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Donor numbers dropping

Police and emergency crews are among the most generous Australian workers, according to tax data showing which professions claim a deduction for charitable giving, The Age reports.

Australian Taxation Office data from 2016-17 shows 33 per cent of all taxpayers made claims for charity donations, while police topped the list of the best givers – 74 per cent of all in the profession gave to charity.

School principals were next at 62 per cent, followed by policy and planning managers at 60 per cent, and fire and emergency service workers at 57 per cent.

In 2010-11, 4.79 million Australians – or 38 per cent of people who filled out a tax return – claimed deductions for gifts and donations. That number fell to 4.52 million people (33 per cent) in 2016-17.

Emma Sakellaris, executive general managers of Australian Unity Trustees, says the fall might be explained in part by “giving fatigue”, in particular, with “collection tin” style donation models.

But those who are donating are giving more, with the average donation increasing more than $300 in the past six years.

Associate professor Wendy Scaife, director of QUT’s Australian Centre for Philanthropy and Nonprofit studies, says it should be remembered that people are giving, but not always claiming.

“If they have not got at least about $100 to claim, many people don’t bother; while some people will claim every $2 donation,” Professor Scaife says.

Of those people who listed their profession as chief executive officer or managing director, only 29 per cent claimed a tax deduction for charitable giving, though they made the biggest donations – $7872 on average.

Professor Scaife says occupations and workplaces in which employees have “regular and collective” opportunities to give, tend to donate more.

FULL STORY

How generous are other people in your profession? (The Age)

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