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.


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