Charitable giving in Australia grew in the year to February, with people continuing to give more to charity buoyed by reduced levels of consumer anxiety, according to new research released today.
The National Australia Bank’s (NAB) bi-annual Charitable Giving Index shows overall giving to charity grew by 6.5% over the year to February 2016, up from just 2.4% a year earlier. A resilient economy, solid employment growth, strong household consumption and lower levels of consumer anxiety helped support the charity sector and the ongoing generosity of Australians.
This was achieved despite challenges facing some states as the economy rebalances after the mining boom, with charitable giving growing in all states and across all charity sectors.
The average donation size across all charities actually grew by $12 to $348 per donor, with average annual donation size increasing in all states except Western Australia and all age groups except 15-24 year olds.
“The economic environment looks to have provided some solid support for the charity sector, with recent GDP growth figures providing reassurance that the Australian economy has remained resilient against an uncertain global backdrop and weak commodity prices” NAB Group Chief Economist, Alan Oster, said.
“Other NAB research shows that consumer anxiety has been falling steadily in recent quarters. With overall anxiety levels easing, consumers appear to have responded positively in their charitable spending behaviours with fewer consumers cutting back on their charitable spending this past year.”
Middle Park in Victoria once again recorded the highest donation amount, with average donations of $327 per person. Mosman in NSW was next best, with average donations of $295 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 Blaxland NSW with 0.35 per cent, Fitzroy North in Victoria with 0.33 per cent and Brunswick East in Victoria, O’Connor in ACT and Sturt in South Australia all donating 0.32 per cent.
Humanitarian services charities continue to attract the biggest market share of all donations, with 35 per cent of all donations. Health and disability and charitable lotteries received the next biggest share (12 per cent), with community services (11 per cent) and cancer charities (9 per cent) the next biggest.
NAB’s General Manager of Corporate Responsibility, Jodi Geddes, said the Index offers unique insights and data to help the not-for-profits develop their fundraising strategies and is one of NAB’s key initiatives to build a vibrant and sustainable Not for Profit sector for future generations.
“The lift in charitable giving bodes well for philanthropy as a NFP revenue source. We continue to work with the NFP sector and business to support not only philanthropic activity but also innovation with the ultimate goal of diversifying revenue streams to build a vibrant and sustainable NFP Sector for future generations.” Ms Geddes said.