News - Australians volunteered 932 million hours to help others in 2015-16

12th September 2017

Everyday Australians gave $12.5 billion and 932 million hours to helping others while businesses gave $17.5 billion with more than half managing a workplace volunteering program in 2015-16, according to latest data  from Giving Australia 2016*.

The Business Giving and Volunteering and Individual Giving and Volunteering reports represent the most extensive research undertaken thus far to uncover how, why and how much individuals and businesses give to charity.

Giving Australia 2016 lead researcher and director of QUT’s Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS), Associate Professor Wendy Scaife said people who volunteered and donated gave, on average, almost twice as much ($1017.11) as those who donated only money ($536.69).

“It is heartening to see that of the 43.7 per cent of Australians who volunteer, 38.2 per cent of those who responded to the annual survey donate both time and money,” Professor Scaife said.

“While fewer people are giving, they’re giving more as the average donation has increased.

"The percentage of people volunteering and the hours volunteered have both increased over the past decade from 41 per cent in 2005 to 43.7 per cent in 2016, and  from 132 hours on average in 2005 to 134 hours in 2016."

Professor Scaife said the data for Australian businesses was equally optimistic.

"The business report cites a trend towards businesses of all sizes encouraging giving and volunteering through the workplace," she said.

“The increase in workplace volunteering is bucking the trend in the US, where the incidence of volunteering through the workplace has plateaued in recent years.

“In fact, giving by businesses to charity is far more embedded in businesses’ ethical and social imperatives now than 10 years ago.” 

The full reports can be freely downloaded via the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership research projects website, along with previous Giving Australia 2016 reports.

Learn more about Giving Australia | Subscribe to the Giving Australia blog

*Giving Australia 2016  was commissioned by the Department of Social Services as an initiative of the Prime Minister’s Community Business Partnership. It was led by the Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit Studies (ACPNS) at QUT with the Centre for Social Impact at Swinburne University of Technology and the Centre for Corporate Public Affairs.


Media contact: Niki Widdowson, QUT Media, 07 3138 2999 or

After hours: Rose Trapnell, 0407 585 901,

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