Australian Giving: International Comparisons
Summary: How our level of giving compares to other Western nations.
Australian levels of giving appear to compare unfavourably with those in other countries, most notably the US and Great Britain, but in many ways the comparison is misleading. Dr Diana Leat describes the factors leading to comparisons thus:
- Like the US, Australia has been built on immigration. Unlike the US, Australians have always believed that government should provide, and in large measure continues to do so.
- Although there is a small number of high profile philanthropic givers and foundations, Australian cultural attitudes towards wealth are different from those in the US. Australian culture places considerable emphasis on equality; 'charity' still has 19th century de haut en bas colonial overtones, and displays of benevolence are as likely to generate cynicism as praise.