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.

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