The amount of tax-deductible donations made to deductible gift recipients (DGRs) each year is contained in the annual ATO statistics report. The report for the period 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018 has recently been released and shows a steady increase in gifts by a declining number of taxpayers.

The total amount donated and claimed as tax-deductible donations in 2017–18 was $3.75 billion (compared to $3.48 billion in 2016–17). This constitutes a 7.61% increase or $265 million.

In absolute terms, the number of individual taxpayers claiming deductible gifts in 2017–18 decreased to 4.43 million (compared to 4.52 million in 2016–17). The percentage of Australian taxpayers making deductible gifts decreased slightly: 31.01% in 2017–18, compared to 32.60% in the previous year. The percentage of taxpayers donating has decreased every year since 2011–12.

The average tax-deductible donation made to DGRs and claimed by Australian taxpayers in 2017–18 was $845.73, which is an increase of 9.84% from $769.99 in 2016–17.

In 2017–18, the median amount donated increased slightly to $115 having remained static for the past 2 years at $110.

Donating taxpayers with a taxable income over $1 million in 2017–18 claimed average tax-deductible donations of $93,645.00 (up from $86,341.93 in 2016–17). This represents 2.06% of their taxable income compared to the national average which was 0.43%. This group accounted for 19.09% of the total amount donated in 2017–18.

Because the ATO data comes from individuals’ income tax returns, this analysis does not include giving by corporate and trust taxpayers, or “non-tax contributions” such as raffles, sponsorships, fundraising purchases, volunteering or gifts to non-DGRs.