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“Emerging problems” found in donating trends

Experts behind a new 12-month study found high income earners are donating the least as the research reveals less and less Australians are contributing

Less Australians are donating to charity and those earning the most are contributing the least, experts behind new research has found.

Research conducted over 12 months found a downward trend has occurred since 2015 and those who are donating are not compensating for the loss. Roy Morgan’s Single Source survey found only 60 per cent donated, down from 66 per cent in 2014.

The Industry Communications Director at Roy Morgan, Norman Morris, said: “With a constant and growing demand for funds from charities across Australia, there is an emerging problem that a declining proportion is giving to charity.

“To compound this funding issue, the average amount given by those that do donate is remaining constant over the last five years and in fact is declining in real terms.”

Donors from high income households are currently donating the lowest proportion of their household incomes to charity. Households with an income of over $130,000 are only donating an average of 0.2 per cent and despite those earning $250,000 making the highest average donations, it is only equivalent of 0.2 per cent of their income.

At the other end of the scale, donors from households with annual incomes under the $20,000 income bracket donated on average $194, which is an equivalent of 1.3 per cent of their household income. Households with incomes under $70,000 are where the above average givers are from, based on the proportion of their incomes.

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Morris said the greatest potential for increasing donations is with high income earners as “they have the means to give”, despite donating lower than average.

“It is vital for all businesses, including charities, to keep up to date with their customer base and in this case understand who donates and where the greatest potential lies.”

Those in older age groups are more likely to donate to charity, with those in the 50 to 64 age group giving the most with 70.1 per cent, followed by 68.9 per cent for those aged 35 to 49 and 68.3 per cent for those aged 65 and over.

These age groups are all well ahead of all segments under 35. Those aged 25 to 34 donated just 53.5 per cent and people between 18 and 24 years of age donated 35.5 per cent. Those under 18 donated the least at 23.8 per cent.

“The current funding of charities is largely reliant on the over 35 age groups, with the highest average amount given being from those aged 50 and over,” Morris said.

“Whilst it is likely that the younger age groups have lower incomes and other priorities which impacts the amount they could give, their incidence of giving is generally well below average and as such represents a major growth potential for donor numbers.”

1 comment | click to view comment

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    Comments

    Andrew Heaton

    February 26, 2019 at 1:30 pm

    This is surprising.

    One would usually presume that higher income earners would donate a greater share of their income compared with less well-off households.

    If indeed this is not the case, then there is the potential to boost contributions made by this group.

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