26/04/2016 - 15:56

Fall in WA charity giving

26/04/2016 - 15:56

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Western Australia's economic slowdown has hit the charity sector, with the value of donations per person falling last year, in contrast to every other state where the value of donations increased, a new report has found.

Western Australia's economic slowdown has hit the charity sector, with the value of donations per donor falling last year, in contrast to every other state where the value of donations increased, a new report has found.

The National Australia Bank’s Charitable Giving Index found the average donation per donor in WA fell to $320 in the year to February 2016, down from $322 in the previous corresponding period.

Despite that, the charitable giving index for WA actually increased by 2.5 per cent.

However, that compared with increases of 5.9 per cent in the prior year and up to 18 per cent in earlier years when the WA economy was much more buoyant.

Nationally, the charitable giving index rose 6.5 per cent in the latest year, up from a rise of just 2.4 per cent a year earlier.

The NAB report attributed this to a resilient economy, solid employment growth, strong household consumption and lower levels of consumer anxiety.

“The economic environment looks to have provided some solid support for the charity sector, with recent GDP growth figures providing reassurance that the Australian economy has remained resilient against an uncertain global backdrop and weak commodity prices,” NAB Group chief economist Alan Oster said.

Across Australia, the average donor increased their giving by $12 to $348.

The most generous states were NSW ($386 per donor) and South Australia ($358).

WA was near the other end of the spectrum, with Queensland ($309 per donor) being the only state with a lower average.

The report also ranked postcodes by average donations per person.

The top WA postcodes were in the affluent western suburbs, led by Nedlands ($225 per person) and followed by Claremont, Mosman Park and Cottesloe.

Nedlands was number 18 on the national ranking, well below Melbourne’s Middle Park ($327 per donor) and Sydney’s Mosman ($295 per donor).

When postcodes were ranked by charitable giving as a proportion of income, the results were very different.

The residents of South Fremantle were the most generous on this measure, at 0.23 per cent, followed by Hillarys and Dunsborough.

Nedlands failed to make the top 20 on this measure.

The report found the humanitarian service sector, which includes the likes of World Vision, Red Cross and Oxfam, attracted about one-third of all donations.

The community services sector, which includes organisations such as St Vincent de Paul Society WA (Vinnies), The Salvation Army and The Smith Family, attracted about 11 per cent of the total.

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