HomeAboutResearch projectsCollective giving and its role in Australian philanthropy

Collective giving and its role in Australian philanthropy

DSS, on behalf of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership, commissioned Creative Partnerships Australia to undertake research to develop a better understanding of collective giving in Australia.

The research draws on the experience of collective giving groups located across Australia and includes perspectives of organisations that host giving groups as well as charities which received grants from the giving groups.  The research outlines:

  • the key characteristics of giving groups
  • a comparison of international giving groups
  • a comparison of giving groups with other forms of philanthropy in Australia
  • how giving groups form, are structured and operate
  • the barriers, issues and current resources available, and
  • the impact of giving groups and how they can be further encouraged to grow in Australia.

Key findings from the research note that collective giving groups:

  • are increasing in Australia, becoming prominent in the last six years
  • have a common goal to ‘do public good’ and grow philanthropy
  • are mostly operated by volunteers
  • give close to 100% of funds raised to their selected charities
  • have predominately female membership, with the majority in the 41-65 years of age range
  • impacted on members’ giving behaviours, increasing:
    • the amount of money they gave to charities and causes each year
    • the degree to which they considered effectiveness of the organisations supported, and
    • their sense of well-being.

The charities receiving donations appreciated the immediacy with which giving groups made funding decisions and also reflected on other positive spin-offs from engaging with a giving group such as having access to interested future employees.

Overall, the research confirms there is much benefit from greater community engagement with collective giving.  Giving groups are making powerful philanthropy available to everyone.  Greater awareness and continued growth of giving groups has significant potential to grow philanthropy in Australia.

For more information on the growth of collective giving, please see ABC Lateline’s segment: The new form of collective giving, changing philanthropy in Australia aired on ABC on 11 November 2017.