Craig and Deb Hosking are the creators of Wood For Good, a charity that onsells wood from their own business with the money going to charity. Picture: David Cronin Source: News Limited
SOUTH Australians are simultaneously among the worst and the best when it comes to giving money to charity.
Those South Australians who do contribute money are more generous than their interstate counterparts however, fewer from this state give to charity as an overall proportion of the population.
Figures supplied by JBWere Philanthropic Services shows SA’s share of donations in Australia fell to 6.2 per cent by 2012, from 7.2 per cent in 1996.
This is because, over the same period, the number of South Australians donating fell to 34 per cent from 35 per cent of our population. This is set against the national average jumping to 36 per cent from 32 per cent.
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JBWere charity consultant John McLeod said SA had lagged in finding new charity donors because its economy had not kept pace with the rest of the nation.
“South Australia while it started higher than Australia, it has pretty much remained flat." he said.
“While people who have been generous remain generous you have not had the improvement in it because the state has not had the (economic) growth."
Mr McLeod has crunched the numbers by examining Australian Tax Office Statistics which show how many Australians claims tax deductions each year for giving to charity.
Those stats also show the average donation claimed by South Australians has risen to $456 per donor in 2012, from $138 in 1996. This 229 per cent increase in donation size outstrips the 200 per cent rise in the national average.
Philanthropy Australia chief executive Louise Walsh said while South Australia could always improve, other states should also be doing more.
“If you look at the mining booms in Queensland and WA I would like to see their donations being higher than it is," she said.
Ms Walsh said while Australians were renowned for their generosity after events such as natural disasters she said her organisation was encouraging more people to be more structured in their giving by implementing schemes such as making regular donations through pay packets.
“I would love to see more donors giving regularly, even to less charities or not-for-profits, but actually giving more regularly and getting more engaged with the organisation," she said.
It’s a message being heeded by husband-and-wife team Craig and Deb Hosking.
For many years the Hoskings, who own Austral Tree Services, would make a donation at the end of the year if the company made a profit.
Now, seeking a more structured way to manage their giving, they have set up a fund to distribute money and have started a company called Wood For Good which will sell firewood with all profits going to charity.
“For us it’s always been a huge part of the why we are in business," Mr Hosking said.
“To give back and make a difference.
“It’s a really important responsibility I see of businesses to look after their staff but when they can to help meet some of the enormous need that is growing in our society and globally."
To contact Wood For Good, call 1300 888 007