Philanthropy is the act of giving financial resources to a cause that is intended to improve general human well-being, and where the giver expects no direct reciprocation or financial gain in return.
BERL has just released research for Philanthropy New Zealand that estimates New Zealanders gave $2.67 billion to charitable and community causes in 2011. This is more than double the estimate in BERL’s previous study in 2006. This moves New Zealanders’ generosity (as a share of GDP) up the ranks to second behind USA and ahead of Canada, Australia and the United Kingdom.
The largest single source of philanthropy in 2011 was personal donations and bequests from individuals. Just over one million people gave to charitable causes in New Zealand in 2011. Personal giving has overtaken trust and foundation giving as the single largest source of philanthropy. Individuals contributed $1.55 billion (or 58% of total estimated giving) in 2011, compared to $433m (35%) in 2006.
The Christchurch earthquakes led to a spike in donations. The report shows that there is a trend of increased generosity over and above the response to Christchurch. The major factors contributing to this increase is the lifting of the cap on tax credits and the payroll giving scheme.
You can read the recent media release resulting from our research here.