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Published 24 October 2012 12:37, Updated 25 October 2012 13:21
The economy may be sending mixed signals but the message is much clearer when it comes to gauging people’s generosity. More Australians are putting their hands in their pockets for charities, according to National Australia Bank’s inaugural Charitable Giving Index.
NAB and data analytics firm Quantium reviewed donations made by credit card, BPay and eftpos nationally and found that in the seven months to July 2012, charitable giving rose 4.7 per cent from the previous year. The size of the average annual donation per donor increased 0.7 per cent to $292.
By postcode, the average charity spend per person was highest in the inner Melbourne suburb of Middle Park ($334), followed by Vale Park in Adelaide ($276) and Killara on Sydney’s upper North Shore ($248).
However, residents from the Victorian tourist township of Lakes Entrance were the most generous overall, giving 0.34 per cent of their income to charity, followed by Vale Park (0.31 per cent) and Middle Park (0.28 per cent).
Humanitarian services attracted the largest share of giving in the study period (32.3 per cent of total donations); community services, children and family 15.2 per cent; medical research and services 12.4 per cent; health and disability 11.1 per cent; cancer 8.2 per cent; and animals and environment 6.9 per cent.
NAB general manager of corporate responsibility Paula Benson says the quarterly index “will provide key insights into what causes are close to Australians’ hearts”. It is intended that the index will become a valuable tool for the charities sector.
“While economic conditions remain challenging, it is pleasing to see continued growth in donations to charities that are critical to improving social and health outcomes in Australia and around the world,” she says.
Charitable giving is seasonal and the index has identified two peak periods. June is the main period for charitable giving as donors take advantage of tax concessions towards the end of the financial year. There is also high seasonal activity in November, which reflects the success of campaigns such as Movember, the bonus season and stronger motivation for giving in the lead up to Christmas.