Fast facts and statistics on giving in Australia

Giving by Individuals

It's estimated that 14.9 million Australian adults (80.8% of the population) gave $12.5 billion to charities and not-for-profits organisations in 2015-16. The average donation was $764.08 and the median donation was was $200. Compared with 10 years ago, a smaller proportion of Australians are giving, but they are giving larger amounts.

For more information about individual giving in Australia, see this Giving Australia 2016 fact sheet.

Source: Giving Australia 2016.

Giving by Trusts and Foundations

There are over 3,000 Private Ancillary Funds (PAF) and Public Ancillary Funds (PuAF) in Australia. These are two common forms of philanthropic organisations, but represent only a subset of the total number of philanthropic organisations in Australia.

PAFs gave $300 million in 2014 and PuAFs gave $330 million. In the case of PAFs, for whom we have 13 years of data for, the annual amount of giving has been rising though there has been some increased volatility in recent years.

In addition to PAFs and PuAFs, there are approximately 2000-3000 other types of trusts and foundations in Australia. Unfortunately at this stage we do not have data with which we can estimate how much these trusts and foundations give.

Giving by Business

Australian business may give money (66% of their total giving), goods (17% of their total giving) or services (18% of their total giving).

In 2015-16, businesses gave $17.5 billion, which comprised.

  • $7.7 billion in community partnerships
  • $6.2 billion in donations
  • $3.6 billion in non-commercial sponsorships

Larger businesses tend to give more than small businesses.

For more information about business giving in Australia, see this Giving Australia 2016 fact sheet.

Source: Giving Australia 2016.

Reliance on giving by Australian charities

Charities have three main income sources - government, giving and other income/revenue (which includes income from memberships, sales and investments). A breakdown of income sources for the entire charity sector shows that giving and philanthropy comprises 8.3% of the charity sector's total income.

Around 1 in 4 charities depend on giving and philanthropy for 50% or more of their total income. Smaller charities tend to depend on giving and philanthropy for a higher proportion of their income compared with larger charities.

Source: Australian Charities Report 2015.

The Biggest and Oldest Foundations in Australia

Australia's biggest foundation is the Paul Ramsay Foundation, based in Sydney.

Australia's oldest foundation is the Wyatt Trust, based in Adelaide.

Continue reading: How to give | Fund seeker | Resources | The Support Report

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