Like what you've read?

On Line Opinion is the only Australian site where you get all sides of the story. We don't
charge, but we need your support. Here�s how you can help.

  • Advertise

    We have a monthly audience of 70,000 and advertising packages from $200 a month.

  • Volunteer

    We always need commissioning editors and sub-editors.

  • Contribute

    Got something to say? Submit an essay.

 The National Forum   Donate   Your Account   On Line Opinion   Forum   Blogs   Polling   About   
On Line Opinion logo ON LINE OPINION - Australia's e-journal of social and political debate


On Line Opinion is a not-for-profit publication and relies on the generosity of its sponsors, editors and contributors. If you would like to help, contact us.


RSS 2.0

A more caring society

By David Hale - posted Friday, 27 May 2022

There is a campaign in Australia to make people more caring. In practical terms, to double the amount given to charity by 2030. Philanthropy Australia has a blueprint to achieve that, as does the recently elected Federal Labor Government.

Philanthropy Australia may have the most success getting policy changes like expanding the number of charities that have DGR status, to encourage more tax deductible giving, which is included in their blueprint. Their goal, however, of a nationally co-funded campaign to encourage a stronger giving culture in Australia may not be that successful.

We would first have to accept we are not giving enough and could give more. That is going to be hard for some people to admit. Yet, people often spend more on a coffee in one day than charity giving.


In 2018-2019, we hit a 40-year low in tax deductible giving. Where on average, people gave less than $2.60 a day. And there's no evidence that giving, without claiming deductions, is any better.

In order to give more, we would also have to care more about complete strangers. When saving for a deposit for our house, help fund other people's housing through charity giving. To think not only of our own retirement savings, but those of others. And thus contribute more to charities that help older people. It means accepting less money for ourselves, and giving more money to strangers. Not something that we tend to be geared towards.

It means we would have to change our belief system and accept that good charities do get your donations to those in need.

The other belief that would have to change, thinking taxes are our charity giving. A compulsory tax that most people would stop if they could is not a substitute for giving targeted donations to good charities. Expecting the government to do all of the work to help those in need is also not a good excuse.

And we would have to stop believing the other misconceptions. Anything one does to help is a drop in the bucket, so why give anything? If you think a drop in the bucket is unhelpful, giving nothing at all is worse.

And there is no social pressure to make people give. Talking publicly about one's giving can be seen as inappropriate. Even the Bible speaks out against a particular type of giving just for show. This, however, means that there are less examples or conversations in the public space that would encourage people to give more.


There is also a need for charitable organizations themselves to give more. The Public Ancillary Funds {PAFs} that hold money for charitable purposes, only need to give a minimum of 4% of the value of their funds each year. And they don't always rush to give out that small amount. Some organizations may only distribute once a year, while people suffer daily

Philanthropy Australia's goal to lift giving, might also be hampered by something that was an issue over 100 years ago. It is just not in our nature to be overly charitable to strangers.

The philanthropist Andrew Carneige wrote in the Gospel of Wealth in 1889, about people that wanted to change the world,

  1. Pages:
  2. Page 1
  3. 2
  4. All

Discuss in our Forums

See what other readers are saying about this article!

Click here to read & post comments.

33 posts so far.

Share this:
reddit this reddit thisbookmark with Del.icio.usdigg thisseed newsvineSeed NewsvineStumbleUpon StumbleUponsubmit to propellerkwoff it

About the Author

David Hale is an Anglican University Lay Chaplain, staff worker for the Australian Student Christian Movement and a member of the Anglican Pacifist Fellowship.

Other articles by this Author

All articles by David Hale

Creative Commons LicenseThis work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

Article Tools
Comment 33 comments
Print Printable version
Subscribe Subscribe
Email Email a friend

About Us Search Discuss Feedback Legals Privacy