Aussie philanthropists faced steep barriers to international giving. That is now changing.

Australians are among the world’s most generous people. In a year gone haywire punctuated by the bushfire crisis and a pandemic, Australians ranked among the top five givers (behind only Ireland, the United States, the United Kingdom, and Canada). And giving is still on the rise: in 2018, Australians donated about $3.75 billion to various causes, up eight percent from the previous year.

However, most of those funds (and impact) appear to be staying within Australia. Just 5% of Aussies said they only support or prefer to support overseas charities. In the aftermath of COVID-19 and the bushfires, 76% of Australians in 2021 said they are more intentional now about supporting nonprofits or charities that operate locally.

Despite these trends, Australia is well positioned to be a philanthropic leader on the global stage, especially to its neighbors in Asia. Until recently, charitable gifts needed to have their purpose and beneficiaries in Australia in order to get tax receipts. Recent reforms now allow Australians to make tax-deductible donations that benefit overseas charities.

Of course, opening the door to cross-border giving is just the first step. As Peter Singer, the Australia-born moral philosopher, once wrote: “Charity begins at home, the saying goes, and for many people, charity also stops at home, or not very far from it.”

Australian donors now have the option to directly support poverty alleviation projects around the globe. Now it is up to the philanthropic community to mobilize their generosity and put it to good use.

Read the full article about global giving in Australia by Anita Toy at AVPN.