50 Key Messages – Coming your way in 2018!

Easy to digest and good for you!

There is so much fascinating data coming out of Giving Australia – the largest ever research effort into philanthropic behaviour to understand how, why and how much Australians give to charity – that in 2018 we’ll be featuring a new key message each week.

Get inspired and informed as we take you through 50 of the most fascinating and informative facts and figures that #GivingAus has uncovered. A new message, along with a link to the accompanying report, will be featured each week on the new ACPNS website, due to be unveiled in February 2018.

So sign up now to get notifications on the 50 Key Messages calendar and to get the scoop on each quarter’s main theme – email acpns@qut.edu.au

Volunteers and fundraisers key to community outcomes: Giving Australia report

Volunteers play a critical role in the success of a nonprofit organisation (NPO) and are its most valuable resource, according to the latest data coming out of Giving Australia 2016. The study also shows that dedicated fundraisers, either paid or volunteer, are a second vital asset for NPOs to do their work in the community.

Released today at the end Community and Philanthropy Partnerships Week and just before tomorrow’s annual #GivingTuesday, Giving and volunteering: the nonprofit perspective represents the most extensive research undertaken thus far to uncover how NPOs drive support to their cause by engaging the community, business and philanthropic foundations.

Giving Australia 2016 project director and Director of QUT’s Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS), Associate Professor Wendy Scaife said that 94% of NPOs have volunteers and cite ‘giving back to society’ and ‘wanting to be part of something that creates impact’ as their volunteers’ prime motivator.

“Nonprofit organisations are showing their appreciation for their volunteers and are investing more time and energy into recruiting them,” Professor Scaife said. “They’re definitely realising that their organisation’s impact hinges significantly on the attitudes and commitment of their volunteers; the report shows that half have a dedicated volunteer manager and three-quarters have some sort of volunteer recognition in place, a marked increase from 54% in 2005.”

The report also uncovers the main ways NPOs are attracting donors and the emerging role of new technologies on NPOs’ fundraising capability.

“Another key takeaway from the data is that NPOs are becoming more attuned to donors’ expectations and are actively seeking ways to better understand what’s influencing donors’ decisions,” Professor Scaife said. “In particular, we’re seeing a shift in the way NPOs report on their fundraising activities. We know donors are becoming more outcomes orientated (Giving Australia 2016 report – Individual giving and volunteering) and NPOs are increasingly answering their expectations by reporting more about the impact their donation is having.”

The full report can be freely downloaded via the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership research projects website, along with previous Giving Australia 2016 reports.

A free webinar detailing the key insights from the report will be held today, Monday 27 November at 11am (AEST). Register to attend

Associate Professor Wendy Scaife is available for interviews. Contact the Centre for further information on 07 3138 1020 or email acpns@qut.edu.au

Don’t miss next week’s free webinar: Fundraising – Is YOUR nonprofit keeping up-to-date? 27 Nov

FREE WEBINAR: Attracting support for YOUR nonprofit – the stats you need to know!


Is your organisation keeping up-to-date with donors’ expectations? What are the most common fundraising activities nonprofits are employing? And what is the most important resource for nonprofits, small and large? These are just some of the questions we’ll be answering at next week’s webinar, held in celebration of Community and Philanthropy Partnerships Week and #GivingTuesday.  

Delving into data coming out of Giving Australia*, our largest national analysis of giving and volunteering undertaken in Australia, you’ll hear from nonprofits on the retro and radical ways they’re driving support to their organisations. What works best? And what do YOU need to know to guide your fundraising in 2018?


  • the main ways nonprofits are attracting donors
  • what part volunteers play in nonprofits’ success
  • the role of community business partnerships
  • where nonprofits stand with new technologies
  • what you need to know to guide your fundraising in 2018

Monday 27 November, 2017 | 11:00am sharp – 11:45pm (AEST)
Can’t attend in real time? You should still register; all registrants will receive a recording of the webinar.


Giving Australia lead researcher, Associate Professor Wendy Scaife, Director, The Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies, QUT

with response to the research by a senior fundraiser and input from the Department of Social Services and the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership.

We would love to hear from you! Forward your questions to acpns@qut.edu.au ahead of time and we will endeavour to answer them live at the webinar.



ACPNS/FIA Alumni Anniversary Breakfast – Key take-aways on Millennials

Snack-sized and good for you

What are some of the take-aways from this morning’s breakfast? Well, mainly that fundraisers shouldn’t be thinking of Millennials as an unattainable demographic. They’re really not that different to other generations.

  • They have similar motivations and behaviours – differences are due to life stage and capacity to give
  • They’re not being approached in traditional ways – fundraisers need to go where they are
  • They want hands-on engagement
  • Millennial employees desire purpose, feedback and flexibility
  • They give to causes not organisations
  • Nonprofits need to articulate their mission and communicate their impact – don’t underestimate the importance of your website
  • Collective giving can be an effective way for Millennials to fundraise
  • Millennials aren’t waiting to give – they want to give while accumulating funds
  • Have you considered a Millennial on your Board?

ACPNS/FIA Alumni Anniversary Breakfast – Oh what a day!

The Broncos Leagues Club played host to this morning’s ACPNS/FIA Alumni Anniversary Breakfast and what a morning it was! 

The breakfast brought together three Millennials, from academia, fundraising and philanthropy to share their experiences with engaging Millennials.

Marie Balczun, Senior Research Assistant at ACPNS presented some key data from Giving Australia 2016 including millennials’ lack of differences with non-Millennials in terms of motivations and cause areas for giving and volunteering. She explained how the differences that do exist are much more to do with age, life stage and capacity to give and volunteer than some fundamental difference with this generation. She also showed how traditional methods of fundraising are not reaching Millennials and the importance of online giving in the future. “Online giving is not going away and it is no longer a Millennial specific issue. Our data showed that non-Millennials were actually more likely to give via mobile devices than Millennials when they gave via the organisation’s website.” She highlighted that organisations need to give opportunities for Millennials to participate in ways that appeal to them – giving online, supporting on social media and providing time-specific volunteering opportunities. “Millennials can be very loyal but this is to a cause, not an organisation”, she said.

Queensland young fundraiser of the year, Will Kirsop, highlighted the importance of thinking about Millennials as employees, not just donors. “Millennial employees are looking for purpose in their work, flexibility feedback.” In terms of donors, Will stressed that “you need to communicate the impact of your work, target your message and innovate to deepen your relationships with Millennials”.

Finally, Prue Pateras of the Tim Fairfax Family Foundation discussed the role of peers and collective giving for high-net-worth Millennials. “Impact investing and collective giving are becoming increasingly important and relevant to many givers, millennials included. Millennials are expecting more from charities and want to see them stepping away from reliance on single funding streams and becoming more innovative and creative in the way they engage funders.”

View Marie Balczun’s the Giving Australia 2016 slide presentation

View Will Kirsop’s slide presentation

View Prue Pateras’ slide presentation

Download the Giving Australia reports and factsheets

Stay tuned for some more key takeaways from the breakfast!

Don’t miss this upcoming webinar on BUSINESS GIVING AND VOLUNTEERING!

FREE WEBINAR: Business giving and volunteering
What nonprofits and businesses NEED to know

According to Giving Australia 2016, our largest national analysis of giving and volunteering, Australian businesses are giving more to charity than ever before. In fact partnering with nonprofits to generate positive social impact is becoming more embedded in how Australian enterprises of all sizes do business each and every year.

So what does this mean for YOUR nonprofit or business?


At this free webinar you will learn:

  • why businesses are giving more and what’s driving the trend
  • why businesses are moving towards partnerships
  • the latest on workplace giving and volunteering
  • what giving modes and vehicles appeal most to businesses, and
  • how YOUR nonprofit or business can benefit from this upward trend.

Thursday 26 Oct, 2017 | 11:00am sharp – 11:45pm (AEST)

Can’t attend in real time? You should still register; all registrants will receive a recording of the webinar.

Giving Australia lead business giving and volunteering researcher 

  • Wayne Burns, Director, Centre for Corporate Public Affairs

with input from the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies and the Department of Social Services.

We would love to hear from you! Forward your questions to acpns@qut.edu.au ahead of time and we will endeavour to answer them live at the webinar.   


Key business giving insights

The following data has been extracted from the Giving Australia 2016 Business giving and volunteering report. The full report is available for free download.

The qualitative data indicates that giving by business has evolved since 2005 to be embedded in the strategies of the largest businesses in Australia and that most businesses of all sizes were seeking to generate a positive social impact from what they gave.[1]

In 2015–16, large businesses (200 or more employees) represented only 0.2% of all businesses, yet gave
$9 billion in their last financial year (51% of total business giving) (see Figure 1). On average, large business gave $2.5 million per organisation. SMEs, which comprise 99.8% of all businesses in Australia, gave
$8.5 billion in their last financial year (see Figure 1).

[1] Social impact is the net effect of an activity on a community and the wellbeing of individuals and families [CSI 2016]. A social impact can be positive or negative. In 2015–2016, one of the objectives driving business giving was to generate an impact in the community that improved or strengthened the well-being of individuals, households, or communities.

Corporations, the largest businesses in the nation, gave $7.9 billion (88% of large business giving: see Figure 2).

Giving and volunteering: an overview

The following data has been extracted from the Giving Australia 2016 Individual giving and volunteering report. The full report is available for free download.

Monetary donations

Through the Individual giving and volunteering survey, it was estimated that in the 12 months prior to interview in 2016, 14.9 million Australians aged 18 or older (80.8% of the adult population) gave a total of $11.2 billion to charities and nonprofit organisations (NPOs). Those giving gave an average of $764.08 each, while the median amount donated was $200 per donor.

Events and ‘charity gambling’

In addition to donations, in 2016, individuals gave an estimated $1.3 billion to NPOs through events and ‘charity gambling’.[1] An estimated 9.2 million people, or 49.7% of adult Australians, supported NPOs in this way, contributing an average of $149.42 annually. By far the most popular of these methods of giving was charitable gambling with 45.2% of adult Australians purchasing a raffle ticket in the year prior to interview. Most (88.5%) providing support in this way also made donations.

It was estimated that all monetary donations of $11.2 billion represented 0.68% of Gross Domestic Product (GDP). When raffles and significant items from charity auctions were included, the total giving figure of $12.5 billion represented 0.76% of GDP.


Over the year prior to interview in 2016, an estimated 8.7 million people or 43.7% of the adult population, gave 932 million hours of their time as volunteers to charities and NPOs, an annual average of 134 hours each (or 2.5 hours per week). The median for volunteering hours was 55, half volunteering more and half less than this amount in the year.

Comparisons with other data sources

In Giving Australia 2005, it was estimated that a higher percentage – 86.9% of the adult population – made a donation, totalling $5.7 billion (equivalent to $7.5 billion in 2016 dollars). The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) annual tax-deductible giving data indicates a fairly constant percentage of people claiming deductions for donations since 2005, while the average donation has risen, except for the years immediately after the 2008 Global Financial Crisis.

The ABS (2015b) General Social Survey (GSS) found in 2014, 31.3% of the Australian population aged 15 years and over volunteered for at least one organisation. Women were more likely to have volunteered than men (33.5% compared to 29.1%).

[1] Charity gambling includes purchasing raffle tickets and charity auction items.

Report release: Business Giving & Volunteering and Individual Giving & Volunteering

Everyday Australians gave $12.5 billion and 932 million hours to helping others and businesses gave $17.5 billion and more than half managed a workplace volunteering program in 2015-16, according to latest data coming out of Giving Australia 2016.

Released this morning in Canberra by the Minister for Social Services, the Business Giving and Volunteering and Individual Giving and Volunteering reports represent the most extensive research undertaken thus far to uncover how, why and how much individuals and businesses give to charity.

Giving Australia 2016 lead researcher and Director of QUT’s Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS), Associate Professor Wendy Scaife said people who volunteered and donated gave, on average, almost twice as much ($1017.11) as those who donated only money ($536.69).

“It is heartening to see that of the 43.7 per cent of Australians who volunteer, 38.2 per cent of those who responded to the annual survey donate both time and money,” Professor Scaife said. “And, while fewer people are giving, they’re giving more as the average donation has increased. Similarly, the percentage of people volunteering and the hours volunteered have both increased over the past decade”. (Forty-one per cent in 2005 versus 43.7 per cent in 2016; 132 hours on average in 2005 versus 134 hours in 2016.)

As for Australian businesses, the data is equally optimistic. The business report cites a trend towards businesses of all sizes encouraging giving and volunteering through the workplace.

“The increase in workplace volunteering is bucking the trend in the US, where the incidence of volunteering through the workplace has plateaued in recent years,” Professor Scaife said. “In fact, giving by businesses to charity is far more embedded in businesses’ ethical and social imperatives now than 10 years ago.”

The full reports can be freely downloaded via the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership research projects website, along with previous Giving Australia 2016 reports.

Further reading: There’s cause for celebration and concern in how Australians are giving to charity | The Conversation

Structured giving vehicles

The following data has been extracted from the Giving Australia 2016 Philanthropy and philanthropists report. The full report is available for free download.

Giving Australia 2016 tells us that the desire to give strategically to create a long term, financially sustainable giving channel is a key factor. Some philanthropists move from a mostly spontaneous approach to a more planned and structured approach by way of a philanthropic giving vehicle.

The most common legal structure (adopted by 33% of respondents to the Philanthropy and philanthropists survey) was a Private Ancillary Fund (PAF), followed by charitable trusts and sub-funds.

PAFs tended to be established by people who had the resources and the inclination to establish and manage their own fund.

Sub-funds of umbrella organisations such as community foundations were established by people with smaller capital amounts to give or by those who preferred their giving to be part of a collective endeavour. Some opted for both.

Those who use structured giving vehicles thought it made their giving:

  • more strategic
  • sharply focused and with greater impact
  • more financially sustainable, and
  • better planned around personal and/or business needs.

Foundations, trusts and ancillary funds also allowed for control over where money was spent and had potential for tax incentives.

Giving Australia 2016 participants recommend several actions to grow structured giving, such as:

  • reduce the complexity involved in establishing a structured giving vehicle
  • reduce restrictions on where donations can be made (e.g. enable PAFs to gift beyond Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR)1s, inclusive of individuals)
  • establish mechanisms to encourage sharing of administration (back-office)
  • increase awareness and skills among solicitors and financial advisers, and
  • support foundations to leverage the relative freedom they have to take risks with their money

Who do philanthropists give to?

The following data has been extracted from the Giving Australia 2016 Philanthropy and philanthropists report. The full report is available for free download.

The top three issues/areas to which survey respondents directed their grantmaking were:

  • social services (63.7%)
  • education and research (62.7%), and
  • health (52.9%).

The majority of respondents (81.4%) reported having a process to review their grantmaking priorities.

Just over half (53.9%) of respondents indicated the grantmaking processes of their fund(s) have changed significantly over the past 10 years.

The top three influences over granting choices were:

  • alignment with personal passions
  • sound governance in the receiving organisation, and
  • perceived competence of the charity.

The level of due diligence of organisations or causes undertaken by donors differed with the size of a gift.

Reporting and evaluation were seen by many as having an important role to play in considering repeat funding with respondents noting that:

  • reporting and evaluation processes required adequate resourcing of skills and time, and
  • some projects have much longer-term outcomes or indirect benefits that are difficult to measure.

Just under half (46.9%) of respondents stated that their fund has conducted an evaluation of its own effectiveness.

FREE WEBINAR: GIVING & PHILANTHROPY: How does Queensland measure up?

Giving and philanthropy: How does Queensland measure up?


Celebrating giving and volunteering in Queensland.

As part of QCF Philanthropy Week, we’ll be investigating giving in Queensland, including data from Giving Australia;

who gives? | who volunteers? | why? | how? | where to next?

Data from the philanthropy sector is rare in this country. Hear from those in the know on how much Queenslanders give and volunteer, and what this means for Queensland’s philanthropic/nonprofit and for-profit sectors.

Friday 16 June, 2017 | 10:00am sharp – 10:45pm (AEST)
Can’t attend in real time? You should still register; all registrants will receive a recording of the webinar.


  • Benjamin Cox, National Director, Board of Management and QLD Chairman of Fundraising Institute Australia
  • Associate Professor Wendy Scaife, lead researcher of Giving Australia 2016*, Australia’s largest ever review and analysis of giving and volunteering

We would love to hear from you! Forward your questions to acpns@qut.edu.au ahead of time and we will endeavour to answer them live at the webinar.


Why do philanthropists give?

The following data has been extracted from the Giving Australia 2016 Philanthropy and philanthropists report. The full report is available for free download.

Reasons for giving echoed those found in Giving Australia 2005, where the key themes of altruism, reciprocity and living in accordance with personal values emerged as important factors in motivating giving. In Giving Australia 2016, the most frequently cited reasons for giving were:

  • to make a difference
  • to give back to the community
  • for personal satisfaction
  • to align action with moral or philosophical beliefs
  • to set an example
  • to support family or friends linked with a cause, and
  • to maintain family history and values.

Individuals and foundation/trust representatives participating in this research consistently emphasised the importance of being able to make a difference with their giving.

For individuals, a sense of social reciprocity and the desire to give back to the community that supported them was a widely shared motivator for giving.

Philanthropists commonly valued the sense of personal satisfaction and fulfilment that is part of their process of giving.

For some, their underlying philosophical beliefs are a strong motivator for giving, as ‘the right thing to do’.

Some participants want to set an example, to role model the values and behaviours of giving, both for their families and for their peers.

Philanthropists are often motivated to give to specific organisations or causes where there is a personal, social connection.

For many, giving is something that they continue on as a natural extension of the values and behaviours modelled and passed down through the family; ‘it’s what we do’.

Common motivators for survey respondents using a structured giving vehicle include:

  • to be more strategic in giving
  • to make a difference
  • to help organise giving, and
  • to involve family in giving.

Several themes recurred throughout focus groups, interviews and the Philanthropy and philanthropists survey about key influences on philanthropic giving. Giving is influenced by:

  • perceived capacity to give (whether time, money or skills) by individuals
  • valuing giving (believing that giving is worthwhile and the right thing to do)
  • social networks (both personal such as family and peers, and professional, such as advisers)
  • ease and accessibility of giving (barriers may not prevent giving, but can discourage it), and
  • having a positive impact.

Philanthropy and philanthropists – Who gives?

The following data has been extracted from the Giving Australia 2016 Philanthropy and philanthropists report. The full report is available for free download.


Of the Philanthropy and philanthropists survey respondents, 18.1% were under 40; 46.6% were 40 to 59 and 35.3% were 60 or older. Young philanthropists accruing wealth expressed a strong desire to give what they can as they are building their wealth. Retired individuals reported more time and more resources to commit.


Women are leading in community giving and collective giving. (62.7% of survey respondents were women.)

Some focus group and interview participants perceived that gender (and age) imbalance affected organisational culture and practices in the philanthropy sector.

Some participants argued the virtues of targeting giving to women and girls to achieve better outcomes for families and communities. Use of a ‘gender lens’ in giving is seen to have potential to increase the effectiveness of philanthropic investments in the communities served.

Country of birth

The majority (84.5%) of survey respondents were born in Australia and 31.3% had one or both parents born outside of Australia. This reflects the predominant foundation cultures rather than the changing mix that characterises Australia in the 21st century.


Qualitative research participants saw a broadening of the perception of philanthropy, not just confined to the most wealthy, but increasingly a democratised set of practices accessible to the many.

Those who do give see the perceptions of capacity to give as a major barrier for those who do not give.


Key themes & insights from the Philanthropy and philanthropists report

Four major themes emerged from the research in the Philanthropy and philanthropists report. The full report is available for free download.

Culture and family matters

Culture, in the sense of shared norms and values, is an enduring motivator and shaper of giving behaviour. The influence of culture on giving extends to and is magnified by culture within families; within communities; across ethno-religious and racial groups; and national cultural values related to philanthropy. Participants in focus groups and interviews saw opportunities in embracing multiple cultures to harness shared passion and commitment to addressing social issues.

Families, personal networks and communities continue to influence all, including the wealthy and the ultra-wealthy, in relation to:

  • giving practices
  • motivations to give
  • causes
  • where they give, and
  • the channels through which they give.

Many attributed their giving to values learned at an early age from their families/communities/religions.

The prevalent role of culture and values in shaping giving practices is consistent with the findings of Giving Australia 2005.

Mechanisms matter

The mechanisms by which giving cultures are shaped appear to be expanding as new (or recently revived) mechanisms and practices emerge. These include an increased focus on collective giving and the rise of social networking media in peer-based giving. One of the strongest meta-themes of the 2016 research was the ‘democratisation’ of philanthropy: that is, an emphasis on giving as being ‘everyone’s business’.

Impact matters

A consistent and dominant theme in the research was the importance to philanthropists of being able to ‘make a difference’; to have some agency in achieving a desired outcome. While this echoes the emphasis in Giving Australia 2005 on strategic giving by philanthropists, it also introduces a more explicit intent around having a positive impact in giving.

This growing emphasis on having an impact and being engaged and to a degree, in control of giving outcomes, is consistent with experience around the world.

Ease and access matter

From individual through to institutional experiences of philanthropy, a core theme was that philanthropy is enabled where giving is made accessible and easy. The findings suggest that ease of giving can be negatively or positively affected by many factors, including:

  • technological platforms that expand giving opportunities, broaden the range of potential recipients and increase the speed of giving
  • taxation incentives, and
  • legal and regulatory policies that affect structured giving, including bequeathing.

The findings of Giving Australia 2016 suggest that to advance structured and institutional giving in Australia, regulatory conditions ideally should make giving easy and attractive, accommodate the nature of giving across contemporary life stages and recognise the diversity of causes to which philanthropists seek to give.

The emergence of digital and collective giving platforms provides rich opportunities for advancing cultures of giving in Australia.


First webinar in the Giving Australia series, Philanthropy and philanthropists – Now available for download

The first webinar in the Giving Australia 2016 series, Philanthropy and philanthropists was held recently. Many thanks to Prof Jo Barraket, Dr Christopher Baker for presenting and to Angela Perry and Assoc Prof Wendy Scaife for facilitating. The webinar included key messages from grantmakers and philanthropists about giving today and in the future, how giving is happening and why and to what, and what grantmakers and philanthropists are saying about the future of philanthropy in Australia.

Thank you to all those who attended the webinar.

CLICK HERE to download a recording of the webinar.

We would love to hear your feedback!

Click Reply to tell us your thoughts on the information presented / questions for researchers / ways we can improve the webinar experience / any other feedback.

Don’t miss the first WEBINAR in the Giving Australia series: Philanthropy and philanthropists, 5 May



PHILANTHROPY AND PHILANTHROPISTS What can YOU learn from Giving Australia 2016*, Australia’s largest ever review and analysis of giving and volunteering, funded by the Department of Social Services (DSS) as an initiative of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership (the Partnership)?  

  • What are the key messages from grantmakers and philanthropists about giving today and in the future?
  • How is giving happening and why and to what?
  • What are grantmakers and philanthropists saying about the future of philanthropy in Australia?

This webinar is the first in the Giving Australia series and includes the key data and insights from Giving Australia 2016.

WHAT Giving Australia 2016: Philanthropy and philanthropists (first in the Giving Australia series)

WHEN Friday 5 May, 2017 | 11:30am sharp – 12:30pm AEST

(You will receive a friendly reminder email on the day.)

Check your time zone Can’t attend in real time? You should still register. All registrants will receive a recording of the webinar.

WHO Giving Australia researchers: Professor Jo Barraket and Dr Christopher Baker from the Centre for Social Impact Swinburne, Swinburne University of Technology with inputs from ACPNS at QUT, DSS and the Partnership. IS THIS FOR ME? Data from the philanthropy sector is rare in this country. This is an invaluable learning experience for those working in the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors, especially those working in grantmaking and grantseeking areas.


Other webinars in this series

Giving Australia reports will be released progressively throughout coming months, each with its own in-depth webinar led by key researchers – watch this space or email acpns@qut.edu.au for more information.

Like reading? You’ll love this

Giving Australia reports and fact sheets are freely available via the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership research projects website, including the Philanthropy and philanthropists report, on which this webinar is based. Learn more about Giving Australia | Subscribe to the Giving Australia blog *Giving Australia was commissioned by the Department of Social Services as an initiative of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership. It was led by the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS) at QUT with the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University of Technology and the Centre for Corporate Public Affairs.


‘Giving Australia 2016’ Research – Top 3 Take Outs

We thank Apple Marketing Group for publishing this article.

Top 3 Take-outs

Conversion Rates/Telephone Approach 

Conversion rates for our renewal charity campaigns have sustained well compared to the overall figures quoted in the report (refer page 7 of highlights report).

On average we have seen a slight decrease over the same period of between 3% – 6% across all appeals vs. 30-40% overall decrease shown in the report.  Providing transparency, customer services and delivering receipts on time all assist with retention rates for our client campaigns.

Planned Giving

Planned giving is far more attractive to charity supporters and the report shows that ‘those who plan their giving actually give 6x more dollars than spontaneous givers’.  (Refer pages 11-13 of highlights presentation)

This is a significant finding in my mind because Regular Giving is a key component to our charity fundraising success.  Over the past few years we have been nurturing a RG telemarketing team of talented individuals, all hand-picked for specialist training based on their ability to handle a more complicated ask.  They are, in my opinion, the best in the business.  Our results across raffle, donor and door knock speak for themselves, with strong conversion trends year on year.


The demographics and capacity to donate are very interesting results.  This information will assist our recruitment for door knock volunteer collectors in 2017. (Refer to pages 16-18 of highlights presentation)


Insights about impact

We thank Generosity Magazine for publishing this article.

Christopher Baker and Wendy Scaife explore how impact influences giving choices using data from Giving Australia 2016.

“The other way you choose the organisation is impact … it’s whether they can leverage it dollar for dollar with something else that comes from somewhere else, whether it’s a government contribution or a corporate contribution or what. So you’re trying to have the biggest impact…” – Focus group, High Net Wealth Individuals, QLD

If we built a word cloud of Giving Australia 2016, ‘impact’ would loom in large type.

Here are a few findings, particularly from the Philanthropy and philanthropists’ survey and interviews, as well as from the nonprofit perspective.

Impact a key driver

Achieving impact was a key driver for philanthropists. In fact, the most common motivating factor for 92.9 per cent of survey respondents was ‘belief that giving can make a difference’.

Impact influences giving choices             

Impact shaped what issues and organisations were supported. Giving went where the greatest impact could be made. Key considerations reported were:

  • whether the focus area for the grant or gift was already well covered, and
  • whether a grant or gift was likely to contribute to sustainable positive impact.

Four of the top five factors influencing which nonprofit organisations were supported related to their ability to generate impact. These included:

  • being assured that a charity or organisation had sound governance (92.3 per cent)
  • perceiving a charity as competent and capable to deliver social impact (92 per cent)
  • believing that a grant would provide for the disadvantaged and meet key needs (74.1 per cent)
  • being confident that the grant would provide ‘bang for buck’ in terms of impact (65.4 per cent).


UK Charitable Giving Held Steady ‘Despite Brexit’

We thank ProBono for publishing this article.

People are becoming more charitable in the UK with almost nine in 10 people (89 per cent) saying they did something “charitable” last year, according to a major not-for-profit study on giving.

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) annual UK giving report found that giving money to charity held steady last year despite huge political developments, such as Brexit, with donations totalling £9.7 billion (A$16.17 billion). And a month-by-month survey since the EU referendum showed no shift in people’s reported giving.

The report found that the giving trend was a significant increase on 2015 when 79 per cent of people said they did something “charitable”.

Well over half of the population donated money (61 per cent) or gave goods to charity (56 per cent) and one in six (17 per cent) volunteered

Medical research was the most popular cause. Just over one in four people (26 per cent) gave to a medical research charity last year, closely followed by animal welfare (25 per cent) and children and young people (24 per cent).

The median average contribution for a charitable donation or sponsorship was £18 (A$30). The report said cash was still the most common way for people to give, accounting for 58 per cent of people having donated in this way. Slightly more than one in four (26 per cent) gave online.

But CAF said there had been a “Brexit-effect” on other types of support for charities and causes, with volunteering and campaigning both up since the referendum.


Businesses of Tomorrow are in Good Company

We thank ProBono for publishing this article.

A social enterprise that connects those who can give with those in need has been named as one of the top 20 businesses of tomorrow.

Giving platform GoodCompany was chosen from almost 2,000 applications as a “high potential business of tomorrow” as part of Westpac Businesses of Tomorrow program.

In total, Westpac recognised 200 businesses, with a collective turnover of approximately $2 billion per year, “that have the drive to boost the nation’s future as Australia transitions to a services and knowledge-based economy”. Of those 20 businesses were highlighted for high potential.

Westpac Institutional Bank chief executive Lyn Coble said the calibre of applicants, which were chosen based on criteria including business purpose, contribution the community, current strengths and vision for the future, had been “extremely high”.

“These are leaders with a strong sense of purpose and the capability to think differently about meeting customer needs that exist today and those that may be needed in the future,” Cobley said.

Judge and Westpac Business Bank chief executive David Lindberg said GoodCompany had made a significant impact.


Shaping the future of philanthropy

We thank Perpetual for publishing this article.

A landmark report on Australia’s philanthropic sector has revealed philanthropists are placing the organisations behind the causes under intensifying scrutiny when determining their funding priorities. Evidence of project outcomes is increasingly important and this places not-for-profits under pressure to improve their levels of transparency and reporting.


Commissioned by the Commonwealth of Australia, Giving Australia 2016 is the most extensive research project on Australia’s philanthropic sector in more than a decade. Findings from the full Philanthropy and philanthropists section of report, released this week, shed light on the evolution of philanthropy in Australia, the current barriers to giving and priorities for the future.

The changing face of philanthropy

The reasons people give echo the findings from Giving Australia 2005, with the key motivators being to make a difference and give back to the community according to personal values.


Celebrating the release of the Philanthropy & philanthropists report


We thank the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership for posting this article.

The Hon Christian Porter MP, Minister for Social Services, released Giving Australia 2016 Philanthropy and philanthropists report and announced the opening of a grants funding round to celebrate grassroots partnerships between business, philanthropists and community organisations during Community and Philanthropy Partnerships Week.

The Philanthropy and philanthropists report focuses on the giving patterns of high-net-worth (HNW) and institutional givers. Findings from this report will be of particular interest to philanthropists and grant-makers, financial intermediaries including advisors and planners, and nonprofit organisations.

Selected highlights include:

  • HNW individuals have nearly doubled from 146,000 in 2005 to 234,000 in 2015. As giving tends to increase with income, this provides a greater pool of people with the capacity to give significant amounts to charity.
  • Evaluation of effectiveness and social impact is of growing significance for institutional grant-makers.
  • One in five survey respondents included impact investments in their fund’s portfolio but it remains on the fringes of the investment strategies.
  • More than a third of the 105 respondents to the Philanthropy and philanthropists survey (38.5 per cent) participated in collective giving. This was on top of giving individually or through foundations.
  • The report also found a trend in life-long giving, with younger philanthropists wanting to give what they can while building their wealth.



Philanthropy report offers valuable insights for NFPs: Perpetual

We thank Financial Standard for publishing this article.

Collective and collaborative giving is on the rise in Australia, with more than a third of philanthropists suggesting they give as a group as well as individually.

The latest giving patterns of high-net-worth (HNW) and institutional givers was released by Giving Australia 2016 this week as part of a program run by the Department of Social Services.

Perpetual, one of Australia’s largest managers of philanthropic funds, welcomed the launch of the Giving Australia 2016 report.

The report notes how the area of social impact investing is starting to make inroads, with one in five philanthropists surveyed saying they had impact investments in their respective fund portfolio.

Speaking at an event for not-for-profit and philanthropy clients and partners, Perpetual managing director and chief executive Geoff Lloyd said the Giving Australia project was a landmark study for Australia’s not-for-profit sector, community and policy makers.

“As the most comprehensive insight into Australia’s philanthropic landscape, the research offers valuable insights for every part of the giving community – in particular for not-for-profits (NFPs) looking to secure a sustainable future,” Lloyd said.


Peter Scott talks Giving Australia 2016: What it is and why it’s so important

We thank Perpetual for posting this video.

Don’t miss this short video with Peter Scott, Chairman of Perpetual

The Giving Australia 2016 research project was commissioned to provide critical information about philanthropic behaviours, attitudes and trends. As the largest ever research initiative of its kind in Australia, it is a landmark study for Australia’s not-for-profit sector, community and policy makers.

Perpetual Chairman and member of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership, Mr Peter Scott talks about the project and its importance to the philanthropic and nonprofit sectors in Australia.


Giving Australia 2016: what’s it all about?

We thank Fundraising and Philanthropy Magazine for publishing this article.

In the first of her series on the Giving Australia 2016 report, Associate Professor Wendy Scaife provides an overview.

Despite the strict economic logic of our modern market economy, giving and volunteering behaviours have been resilient in transitioning from ancient cultures to remain a vital social exchange valued as the mark of a caring and compassionate society. (Individual Giving and Volunteering report, Giving Australia 2016 report series.

To what extent Australian individuals, businesses and foundations are practically caring and compassionate formed the bedrock of the Giving Australia 2016 study, the largest such research ever undertaken in this country. In coming issues, F&P will profile core findings. This first article provides a background to the study, explains why it’s important and delivers some headline findings released so far.


Boards must do more to stamp out wrongdoing in charities

We thank Third Sector Magazine for publishing this article.

Don’t damage trust.

When you put $20 in the charity collector’s can at the traffic lights, you trust that it goes to the people the charity was set up to help. But how do you know if this is actually the case?

The Conversation

The vast majority of donations Australians make are on the spur of the moment, often triggered by emotional concern for a cause that is close to their hearts. There is little opportunity, inclination or sense for someone making a small donation to expend effort doing due diligence on the recipient.

So, what are some ways that charities cheat their donors? And what can be done about it?


There’s cause for celebration and concern in how Australians are giving to charity

We thank The Conversation for publishing this article.

Australians are a famously giving people, but what are some of the issues surrounding charities in this country? You can see our infographic snapshot here, and follow our series Charities in Australia here.

Some 80.8% of adult Australians – 14.9 million of us – contributed financially to charities and non-profit organisations in 2015-16. At A$12.5 billion, total giving was well up from $4.7 billion a decade ago. The average donation of $764.08 was up too in real terms, by $210.16.

However, the percentage of people donating dipped from 87% over the same period. Annual data on tax-deductible donations tells a similar story, underlining the concern about a flatlining future for Australian charities if fewer people donate.

Trends emerging from the Giving Australia 2016 study, previewed last December, are cause for both celebration and concern.


Philanthropy: it’s good for business

Corporate philanthropy in Australia is thriving, according to a new article on QUT Business Insights. Over the past financial year, giving across large, medium and small enterprises has totaled $17.5 billion. Though larger businesses make up only 0.2 per cent of the Australian business population, they’re now more likely to give, and in greater amounts, than others, highlighting a significant change around ideas of corporate social responsibility.

“This is a significant shift from ten years ago,” says Associate Professor Wendy Scaife, director of QUT’s Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS) and the Giving Australia study. “Back then it was small businesses who cumulatively were the biggest givers in the country.

Read full article

Disrupted generation: What can we learn from Millennials’ attitude to giving?

Millennials should be considered no less disruptive than the apps they use and the economy they’re shaping, according to QUT Business Insights. Their impact can be seen in the changing face of corporate responsibility and the growing importance of philanthropic work.

ACPNS Director, Associate Professor Wendy Scaife says we are seeing a stronger emphasis on young people’s values alignment to those of the organisations they choose to engage with.

‘Millennials are generally giving more in a spontaneous way than older generations,’ Wendy says. ‘We’re also seeing this idea of serial volunteering – many don’t want to be involved with a single organisation for life, but to make as much impact as they can in the short term before moving on.’

The ideal workplace for Millennials is one of shared values, recognition and a sense that what they’re doing matters.

Read the full article

Where to next for arts philanthropy in Australia?

Find out what makes Bangarra Dance Theatre a philanthropy success story

The arts perennially faces the problem of scant public money and competition for the donated dollar so what is the state of arts giving in Australia and can more be done to foster arts philanthropy?

As part of Giving Australia, more research on arts-specific giving will be undertaken and will help identify the way forward. While the research is still underway, three strong themes emerging are the growing appeal of collective giving; the role of technology in telling the stories of need and facilitating easy giving; and the need for organisations to work with an increasingly diverse pool of donors.

We thank The Conversation for publishing this article.

Read the full article

First data to be released


The Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership has made available the first reports from Giving Australia 2016.

They include:


More Giving Australia 2016 reports will be released progressively in 2017.


Launching Giving Australia 2016

Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs, Senator the Hon Zed Seselja

Assistant Minister for Social Services and Multicultural Affairs, Senator the Hon Zed Seselja

Senator the Hon Zed Seselja, launched Giving Australia 2016, Australia’s largest review of giving and volunteering, at Parliament House on 1 Dec.

“The Commonwealth Government provided $1.7 million for Giving Australia 2016 to better understand how and why Australians give and volunteer, how much they donate and how these factors affect our non-profit and philanthropy sector,” Assistant Minister Seselja said.

The largest ever project of its kind, the research examined the giving behaviours of both individuals and business, with the intent of forming a strong evidence base to guide future policy related to charitable enterprise in Australia.

The first set of research products from Giving Australia 2016 revealed that:

  • 80.8% of Australians made charitable donations contributing a total of $12.6B to charities and nonprofit organisations
  • 43.7% of Australians volunteered a total of 932M in support of charities and nonprofits
  • the average amount donated by Australians has increased by $210.16 per annum since the last Giving Australia 2005
  • givers who donated via a planned arrangement contribute six times more than spontaneous givers, and
  • those who volunteer their time are also the most generous with financial donations contributing an average of $1017 – nearly double that of non-volunteers.

“I know that Giving Australia 2016 will be of real benefit to Australia’s nonprofit sector and the people they help every day, and I am sure it will help foster an even greater culture of giving across Australia,” Senator Seselja said.

Findings will continue to be released into 2017 and will inform policy and practise in the philanthropy and nonprofit sector, so watch this space!

Further reading

Some of the project's research team at the launch L-R Wendy Scaife, Wayne Burns, Myles McGregor-Lowndes and Jo Barraket

Some of the project’s research team at the launch L-R Wendy Scaife, Wayne Burns, Myles McGregor-Lowndes and Jo Barraket

Minister launches Giving Australia 2016

Launch transcript

Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership commissions research on giving and volunteering 

Stasia Dabrowski, Canberra’s soup kitchen lady

The Hon Zed Seselja made mention of the generosity of this lovely 90-year-old-lady, Stasia at the launch. Find out about the joy she receives by giving and volunteering.

Pro Bono article: Volunteers give more

Pro Bono article: Australian businesses go beyond giving



Philanthropy in Switzerland – Associate Professor Georg von Schnurbein

gp-personGeorg von Schnurbein is Associate Professor and director of the Center for Philanthropy Studies (CEPS) of the University of Basel. Steffen Bethmann works as researcher at the CEPS and is a doctoral candidate in sociology at the University of Heidelberg in Germany.

Switzerland is a country that is mostly known for its direct democracy, beautiful mountain sceneries and its comparable high standard of living.  But Switzerland also has a strong civil society and a thriving philanthropy sector. The country might have the highest density of foundations in the world and ranks second after the Netherlands in term of people engaged in volunteering.  About three quarters of the population above fifteen say that they donate regularly to social or environmental organizations.

Historically, in Switzerland many welfare services were first developed and financed by civil society. The pension insurance as well as subsidies for people in need were founded privately before becoming institutionalized. Even though spending on social services is increasing, a strong sense of civic responsibility persists due to an enduring liberal tradition. The federalist structure of the country and the direct democratic system offer many opportunities for private participation and stimulate widespread engagement for the public welfare. An estimated total of 90,000 nonprofits for a population of eight million inhabitants prove the thriving significance of the philanthropic sector. The sector’s collaboration with the state is based on the principle of subsidiarity, where social and political matters are handled at the most local level possible. However, the nonprofits preserve a high degree of independence in both agenda setting and financial earnings.

Especially the foundation sector has shown a strong development over the last decades. About half of the 13,000 existing foundations were founded in the past 20 years. There are 16 foundations for every 10,000 inhabitants. However, due to the liberal laws little is known about their wealth and distribution of funds. There is no obligation to publish any financial data to the public. One lead are the results of a self-declaration of the around 110 members (grantmaking foundations) of SwissFoundations in 2014. In total they gave around CHF 375 million (AUD 510 million). The main granting areas were Education, Research and Innovation (34%), Social (26%), Culture (20%), International Development Aid (15%) and Environment (5%). The total amount of foundation grants in Switzerland is estimated to be around CHF 1.5 – 1.8 billion (AUD 2.3 – 2.5 billion).

Research about private donations shows more accurate numbers. The estimations are based on representative telephone interviews. Additional to large single donations the median donation per person per year is around CHF 250 (AUD 349). Around 12 percent donate amounts greater than CHF 1,000 (AUD 1,370). The total equals up to around CHF 1.4 billion (AUD 1.9). Interestingly the donation behavior differs in the German and French speaking parts of Switzerland. In general, households in the German part give more, and more frequently. The difference may be explained through differing cultural views on the responsibility of the state in providing welfare services. However, many donations are also given to international organizations, which work in developing countries.

The high amount of individual and organisational giving is to be seen partly in the high amount of disposable wealth within the Swiss population. To hear examples of large donations above CHF 20 million to Zoos or Museums is nothing irregular. Some of these are made anonymously as the Swiss tradition normally does not honor speaking loudly about charitable giving. At the same time there are efforts ongoing to establish a Swiss Giving Pledge and to bring the philanthropic engagement of wealthy Swiss more into the public. Philanthropy by individuals, companies and grantmaking foundations is stimulated by the population’s disposable wealth, the nation’s liberal legal framework that is simple to use in practice and the international perspective. Switzerland combines a high standard of financial services and legal stability with access to international organizations and networks. This combination makes the nation attractive for both (ultra) high net worth individuals and international nonprofits.


Trends, challenges and opportunities in volunteering: How will Australia compare?

kylee-bates Thank you to ACPNS alumnus, Kylee Bates for this blog.

Kylee is the volunteer World President of the International Association for Volunteer Effort (IAVE) and the CEO of Ardoch Youth Foundation

Trends, challenges and opportunities in volunteering: How will Australia compare?

Like many leaders in the volunteering sector I am eagerly awaiting the launch of the findings of the Giving Australia Research that has been funded by the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership.

Like others, I’m keen to learn what the research tells us about the current state of volunteering in Australia that we feel we don’t already know.  Importantly, I want to see how government and sector leaders will choose to respond to in order to better support volunteering so as to be able to mobilise more Australians for greater impact in responding to some of Australia and the world’s greatest social, economic and environmental challenges.

As the volunteer World President, or ‘Chief Volunteer Officer’ of the International Association of Volunteer Effort (IAVE) the state of the world’s volunteering is something close to my heart, and understanding Australia’s place in that global picture has the potential to be a source of personal pride (or disappointment), depending on what the research tells us.

I am particularly interested to learn what researchers have discovered about the trends, challenges and opportunities that have been identified for volunteering in Australia and examining how these compare to those that exist globally.

Throughout 2015 IAVE, as a global membership organisation that exists to promote, support and celebrate volunteering in all the myriad of ways it happens throughout the world, undertook worldwide consultations to develop our new strategic plan.   We asked our members and stakeholder to tell us the key factors that they believed were impacting on volunteering in their country or region and what challenges and opportunities they felt these presented for volunteering globally.

The views expressed were diverse.  Not surprising given the diversity of the IAVE network and stakeholders that span different regions, countries, polities and sectors around the world. 

We heard that there is growing concern about actions by government that suppress and control the work of civil society, actions that lead to increased danger to some volunteers especially those working on unpopular issues or with marginalised groups of people, or deny the right to volunteer.

We heard that with the greatest mass movement of people that the world has ever seen that there is greater need to mobilize volunteers to respond to immediate need as well as longer term relocation and resettlement challenges.  But that volunteer involvement by those displaced, migrating or seeking refuge provides an avenue to successfully integrate into new communities.

We heard that the SDGs provide a new framework for understanding development issues globally and can provide new motivation for volunteer action.

We heard that new expectations are being created for people and organisations to draw on global perspectives and connections to solve problems.  That with this there is more interest in cross-border volunteering, but a need to also foster ‘indigenous’ forms of volunteering.

We heard that the potential for everyone in the world to be connected by one degree of separation as a result of new technologies creates opportunities for new reach, forms of interaction, citizen engagement and volunteering, but that the effectiveness of these tools is the product of their users and tools alone cannot provide the solutions.

We heard that as climate change pushes us towards the limits of our planetary boundaries a high priority must be placed on building community resilience through volunteering at all stages of disaster preparedness and recovery.

We heard that that the private sector is seen as – and must be – a critical partner in finding solutions to the complex societal challenges that exist throughout the world and that employee volunteering programs are an important platform for engaging more people, more often, in the pursuit of these.

We heard that for all stakeholder groups that there is an increased need to measure the impact of the work that volunteers do, as well as ensuring that there is good global data about the size and scope of volunteer effort.

I can’t wait to hear what Giving Australia 2016 tells us about the issues, challenges and opportunities for volunteering in Australia and how this might inform our approaches to mobilising and increasing the impact of volunteers.

As a country with just a small proportion of the world’s estimated 1 billion[1] volunteers Australia is an active and well-regarded contributor to global discussions on volunteering so the opportunity to share the learnings of this research with others is significant.  As is the opportunity to further mobilise more Australians to volunteer.

I am looking forward to doing both.

[1] p.13 United Nations Volunteers State of the World’s Volunteerism Report 2015


ACPNS/FIA Alumni Anniversary Breakfast – Highlights of Giving Australia data

ballroom08 November 2016

Your chance to preview key themes and fundraising messages from the largest ever study on giving and volunteering in Australia!

This year’s ACPNS/FIA Alumni Anniversary Breakfast is not to be missed! The event will focus on Giving Australia 2016, whose findings will be launched officially in December.

This multi-data project, led by ACPNS, the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University of Technology and the Centre for Corporate Public Affairs and funded by the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership, seeks to understand how, why and how much Australians give and volunteer in 2016 and what this means for the nonprofit and philanthropy sector. Special guest is Angela Perry of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership, and Professor Myles McGregor-Lowndes and Associate Professor Wendy Scaife will discuss key current messages from:

  • individuals
  • charities
  • philanthropists and foundations, and
  • businesses, large and small

Hear about the gaps, barriers and opportunities revealed, most popular fundraising vehicles and what is top of mind right now for the different giving sources.

Read more about our speakers here

Date Tuesday 8 November 2016
Time 7.15am – 9.00am
Venue Ball Room, Victoria Park Golf Complex, Herston Road, Herston
Cost FIA Member $55

ACPNS Alumni Member $55

Staff of Organisational Member $65

Non-Member $85

RSVP Register now


Fantastic raffle prizes to be won! 

Apart from being a fab event, the ACPNS/FIA Alumni Anniversary Breakfast is also a major fundraising opportunity and every cent raised through selling raffle tickets goes towards ACPNS student scholarships and bursaries. These funds are incredibly important as they foster community leaders and build the capacity of the philanthropy and nonprofit sector.

In 2017 we have fewer scholarships to offer our students than in previous years – which is why we need YOUR help! This year we urge you to dig deep and help us raise more funds than ever before.

We have a selection of great prizes including:

  • a luxury five-star getaway
  • dinner at a top Brisbane restaurant
  • theatre tickets
  • Brisbane Wheel tickets
  • a crystal decanter set
  • alcohol
  • catering vouchers
  • mini golf vouchers

Prices start at $10 per ticket.

You can also contribute to the scholarship fund by donating any amount via credit card.

So please give generously this year and support a great cause – and of course bag yourself a fantastic prize at this year’s Alumni Anniversary Breakfast!

Leaving a lasting legacy by including a charity

Karen Armstrong.jpg

Thanks to Karen Armstrong from FIA and More Strategic for contributing a guest blog on including charities in wills. More information about the Include a Charity campaign can be found at the Include a Charity website and this week is Include a Charity Week.

This week, more than 100 charities are coming together, united in promoting a single cause: to encourage more Australians to leave a gift to a charity in their will.

While 87% of Australians support charities in one way or another in their lifetimes, only 7.5% actually follow through and leave a gift in their will to charity (Giving Australia 2005).

There is a perception that gifts in wills are only for the wealthy, but that’s not the case. Including a gift to a charity, no matter how big or small, can help charities continue their work into the future and really make a lasting difference. While we often only hear about gifts in the millions, the mid-point for a specified gift is $7,000, reflecting that Australians every day are demonstrating their generosity. Equal numbers of Australians are leaving smaller and larger gifts than $7,000 (Baker 2014).

Watch our giving to charities video about three Australians leaving gifts and you’ll see a common theme of a personal connection to the cause, or an inherent altruism, seeking a brighter future for the next generation. We also know from James’ research that in practice one’s visual autobiography is activated in the brain when one talks of leaving a gift in a will (2013). Connecting the autobiographical story of our supporters to our charities is absolutely key to any discussions we have with people considering including a charity.

IaC Week Launch at Taronga Zoo Sept 16_0

Include a Charity Week at Taronga Zoo.

Many of Australia’s most respected charities support the week-long campaign including the Australian Red Cross, Cancer Council, Compassion, RSPCA, World Vision, Salvation Army, The Smith Family, Cerebral Palsy Alliance, Vision Australia, The Heart Foundation and the list goes on. Together, we work to do what no single charity can do on their own – change the way Australians think about including charities in their will.

Read more

The GA2016 team talk arts philanthropy in “The Conversation”


We are proud to announce that Associate Professor Wendy Scaife (Giving Australia 2016 project director) and Alexandra Williamson (Giving Australia 2016 team member) have been featured in today’s edition of The Conversation. Please visit The Conversation’s website to read about the fascinating topic of arts philanthropy in Australia and what the future may hold for this special area of giving.

Photo courtesy visualhunt.com

The kindness of in-kind giving


Juliette Wright, founder of GIVIT. Our thanks go to Juliette for taking the time to share her inspiring story.

I get unbelievably sad when I think 2.5 million Australians are living in poverty, with one in six being children. Many do not have the simple items they need to get through the day or week. A child’s mum can’t afford the bus ticket to the doctor, a person experiencing homelessness doesn’t have a warm blanket for the night, and a refugee needs books to help learn English.

Imagine the difference we could make if every Australian undertook an act of kindness and gave one of their pre-loved items to someone else who really needed it.

In 2009, I started GIVIT with a goal of making giving easy. I wanted to alleviate the effects of poverty in Australia by ensuring every charity has what it needs through the simple act of in-kind giving.

Following the birth of my second child in 2008, I was surprised at the struggle endured trying to donate second-hand baby clothes to someone in need. Instead, local charities were searching for essential items such as sanitary products for women who had fled domestic violence, steel-capped boots to enable unemployed fathers to secure work and clean mattresses to stop disadvantaged children sleeping on the floor.

Read more

Beyond the exception: workplace giving in the 21st century


Lisa Grinham, CEO of Good2Give and Dr Lisa O’Brien, CEO of The Smith Family and Chair of the Charity Taskforce, Australian Charities Fund, discuss workplace giving in this guest blog. Our sincere thanks to them for their wonderful contribution.

Strange to think that despite the increasing sophistication of employers bringing to life corporate social responsibility in their companies, workplace giving remains an outlier.

A workplace giving program allows employees to make a donation direct from their pre-tax pay, meaning donors receive their tax benefits immediately. This in turn saves charities from having to administer thousands of tax receipts for each workplace giving donation they receive – saving precious time and money.

And companies who administer these programs frequently choose to boost staff goodwill by matching their donations. It looks like this. $70 from the donor’s pocket, $30 forfeited by the ATO, and $100 from the company – turns into $200 for the recipient charity. Plus little to no administration for the payroll team or the charity. That’s a win all round.

Yet despite all our advancements over the last ten years, workplace giving in Australia isn’t growing as quickly as it could. Few Australian employers and employees are participating. Why? Especially when it’s the most tax-effective model of giving for all parties involved.

Read more

Australian international giving in an era of philanthropic globalisation


The Giving Australia 2016 team would like to thank Natalie Silver, PhD candidate at ACPNS, for this blog post. 

We live in a world where people are financially and socially more connected than ever before. In the same way that economic globalisation transformed the global economy in the 20th century, the dramatic rise in international philanthropy in the 21st century has significantly altered the global philanthropic landscape. From 1991 to 2011, the OECD estimated that cross-border philanthropy from donor countries to the developing world grew from approximately US$5 billion to US$32 billion. If private donations combined were a country, they would constitute the world’s largest donor.

The global philanthropic landscape has been altered not only in terms of the amount of international philanthropy, but also the form that giving takes. New web-based technologies such as e-philanthropy and online giving and an array of social media have provided the infrastructure for a global philanthropic marketplace. A rise in international migration and an increasingly mobile international workforce has generated significant diaspora giving and remittances to home countries. New forms of social investment have also emerged, employing nonprofit, for-profit and hybrid structures. These financing mechanisms have been introduced by a new breed of global philanthropists giving large amounts of their wealth to tackle contemporary social problems and long-term global challenges that governments have been unable, or unwilling, to solve.

The United States has been at the forefront of the globalisation of philanthropy, with OECD figures showing that US private philanthropy to developing countries in 2013 was almost US$23 billion, a nearly tenfold increase from 1990. From the architects of modern philanthropy, Andrew Carnegie and John D. Rockefeller, who demonstrated a strong commitment to international causes, to Chuck Feeney and George Soros who established multi-billion-dollar philanthropic foundations serving as vehicles for large-scale cross-border giving, the US has been an engine of international philanthropy powered by its wealthiest citizens. No where is this more evident than the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. According to the OECD’s official aid data, the Gates Foundation is now the largest funder in the global health arena outside the US and UK governments, spending more annually on global health than the World Health Organisation.

Read more

Real photos of real people update 1 June 2016

Again we are pleased to present to you a selected real photos of real people taking real actions image. More photos are to come.


Lending A Helping Hand

Help Me With It is a new way to get help and to help others. Help Me With It is a service connecting individuals who need help to do one-off tasks with individuals who can volunteer their time to fix, clean, care, shop, transport, garden, sort, teach and more. The Brisbane pilot of the service has just finished, and it will be launched in late 2016 in South-east Queensland. For more information about Help Me With It, please go to the website at www.helpmewithit.org.au

Don’t forget, if you are involved with a charity or nonprofit organisation, or if you are a volunteer or a philanthropist, we would love to tell your story.

We have a range of publications on giving, volunteering and the nonprofit sector in which your photos may be published. The findings of our research projects help people and nonprofit organisations and benefit communities across Australia.


Celebrating the end of the Household Survey

We joined Angela from McNair Ingenuity Research on the phone and toasted the end of the Giving Australia 2016 Household Survey with our version of champagne (sparkling apple juice). Over 6,200 telephone interviews were completed with individuals Australia-wide on their experiences in giving and volunteering. Congratulations to everyone involved!


The Giving Australia 2016 team celebrates with apple juice. From L-R: Sandy Gadd, Dr Denise Conroy, Marie Crittall, Assoc Prof Wendy Scaife,  and Dr Matthew Flynn.

Real photos of real people update 24 May 2016

The Giving Australia 2016 team is pleased to present to you one of the first of our real photos of real people taking real actions. More photos will be published in the coming weeks.


Spreading the Word

This photo was taken at the Logan Social Enterprise Expo and features Leanne Paulsen, Company Director of Project4Change Ltd, a Not for Profit Community Enterprise Property Development company. Project4Change is building homes in the outer Brisbane area to provide affordable housing for low income earners and those who are marginalised in society. Their current project is the construction of an Integrated Community in Leichardt, a suburb of Ipswich. The project consists of 21 residences comprising of 17 stand-alone 3 bedroom townhouses, 2 gold level adaptable disability (with carer-accommodation) units and two single bedroom, single level units, primarily for women over 50 as ageing in place. For more information, visit www.project4change.org.au

Don’t forget, if you are involved with a charity or nonprofit organisation, or if you are a volunteer or a philanthropist, we would love to tell your story.

We have a range of publications on giving, volunteering and the nonprofit sector in which your photos may be published. The findings of our research projects help people and nonprofit organisations and benefit communities across Australia.


Giving Australia and Orange Sky Laundry


Lucas Patchett and Nick Marchesi of Orange Sky Laundry with QUT Chancellor, Tim Fairfax AC (centre).

On Tuesday 19 April some of the Giving Australia team from QUT were fortunate to attend a presentation by Nick Marchesi and Lucas Patchett of Orange Sky Laundry. From humble beginnings 18 months ago (one van fitted with donated machines) this charity has now achieved national and international recognition. It operates in 62 locations around Australia, has over 500 volunteers, and to date has washed over 105,000 kg of clothes for homeless people and people in need. Read more

Giving Australia at a special charity fundraising forum

Giving Australia at the Charity Fundraising Australia & Abroad special forum

We recently welcomed the opportunity to attend the Windsor Recruitment Charity Fundraising Australia & Abroad special forum. Thanks to Dylys and Windsor Recruitment for hosting us on the day.


Attendees at the forum included (L-R) Cherie Nicholas, Manager, Community Program – Smiling for Smiddy (Mater Foundation); Bruce McDonald, Fundraising Director (Heart Foundation); Cameron Prout, CEO (Children’s Hospital Foundation); and Annette Rafter, Consultant (Windsor Recruitment).

We need real photos of real people taking real actions!


Share your real photos of real people taking real actions!

Are you involved with a charity or nonprofit organisation? Are you a volunteer or a philanthropist? Does someone close to you volunteer in or give to your local community?

ACPNS is on the lookout for photos of real people taking real action in the fields of giving and volunteering across Australia. We have a range of publications on giving, volunteering and the nonprofit sector in which your photos may be published. The findings of our research projects help people and nonprofit organisations as well as benefit communities across Australia.

Click on the links below to submit your real photos! For more details or to share by Dropbox, email us at acpns@qut.edu.au

Real Photos Submission Form

Real Photos Information

Giving in Canada

Bob Wyatt

Giving Australia is interested in how our giving compares with other nations’. Thanks to 2016 ACPNS Ian Potter Foundation Fellow Bob Wyatt, CEO of Canada’s Muttart Foundation for this blog.

Trying to figure out how much Canadians give to charities each year is a bit of a confusing exercise, depending on which data you wish to use.

Statistics Canada annually reports the amount of money individual taxfilers claim by way of charitable-donation tax credit.  (In Canada, any donation to a registered charity is eligible for a tax credit; there is no subset of charities such as exists in Australia with deductible gift recipients.)

But there is also a study undertaken by Statistics Canada as part of the General Social Survey (GSS) that asks Canadians how much they donated to charities and nonprofit organizations in the previous 12 months.

The numbers are substantially different.

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Giving Australia on the road at #volconf2016

Giving Australia at the 2016 National Volunteering Conference

2016 Nat Vol Conf Wendy and Alex v2

Project Director Dr Wendy Scaife (right – pictured here with Alexandra Gartmann, Managing Director of Rural Bank) travelled recently to the 2016 National Volunteering Conference and presented on Giving Australia 2016. To find out more about Giving Australia 2016 please register on our website to receive updates.

Giving Australia update 7 April 2016

Participating in our research

If you would like to participate in Giving Australia 2016 research, please register on our website (under the tab “Participate in our research”).

The Giving Australia 2016 project encompasses a range of research activities, including focus groups, dynamic interviews and one-on-one interviews, as well as a number of surveys.

You can keep up-to-date with the latest activities by registering on the website and making sure to click Yes to “Are you interested in receiving updates from the project?”.

Giving, celebrities and governance

Dr Diana Leat, Visiting Academic at ACPNS

Dr Diana Leat, Visiting Academic at ACPNS

By Dr Diana Leat, Visiting Academic at ACPNS

One of the biggest potential aids to encouraging giving is good communications – and, in particular, widespread media coverage. But not all media coverage is equal. In the current competition for party nominations in the US Presidential elections, it has been estimated that Donald Trump has received over $1 billion of free media coverage simply because what he says and how he says it makes headlines. For Trump whether the coverage is ‘favourable’ or ‘unfavourable’ may not matter as much as the very fact of being in the headlines every day. For charities being in the headlines is more complicated – content is, arguably, way more important than coverage.

Many charities may wish to hit the headlines more often – and that is presumably one reason why charities are generally more than happy to be associated with celebrities. When celebrity endorsement of a particular organisation or a cause goes smoothly it is assumed to be of considerable value even though it is debatable how much we really know about the effects of celebrity association on giving. Am I more likely to give to X because my favourite boy band is associated with X? Or is it simply because X gets more media mentions because of its association with the band?

Read more

Giving Australia update 3 March 2016

Share your real photos of real people taking real actions!

Are you involved with a charity or nonprofit organisation? Are you a volunteer or a philanthropist? Does someone close to you volunteer in or give to your local community?

ACPNS is on the lookout for photos of real people taking real action in the fields of giving and volunteering across Australia. We have a range of publications on giving, volunteering and the nonprofit sector in which your photos may be published. The findings of our research projects help people and nonprofit organisations as well as benefit communities across Australia.

Click on the links below to submit your real photos! For more details or to share by Dropbox, email us at acpns@qut.edu.au

Real Photos Information

Real Photos Submission Form

Why research giving and volunteering?

A blog to help celebrate Give Now Week and Giving Tuesday 2015

By Dr Wendy Scaife, Project Director, Giving Australia 2015*

*Giving Australia 2015 is

Like many, I truly respect the nonprofit and philanthropy sector. It’s not perfect but it is great: its fervour for every kind of cause; its clout to effect change; its passion for and by people; its compelling voice for those humans, animals and landscapes that have none.

Its ironies should be cherished: its most valuable workers are often unpaid, those with most help those with least and the worst in society brings out the best in our people; equality-based entities battle inequality and tenaciously pursue profit for nonprofit purposes; and the sector works with, while also advocating against corporate or government actions.

It is a unique and inspiring space and force.

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