NAB report shows Australians have charitable hearts

Australians were more compassionate in the year to February and donated 6.4% more to charity than last, NAB has revealed.

Chief Economist of the NAB Group, Alan Oster, said the spike in giving is largely thanks to a resilient economy, solid employment growth and lower levels of consumer anxiety.

“Consumers appear to have responded positively in their charitable spending behaviours with fewer consumers cutting back on their charitable spending this past year,” he said in a statement.

Oster also said that despite a global backdrop of weak commodity prices, recent GDP growth figures has been reassuring for the Australian economy.

On average, Aussies will hand over $348 to charities each year, making that an increase of $12 compared to last.

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The most popular charity type Australians donated money to was humanitarian services at 35%, with the rest of the data sprinkled fairly evenly across health and community services. Animal organisations were a lower priority among those who give to charity, accounting for 8% of donations.

Donations by every age group increased except for 15-24 year olds, which NAB put down to high youth unemployment rates and job uncertainty.

The big bank broke down the statistics into suburbs around Australia, state by state. In NSW, residents of Mosman donated the most to charity, but residents who gave the highest percentage of their income were those living in Blaxland. Among Victorians, Middle Park dwellers were the most giving, with Australians living in Castlemaine and Fitzroy North the most charitable against their income.

NAB did not disclose which Australian suburbs were least generous to charities over the last year.

5 easy ways to support charities:

1. Choose an ethical piece of plastic for your credit card needs. Two examples are the Community First Credit Union McGrath Pink Visa and Bendigo Bank RSPCA Rescue Rewards card where a portion of your fees are donated to charities.

2. Endorse charities on social media to put a spotlight on their cause. When you do give, share it on social media and encourage others’ to do the same, no matter how small an amount it was.

3. Do your banking with providers positively involved with community projects and causes you care about.

4. Be inspired by these Pay it Forward success stories which include small, random acts of kindness like shouting someone’s coffee to paying thousands for a stranger’s life-saving operation (and by the way, Pay it Forward Day is tomorrow!).

5. Spend less on your next supermarket shop and give what you saved to a worthy cause at the checkout. Most supermarkets can include your donation on the shopping docket too.