Australians remain a charitable bunch despite tougher economic times


Despite tougher economic times, Australians continue to be generous when it comes to donating to charity.

In their bi-annual charitable giving index, released earlier today, the NAB revealed that total donations increased by 2% to $336 per donor in the year to February.

While higher, growth was well below the 10% level recorded in the previous 12 months, something NAB researchers put down to increased consumer anxiety.

Here’s the NAB’s chief economist Alan Oster on the reports findings:

“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. Slower growth in charitable donations has also occurred against a backdrop of below trend economic growth and rising unemployment. Despite these challenges, the average donation size for all charities increased by $2 over the past year to $336 per donor, with nearly all charity sectors experiencing an increase in average donation size”.

Middle Park in Victoria recorded the highest average donation size across the nation, $316, with Castlemaine, also in Victoria, donating the most as a percentage of total income at 0.36%.

Interestingly, and perhaps reflective of household wealth composition, asset price growth, levels of indebtedness and job insecurity, all age groups aside from 65-years-plus recorded a sharp slowdown in the level of donations growth from a year earlier. Donations among 25-to-34-year-olds fell, while those from other working-age groups all increased by less than 3%.

Annual growth in donations by age group

Along with recording the fastest level of donations growth, the 65 years plus age group also accounted for the largest average annual donation amount out of any age group.

Total average annual donations by age group

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