26 Oct 2015

Giving to charity continues to grow, despite uncertainty

Charitable giving in Australia grew in the year to August, with people continuing to give more to charity despite persistent doubt about the economy, according to new research released today.

The National Australia Bank’s (NAB) bi-annual Charitable Giving Index shows overall giving to charity grew by 4.9 per cent in the 12 months to August 2015. However, this is down from growth of 7.8 per cent the previous year.

Read the full report

This was achieved despite subdued household income and wages growth and an uncertain economic outlook. The average donation size across all charities actually grew by $9 to $346 per donor, with average annual donation size increasing in all charity categories.

“The slowdown in giving was consistent with an ongoing reluctance by consumers to spend on “non-essentials” amid elevated unemployment, subdued household income and wages growth and an uncertain economic outlook,” NAB Group Chief Economist, Alan Oster, said.

“Growth in charitable giving was strongest for over 65s and weakest for 15-24 year olds. Other NAB research shows older Australians are more likely to be financially secure, consistently report the lowest levels of consumer stress and are more likely to recognise the positive impact that charitable giving has on their own personal wellbeing.”

Middle Park in Victoria once again recorded the highest donation amount, with average donations of $342 per person. Mosman in NSW was next best, with average donations of $268 per person.

In terms of giving as a percentage of income, Castlemaine in Victoria continues to lead the country for generosity, donating 0.36 per cent of their annual incomes, closely followed by Sturt, Prospect and Leabrook in South Australia and Blaxland in NSW, all donating 0.33 per cent.

Humanitarian Services charities continue to attract the biggest market share of all donations, with 35 per cent of all donations. Health & Disability and Charitable Lotteries received the next biggest share (12%), with Community Services (11%) and Cancer charities (9%) the next biggest.

NAB’s Head of Community Engagement, Rebecca Kotow, said the Index played an important role in helping the not-for-profit sector leverage fundraising as a major revenue stream for their business.

“The NAB Charitable Giving Index is an important tool we provide to empower the community sector. It provides the current insights needed to understand trends in giving,” Ms Kotow said.

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