State of the nation: a new report into our giving behaviours reveals that Australia’s youth are our most giving generation

A new report released today says that when it comes to charities and not-for-profits (NFPs), our youth (18 – 34 year olds) are leading the way as the most generous givers in the nation. Read the full report here or view the infographic summary here.

Gen Z – the emerging generation of youth, and their grown up Millennial counterparts – far from spending their last dollars on smashed avo – are stepping up to lead the way when it comes to charitable giving, both of their time and money.

The first-ever Australia Giving report, released by Good2Give – an affiliate to the CAF Global Alliance of organisations – reveals that Millennials are the most giving generation in Australia, and are the most likely to give money to NFPs, with nearly two thirds (60%) giving within the past year and nearly twice as likely (34%) to donate their time i.e. volunteer for a cause than baby boomers (18%).

In the last 12 months, over one quarter (26%) of millennials gave to a church or religious organisation vs just 16% of baby boomers aged 55 and over, with millennials twice as likely to volunteer for church-going activities (19% vs 8%). Millennials are also nearly twice as likely (31%) to give food or goods to an NPO, or money directly to people in need than baby boomers.

The youngest generation, Gen Z, emerged as the most caring when it comes to both the young and old, and the poor. Gen Z care most about supporting children (43%), nearly three times more likely than the boomer generation at just 15%, and are twice as likely to help the poor (33%) than boomers at just 17%.

In the wake of the Royal Commission into aged care, Gen Z are four times more likely (22%) to support older people than Gen X (5%), and most likely to help/support homeless people (34%), with 34% of Gen Z and millennials actually volunteering in institutions including hospice care vs just 17% of older generations).

Other key findings of the 2019 Australia Giving report include:

  • Three quarters (74%) of Australians have taken part in a charitable activity in the past 12 months, such as volunteering or donating money, with half (49%) saying they have done so in the last four weeks
  • Two thirds (68%) have given money in the past 12 months, and supporting children is the most popular cause
  • A third (35%) have volunteered in the past 12 months; as with donating money, supporting children is the most popular cause (21% of volunteers)
  • Females appear more interested in giving to animal welfare charities (20% vs 13%) whereas men are more interested in environmental protection (17% vs 10%)
  • Together, Gen Z and Millennials are ten times more likely to support human rights protection incl LGBTQI communities than older generations, at 23% vs just 5% of Gen X and Boomers combined
  • Gen Z are savvy shoppers in the name of charity, with a third (32%) saying they buy from a charity shop or website (vs just 18% of Millennials and Gen X).

41% of Australians also stated that they would be likely to donate more money, time or goods over the next 12 months if they knew for sure how their money is spent. More transparency in the sector and knowing that the sector is well regulated are the joint third reasons why people might give more in the coming year (both 23%), demonstrating that although Australians generally trust NFPs, more could be done for good causes if there was a higher level of transparency.

Caring about the cause is the most common reason given by donors as to why they gave money, with more than half (54%) saying this. Helping people less fortunate than them (41%) is the second most cited reason, and realising they can make a difference (33%) the third, implying that Australians are much more likely to give for altruistic reasons, as opposed to motivations such as tax incentives.

Commenting on the report, Lisa Grinham, Chief Executive Officer of Good2Give adds:

“This is our first year producing the Australia Giving report, and it’s been encouraging to see not only how the vast majority of Australians trust the not-for-profit sector, but also how millions of Australians engage by donating their time and money to causes they care about. It’s heartening to see our youth leading the way and being a force for good in the sector, too.

“Charitable institutions will never take this for granted, and we’ll do our utmost to promote transparency across the sector. This way, we can build a more trusting, long-lasting relationship between not-for-profits and the Australian public.”

Notes to editors:


This report is based on data collected by YouGov on behalf of CAF.

In Australia, 1,023 interviews were completed online between 2nd and 31st August 2018. The survey was conducted using the YouGov panel.

The sample is nationally representative and is weighted to known population data on demographics including age, gender, and region.

Differences are reported at the 95% confidence level (the level of confidence that the results are a true reflection of the whole population). The maximum margin of error (the amount of random sampling error) is calculated as ±3%.

About Good2Give

Good2Give is a not-for-profit that makes it easy for businesses and their employees to support the communities and causes they care about. Committed to building a more giving society, Good2Give provides innovative technology solutions to help businesses, donors and charities connect. As well as advising businesses on how to engage with charities, Good2Give’s market-leading technology platforms allow for the efficient and secure processing of around a million donations annually. Since 2001, Good2Give has facilitated over $200 million to more than 7,000 Australian and international communities.

Good2Give is an affiliate to the CAF Global Alliance of organisations that work to grow giving and strengthen civil society. Being part of a global family of organisations spanning the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Russia, India, South Africa, Brazil and Bulgaria is integral to our heritage and allows us to build our expertise to ensure maximum impact in Australia and New Zealand.

About CAF

The Charities Aid Foundation (CAF) is a leading international charity registered in the United Kingdom.

CAF exists to make giving go further, so that more lives and communities around the world can be transformed.

CAF is a charity and a champion for better giving, and for over 90 years has helped donors, companies, charities and social organisations make a bigger impact. Through CAF Bank, it offers simple and straightforward day-to-day banking, designed exclusively for charities.

About CAF Global Alliance

The CAF Global Alliance is a leading international network of independent, locally led organisations working at the forefront of philanthropy and civil society. It is a champion for better giving and civil society and harnesses local knowledge and expertise to help donors, companies and civil society make a bigger impact. Last year more than 70,000 charities received over £500m in donations in more than 100 countries.