Thursday, December 10th, 2015

Besides being a gigantic spendathon and one of the retail industry’s busiest periods, Christmas is a time for giving. With this in mind, Roy Morgan Research decided to look into how Australians are tracking in terms of giving to charity — and found that while the proportion of us making charitable donations has fallen, the average annual amount each person gives has risen.

Between October 2010 and September 2011, 70% of Aussies aged 14+ reported making at least one donation to charity in the previous 12 months. As of September 2015, this had slipped to 66%. Yet over that time the average annual amount given rose from $264 to $302.

Incidence of charitable giving is fairly consistent between the states, generally hovering around the national average – except for Western Australia, where 71% of the population are donors; and Tasmania, where 63% of residents give to charity.

Donations by incidence and value: a state-by-state breakdown


Source: Roy Morgan Single Source (Australia), October 2014 – September 2015 (n=15,668).

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. 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.

Norman Morris, Industry Communications Director, Roy Morgan Research, says:

“With some 60,000 charities and not-for-profit organisations registered in Australia, competition for the donation dollar is fierce. Obviously, the recent decline in the proportion of the population giving to charity doesn’t help, although the increased value of the average amount donated per annum is good news for those charities that benefit from them.

 “WA leads the nation in both donation incidence and average annual amount given per person. 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’.  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’. What’s more, Queenslanders are 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.”

View this press release in full (and download the PDF) on our website.

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Roy Morgan Research

Roy Morgan Research is Australia's best known and longest established market research and public opinion survey company. Roy Morgan Single Source is thorough, accurate, and provides comprehensive, directly applicable information about current and future customers. It is unique in that it directs all the questions to each individual from a base survey sample of around 55,000 interviews in Australia and 15,000 interviews in New Zealand annually - the largest Single Source databases in the world. The questions asked relate to lifestyle and attitudes, media consumption habits (including TV, radio, newspapers, magazines, cinema, catalogues, pay TV and the Internet), brand and product usage, purchase intentions, retail visitations, service provider preferences, financial information and recreation and leisure activities. This lead product is supported by a nationally networked, consultancy-orientated market research capability.
Samantha Wilson
P: (03) 9224 5268


charities, not-for-profits, donations




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