More given, but fewer are giving

Dr Wendy Scaife said that giving to charity was not a big priority for many taxpayers (Bigstock)

Charities need to focus on communicating with their supporters if they want more donors, a sector expert has warned. Source: Pro Bono News.

It comes in the wake of new research that found the number of taxpayers making deductible gifts has fallen continuously for nearly a decade.

Analysis on the latest tax data by Queensland University of Technology’s Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS) found the overall amount donated to charity in 2016-17 hit a record $3.5 billion, but the percentage of taxpayers donating dropped to 32 per cent – the lowest amount in 15 years.

The analysis did not include giving by corporate and trust taxpayers, or “non-tax contributions” such as raffles, sponsorships, fundraising purchases or volunteering.

The report found the average tax-deductible donation made to charities was $770, an increase of 21.5 per cent from $633.72 in 2015-16, but the median amount donated and claimed remained the same as the previous year, at $110.

ACNPS director Wendy Scaife said while some Australians were donating larger amounts, which pushed the average figure up, for many taxpayers giving to charity was not a big priority, or was something they were unable to afford.

Dr Scaife said that if charities wanted to grab the attention of the more cautious givers, they needed to communicate their mission and why it was important to support community causes.

“I don’t think a lot of Australians know the joy of giving, or the difference that their giving makes or the real needs which are hidden in their community whilst they’re safe at home in their own space,” she said.

“We really have to make sure as individual organisations whether that be grassroots or bigger, that the people who support us know what it is we do and they know how much they are a part of our mission and how much they are needed.”


Australians’ generosity a “mixed bag” (Pro Bono News)

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