IN THE NEWS: Australia lags on philanthropy

AFFLUENT Australians are lagging behind their American and European counterparts when it comes to giving to charity, a study shows. Entitled Good Times and Philanthropy: Giving by Australia’s Affluent, the study found that the nation’s rich gave, on average, at a lower level than their counterparts in the UK, Canada and US, despite comparable wealth levels. Affluence is defined as those with assets of more than $1.2 million, apart from their family home, or with annual taxable personal incomes of $100,000 or more. “On an asset basis [which is total net worth of an individual or family group], affluent Americans currently give around 10-15 per cent of their net worth to philanthropy,” Daniel Petre, chairman of the Petre Foundation, which commissioned the report, said. “Their Australian counterparts seem to be allocating less than 3 per cent.” Mr Petre said on an income basis, wealthy Americans allocated 3.8 per cent of their income to charities, while average wealthy Australian gave less than 1 per cent. The study, carried out by the Centre for Philanthropy and Non-Profit Studies at the Queensland University of Technology, found that charitable giving had hardly increased in the past 10 years, despite a 36 per cent rise in mean household wealth among affluent Australians in the period. The report also found that about four in 10 of the wealthiest Australians do not claim deductions for their taxable giving, suggesting they do not make any donations.

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