Sweet charity: territory leads in giving

Sweet charity: territory leads in giving

Australians have been known to be less than charitable towards Canberra but it turns out they are less charitable than their Canberra counterparts, full stop.

National Australia Bank's charitable giving index shows the capital is home to the most generous people in the country, with average donations significantly higher in the ACT for both dollar giving and as a proportion of income.

Marilyn Ferguson of Dickson donates to charities on a regular basis.

Marilyn Ferguson of Dickson donates to charities on a regular basis.Credit:Melissa Adams

By analysing credit-card, debit-card, direct-debit, BPAY and eftpos donations, NAB found that, weighted by population, the ACT is the most generous state or territory in the country, with an average donation of $124 per person in the 12 months to August this year - almost double the national average of $64.

Of the top postcodes for charitable donations in Australia, as a percentage of income, the first four are in the ACT, with another two in the top 20.


In a coup for north-south relations, the top spot was shared between 2602 in the north (including Ainslie, Dickson, Downer, Hackett, Lyneham, O'Connor and Watson) and 2611 in the south, (including Chapman, Duffy, Fisher, Holder, Rivett, Stirling, Uriarra, Waramanga, Weston and Weston Creek).

Residents of both postcodes donated an average of 0.28 per cent of their salaries to charity.

Marilyn Ferguson, of Dickson, is among those charitable residents. The former teacher of children with disabilities says she ''can't walk past'' a charity fund-raiser on the street.

While she does not make regular direct-debit donations to any particular charity, she donates when and if she can, with certain children's charities taking precedence.

''I just hate to see people doing it tough,'' she said. ''If I can afford to do it, I'm happy to do it.''

Ms Ferguson is not surprised that Canberra is such as charitable city.

''People come [to Canberra] from all over,'' she said. ''They know what the rest of the world's like and understand it … I think there is a big middle class here, too.''

After the ACT's top-two postcodes, Kambah (2902) was third, then 2614 (Weetangera and surrounds) was fourth. Also making the top 20 in 13th and 16th positions were 2905 (Calwell and surrounds) and 2605 (Curtin, Hughes and Garran).

In dollar terms, north-side 2602 residents averaged $174 in donations, just edging out the south-siders in 2611 ($173), the fourth and fifth highest in the country.

Taking out the top three in dollar terms were the well-to-do Sydney postcodes that take in Mosman, Balmain and Vaucluse.

While Mosman residents give 17 per cent more in dollar terms than those in the ACT's 2602 and 2011 postcodes, their incomes are about 57 per cent higher, on average.

Breaking down other demographics of charitable giving, the index found the average annual donation increases with age, with over-65s the most generous in dollar terms. The older a donor, the more charities they are likely to support.

Humanitarian services charities were by far the best supported, with 32.2 per cent of market share, followed by medical research and services (13.2 per cent), then health and disability (11.6 per cent).

Does your suburb rate? Click on the dots below to see if your suburb is in the top 20 for giving in the ACT, and how much the average person gives.

Fleta Page is a journalist at the Sydney Morning Herald. She was previously a sports and general news reporter at The Canberra Times.

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