Donations and Community-Business Partnerships

Donating is one of the most popular partnership models in Australia, often preferred by community groups because it's a straightforward way to gain resources. Donations can make an immediate impact on a project, program or other event the group is working on.

For business, in-kind donations of goods and services can also be straightforward and flexible.

Some companies prefer the idea of volunteering to making donations because staff derive a stronger sense of having done some good when they are personally involved in volunteering.

Donations do not have to be made at arm's length, though. Businesses can arrange to meet with community partners to find out exactly how they have benefited from a donation. And it doesn't have to be a company's general manager or partnerships manager who makes the visit. Staff representatives can visit the group and report back to others, increasing their sense of involvement.

Donations can take the form of:

  • One-off monetary donations.
  • Staff payroll deductions.
  • Regular staff collections (on a casual dress day or gold coin morning tea, for example).
  • Project or program-specific donations.
  • In-kind donations of goods, services or resources: For more information, refer to the Providing In-Kind Support help sheet.

Facts and Figures

The most in-depth and up-to-date research on business giving is part of the 2005 Federal Government Giving Australia: Research on Philanthropy in Australia report.

It found that in the 2003-2004 financial year, Australian businesses made $3.3 billion in donations. That contribution was made collectively by 67% of business.

Of that $3.3 billion, 68% was contributed in monetary donations, 16% in goods and 16% in services.

For more information, you can see the report's findings here.