20 August 2015

The proportion of Australians claiming a gift or donation is stagnant and remains below the level it reached in 1985-6, according to a report released by independent private wealth advisory business Koda Capital.

The Koda Review said taxpayers are giving just 0.32 per cent of their taxable income.

The 2015 Koda Capital Australian Giving Review reveals the majority of donor money comes from just 7.3 per cent of the giving population.

In 2012-13 Australians gave an amount equivalent to 0.57 per cent of GDP.  By comparison, the review said Americans gave an amount equivalent to 2 per cent of GDP in 2013.

“Relatively few Australians give more than $1,000 per year, but this group account for over two thirds of all deductible giving by individuals which totaled $2.29 billion in 2012-13,” Koda’s Head of Philanthropy and Social Capital, David Knowles, said.

“The report reveals Australian women are more generous than their male counterparts despite enjoying lower incomes, workplace giving is failing to catch on, volunteering levels are falling and NSW is fast replacing Victoria as the home of Australian philanthropy.

“In dollar terms, Australia’s most generous philanthropist is a little-known American, Chuck Feeney, whose foundation The Atlantic Philanthropies, gave approximately A$590 million to Australian institutions and non-profits between 2001 and 2012,” Knowles said.

Knowles said Feeney’s Giving While Living philosophy has encouraged wealthy Australians to give significant amounts, which they are now starting to do not just privately, but publicly.

“Chuck Feeney’s philosophy and practice is an inspiration to many Australians - he has given away his considerable wealth, owns neither a home nor a car and wears a $15 watch. His life should encourage more Australians to give while living,” Knowles said.

The report’s co-author, Chris Wilson, of Koda’s Philanthropy and Social Capital team, said a focus on youth would help build the base of Australia’s giving pyramid.

“While a small number of Australians dominate the giving landscape, there is tremendous goodwill in our community and a strong future in structured giving with a continued growth in these investment vehicles through Public and Private Ancillary Funds, which now receive 25 per cent of all gifts claimed in Australia.”

Key findings in the 2015 Koda Capital Australian Giving Review include:

  • Growth in deductible giving is sluggish and the number of givers is not growing - The number of Australian individuals claiming a donation is stagnant. Australians are still only giving 0.32 per cent of taxable income and growth in the overall amount claimed is underwhelming.
  • New South Wales is taking Victoria’s title as the home of Australian philanthropy - NSW comes out on top when looking at which state or territory gives the most money. It is also home to the highest number of Private Ancillary Funds, with 43 per cent of the national total.
  • A small number of Australians dominate the giving landscape - 66 per cent of the total amount claimed in 2012-13 was gifted by just 7.3 per cent of the giving population. Relatively few Australians give more than $1,000 per year, but this group is responsible for over two thirds of all deductible giving by individuals in this country.
  • Workplace giving is struggling to fulfil its potential - Participation rates for employers and employees alike remain low, with improvement prospects seeming to hinge on the success of new technology platforms that promise to better connect donors and supported charities.
  • Structured giving continues to grow in size and significance - Public and Private Ancillary Funds now receive 25% of all gifts claimed.

The Koda Review combines recently released ATO data on Australian giving, with information gathered by Koda from a range of sources in Australia and overseas.

The review has been released ahead of a visit by The Atlantic Philanthropies President and CEO Christopher G. Oechsli, who will host a series of conversations about philanthropy in partnership with Koda.

 

Read more at probonoaustralia.com.au