Australians have hit a wall when it comes to giving to charity

Nick Laham/Getty Images

Australians appear to be not as generous as they used to be when it comes to giving money to help others, according to analysis of the latest numbers from the Australian Tax Office.

The 2015 Koda Capital Australian Giving Review shows growth in tax deductible giving is sluggish and the number of those giving isn’t getting any larger.

Over the last 30 years, the proportion of Australians claiming a gift or donation as a tax deduction is stagnant and remains below the level it hit in 1985-86.

This chart shows flat growth in claiming deductions:


Australians are only giving 0.32% of their taxable income, a total of $2.29 billion.

The average gift size grew to $504 in 2012-13 from $492 the year before, an increase of 2.4%, broadly in line with inflation.

The number of people claiming a tax deduction fell to 4.55 million 2012-13, a 1.8% decrease on the year before.

Relatively few Australians give more than $1,000 per year but this group accounts for two-thirds of deductible giving by individuals which totaled $2.29 billion in 2012-13.

The most generous giver in Australia is actually an American. Chuck Feeney, a co-founder of Duty Free Shoppers group, gave $590 million to Australian charities and not for profits groups through his Atlantic Philanthropies foundation between 2001-2012.

Home-grown billionaires also make large contributions to charity.

Iron ore magnate Andrew Forrest and his wife Nicola, through their charity Minderoo, have given $270 million since 2001.

And in 2013, the Forrests made one of the biggest philanthropic donations in Australian history with $65 million to higher education. Part of the money was used to set up a $50 million scholarship for Western Australia’s five universities.