JBWere reveals pandemic led to massive drop in charitable giving

The inaugural JBWere NAB Charitable Giving Index has today revealed an unprecedented decline in national giving since records began. The biggest drop in more than 40 years ago comes despite growth in giving from high net worth individuals and corporates.

The dramatic fall in giving led to an overall decrease in donations by 16% in the 6 months to December 2020, taking giving back 5 years to levels last reported in 2016.

For-purpose organisations in the arts, education, social services and housing sectors have been most impacted by the drop in donations. Health and international aid organisations meanwhile managed to perform well during the same period. Environmental causes and religious groups also only experienced minor drops in charitable support.

John McLeod, co-founder of JBWere Philanthropic Services said; “The last 18 months has been extraordinary for charitable organisations. The significant drop in giving has been especially devastating for those who rely on fundraising events and volunteers.

“There is hope though that giving is on the rise. Evidence suggests that late 2020 may have marked the turning point for a recovery in giving with strong donations toward the Good Friday Appeal in Victoria this year.”

Sarah Patterson, CEO of Midlas, a not-for-profit community legal centre said;

“The decrease in giving has been tough for those we assist who are affected by family violence. Typically, we have relied on philanthropic donations to ensure people are safe – without these transferable funds, many families will miss out.”

“We are, however looking forward with optimism, donations have begun to increase, and we are able to begin creating new solutions such as our Mobile Midlas Truck, that will bring services to people when they need them”

The sudden drop in giving came after years of steady growth and generosity on a global scale towards the Australian bushfires in late 2019 and early 2020. While medical related charities still managed to attract donations, social distancing prevented many other charities from active fundraising and deploying volunteers.

The full report is available here.

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