Who gives? What the stats say about giving time and money

Australian Fundraising

Australia is not the world’s most charitable nation. What can fundraisers learn from the latest World Giving Index statistics?

The Charities Aid Foundation’s crunch of Gallup WorldView World Poll statistics puts unsuspecting countries like Myanmar and Kenya way ahead of Australia for giving time and money to a cause or helping a stranger. By topping the World Giving Index for the fourth year in a row, Myanmar confounds traditional assumptions about the association between wealth and generosity, being a country that is classified by the World Bank as Lower Middle Income.

Australians haven’t become stingy—but after improving its score year-on-year between 2012 and 2015, Australia has now dropped out of the top 5 countries. It has seen a ten percentage point decrease in the proportion of people donating money.

Key World Giving Index 2017 findings for Australian Fundraising are:

  • 63% give money for a cause
  • 40% volunteer time
  • 66% will help a stranger

Other Key World Giving Index 2017 findings :

  • Giving is down across the globe – when the research for this year’s report was conducted it was lowest seen for three years
  • Every Western country in the top 20 has a decreased score this year
  • Overall men were slightly more likely than women to have donated money
  • 15–29 year olds are more likely to help a stranger than over 50s
  • Africa is the only continent to see an increase in all three giving behaviours
  • Australia slips down from third to ninth place for donating money, by participation and population

Knowing this can inform—even boost—your fundraising efforts:

  • Focus on why you’re fundraising. How does your ‘specific’ fundraising goal translate to a ‘cause’ related goal that could have broader appeal. Read about SMART goal setting for fundraising (page 10 of our Essentials of Fundraising ebook).
  • Women are more likely to spend so direct your marketing approach to items that will appeal to them. Use your network of contacts to place direct sale products (like chocolates) or catalogues in lunchrooms or offices with high female staff numbers.
  • Carefully consider your demographics when choosing a suitable fundraiser. Single income households with a number of children often have tight budgets. Change where the spend happens.
  • Fundraising can be a volunteer hungry activity. Think creatively to encourage all ages. For example:

– Micro-tasking may appeal to time-poor 25-34 year olds.
– Teenagers and young adults are keen to help strangers. Welcome the energy and enthusiasm of youth!
– Virtual volunteering could be an easy way to get people involved.
– Older Australians may not have a direct link to your group but may still want to lend a hand. Does your organisation have a ‘grands’ program, introducing grandparents, through their grandkids, to what you do?

Not all nations ‘give’ as generously as Australians. If your community has a high migrant population, the World Giving Index 2013 can help you understand their cultural approach to giving time and money.

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