Australians’ donations to charity hits record high, despite uncertainty

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Australians continue to give 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 overall giving to charity grew by 2 per cent in the 12 months to February 2015. This growth was achieved despite subdued consumer confidence appearing to unnerve Australian consumers.

Notwithstanding these challenges, the average donation size grew by $2 to $336 per donor, with nearly all charity sectors experiencing an increase in average donation size.

“The slowdown in giving mirrors some key findings from our Consumer Anxiety Reports which shows that Australians are responding to heightened stress by cutting back spending on ‘non-essentials’, including charitable donations,” said Alan Oster, Group Chief Economist.

“Slower growth in charitable donations has also occurred against a backdrop of below trend economic growth and rising unemployment,” he said.

Middle Park in Victoria has again recorded the highest average donation amount, with donations of $316.

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 in South Australia donating 0.35 per cent of their annual incomes.

Humanitarian Services charities continue to attract the biggest market share of all donations, with 35 per cent of all donations.

Health & Disability charities received the next biggest share (13%), with Charitable Lotteries (11%) and Community Service & Children/Family (11%) charities the next biggest.

“The NAB Charitable Giving Index provides a clear window into people’s contribution to charities – playing an important role in helping the not-for-profit sector realise the giving potential in Australia,” said Rebecca Kotow, NAB’s Head of Community Engagement.

“We’re committed to continuing to support the not-for-profit sector play a vital role in helping our communities prosper and this includes providing real insights into giving trends,” she said.

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