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 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.