Australians Have a Big Heart, Ranked World’s Most Generous Country

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By Sunny Peter | September 3, 2013 3:11 PM EST

Here is one more feather to the Australian cap -The Charities Aid Foundation's 2012 World Giving Index has ranked Australia the world's most generous country ahead of Ireland, Canada, New Zealand and the U.S. Meanwhile reports say, Australians gave $2.21 billion in the 2010-11 financial year which is an increase of 12.63% over the previous year.

A world survey for Charities Aid Foundation was undertaken by market research firm Gallup. It is the world's largest study of charitable giving behaviour. Data is taken from over half a million interviews conducted throughout since 2007 in 160 countries. Click here for the global ranking map.

The ranking is based on Australia having the highest levels of involvement in three giving behaviours - the percentage of people who donate money to charity, volunteer their time, and help a stranger, in a typical month.

The World Giving Index found that in a typical month, more than two-thirds of Australians donate money to charity and help a stranger while more than a third volunteer. At a time when by comparison the average global participation in giving has fallen since 2007, Australia has maintained the highest average score for the past five years. The report says that the fall in global charity mirrors global economic patterns.

Accordingly to the study, the Australian generosity is because it is one of the few countries that survived for two decades without an economic recession.

The survey also finds resonance in public response to the natural disasters of 2010 & 2011 and the establishment of the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission, which helps to promote a philanthropic culture.

"Generosity is in Australia's DNA" says social analyst David Chalke, quoted by the Fundraising & Philanthropy Web site in its report.

"It's at the absolute heart of being Australian," he said. "It's all part of a fair go, mateship and giving a helping hand."

The survey finds that Ireland has the highest level of participation in donating money, with 79% of people giving in a typical month. On this count, Australia came second, with a score of 76%.

Meanwhile, the survey finds that New Zealand rose to the top 10 for donating money, earning a commendable 66% after previously ranking in the top 20.

Meanwhile another report says, Australians gave $2.21 billion in the financial year 2010-11. This is an increase of 12.63% or $248 million on the total amount claimed as tax-deductible donations in 2009-10.

Fundraising & Philanthropy quoting, The Tax Deductible Giving in 2010-2011 report released in August by The Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies at Queensland University of Technology (QUT) says, this boost came after decreases for the previous two years running.

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