Media Release

November 30, 2009

While Christmas is known as the 'season for giving', only one in five (21 per cent) Australians say it's the time of year they think most about giving to charity, according to a survey by Westpac Community Markets and the Our Community Foundation.

That's not to say Australians don't give at all - the Give Differently(1) survey reveals a whopping 92 per cent of adult respondents claim to have given to charity in the last 12 months.

However, the results indicate the majority of these donations were made as a knee-jerk reaction to national disasters such as the Victorian Bushfire appeal, with only 33 per cent of donations taking place over the Christmas period.

Westpac Community Markets spokesperson, Vanessa Nolan-Woods, is calling on all Australians to be Santa's Little Helpers this year. "We're hoping the results prompt Australians to dig deep and give differently to organisations in need of support over the Festive Season," she said.

"Simple acts of giving such as donating your old bike rather than tossing it out can bring a lot of joy to families less fortunate. We're encouraging all Aussies to visit and donate to a cause close to their hearts this Christmas," Ms Nolan-Woods concluded.

The appeal comes during Australian Giving Week (November 29 - December 5), an initiative of the Our Community Foundation proudly supported by Westpac Community Markets that encourages people to think about how they can make a difference to those in need in the lead-up to Christmas. does not charge any commissions to donors or charities, meaning that every donation made goes further and to the right place. The not-for-profit charity site lists more than 1,500 causes, providing Australians with the opportunity to give differently by donating things other than money, including giving time through volunteering, Oxfam gifts or old computers and phones that can be given to disadvantaged kids as a Christmas present.

Our Community Foundation director Hannah Schwartz said she hoped Giving Week would help Australians think more strategically about how they gave. She said having a Giving Plan could help people become smarter, better givers.

"It was really great to see the outpouring of giving after the bushfires and floods earlier this year," Ms Schwartz said. "But we'd love it if people would give carefully throughout the year, rather than just in response to disasters.

"A Giving Plan 'help sheet' is just one of the many resources available at to help people become better givers."

(1) The Give Differently survey was conducted by Galaxy Research on behalf of Westpac Community Markets on the weekend of 20-22 November 2009. The sample was 1,100 respondents aged 16 years and older distributed throughout Australia. Download the results by clicking here.

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