What does the state of giving in Australia look like in 2015?

Giving to charity in Australia increased by only 2% over the past year to February 2015, according to the NAB’s Charitable Giving Index, which was released last week. The figure is down 8% on the same time in 2014 (when giving grew by 10%).

state of goving in australia

Anxiety the cause of cutbacks

So why has giving in Australia seen such a significant drop over the last year? The NAB Consumer Anxiety Index for Q1 2015 – which aims to address perceptions of consumer stress and wellbeing based around their future spending and savings plans – noted: “Consumers are allocating a bigger share of the household budget to paying off debt, utilities and medical bills, while cutting back on many ‘non-essentials’, such as entertainment and household items.” Unfortunately the aforementioned ‘non-essentials’ also includes charitable donations.

Number crunching

On the plus side, the average donation size for all charities increased by $2 over the past year to $336 per donor. In addition to this, almost all charity sectors saw an increase in the average donation value.

The size of donations were also found to increase with age. On average, younger donors (aged 15-24) gave $141 each, while those aged 65-plus gave $431 each. Younger Australians (aged between 15 to 34) tended to donate bigger shares of their total giving to humanitarian services, animal and environment and cancer charities. Alternatively, older Australians tended to donate more to health and disability, community services and children/family charities and charitable lotteries.

Digital is key to how Australians give

“The Index is also a powerful indicator of how people are giving to their charities,” notes Rebecca Kotow, head of community engagement at NAB. “Mobile apps and web-based charities are changing the landscape and revolutionising the way people donate. With more seamless channels for donation, and a much stronger desire to give digitally, it’s important for charities to understand this shift in behaviour.”

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NAB giving index