The highlights of the latest report in the Giving Australia 2016 series, Giving and volunteering: the nonprofit perspective, include:
- Most nonprofit organisations (NPOs) (94%) have volunteers. Some 63% actively recruited volunteers. However, only half have a dedicated volunteer manager (found to be the most useful resource for volunteer recruitment).
- The average number of volunteers per organisation was 71 and the median was 15.
- Three quarters of NPOs report having some sort of volunteer recognition in place, a marked increase from 54% in 2005.
- Three-quarters of the charities in this study had a website – but less than half of these were mobile optimised.
- Fifty-nine per cent of respondent charities used social media. Facebook was the most common social media platform (used by 55% of all respondents and 94% of those using a social media platform), followed by Twitter and YouTube.
- Community business partnerships were seen as elusive unless NPOs increased their knowledge, their profile in the business community, and their resources to staff such partnerships.
Re funders, the report includes some interesting observations on the transparency of giving and the inaccessibility of more philanthropy data, which was attributed to government’s unwillingness to collect data from structured philanthropic vehicles, such as:
If the Government were able to and passed legislation as exists in America to require the publication of more information, we would not have more data than we could analyse in traditional ways. So we have a really basic policy problem and a willingness problem, not a data analytics problem. If the Government were to say if you want a PAF, if you want to get the benefits of a PAF, you have to publish the following minimum information. We’ll provide you with adequate privacy settings in certain situations where you want to do something confidentially. This would generate a mountain of data, but nothing new, nothing greater than the census that we’ve been processing for 50 to 100 years. It would just generate the sort of data that we … need, because then we would know who’s giving to what … I don’t think it’s a big data problem. I think it’s a data problem, I think it’s a policy problem … I’m saying it’s got nothing to do with any new technology, it’s a policy thing.
Interview, Big data – philanthropist key informant, VIC
The Giving Australia 2016 reports were launched on 1 December 2016.
Key findings show that:
- Compared to 10 years ago: Fewer people are giving more; and more people are volunteering more hours.
- Planned giving delivers six times more donations that spontaneous giving.
- Philanthropists are most influenced by culture, family and the ability to make positive change.
- Corporate philanthropy is thriving.
Reports on individual giving and volunteering, philanthropy, business giving and volunteering were released earlier this year.
A final Summary Report is still to be released.
Giving Australia 2016 was commissioned by the Department of Social Services as an initiative of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership. It was led by the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS) at QUT with the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University of Technology and the Centre for Corporate Public Affairs.