Private donations and Australia's welfare state

Centre for Australian Community Organisations and Management (CACOM)
Publication Type:
Working Paper
Lyons, M. 1993, Private donations and Australia's welfare state, CACOM Working Paper No.15, Centre for Australian Community Organisations and Management, University of Technology, Sydney.
Issue Date:
Full metadata record
Although many of Australia's nonprofit organisations rely heavily for their revenue on government grants, many also receive significant assistance from private donations as well. This paper reviews data on giving by Australian households, businesses and foundations. It finds some support for the U-shaped relationship between giving and income that has been observed in America. However, when household expenditure is adjusted for household size, giving as a percentage of household expenditure slowly increases, as intuition suggests it should. The paper also finds that the aged and people born overseas (excluding the UK or New Zealand) are more generous than others with the same capacity to give. Most interestingly, it finds that Australian business is very generous, giving as much collectively as individuals and households. By comparison with the United States, Australians are not generous and the paper concludes with an examination of possible reasons for this.
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