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Urban South Africans donate an average of R605 per year to charitable causes

Published in Economic & social issues · 30 March 2012
Tags: Spendcharity
Urban South Africans spend R605 on charity per year. Childrens’ rights take the largest share of charity spending (44.5%) followed by car guards (27.1%), beggars (9.2%) and animal rights organisations (9.2%). Environmental protection agencies (5.4%), womens’ rights (3.4%)and mens’ rights (1.3%) receive the smallest share of spend. The survey was conducted online by Acentric Marketing Research amongst 307 South Africans living in the large metropolitan centres. The survey was designed to be representative of metropolitan residents in terms of age, household income, gender and ethnic group. The metropolitan areas make up half the income earned in South Africa.

Urban South Africans spend R605 per year or just under 0.5% of household income on charity per year.

“Noticeable differences occur in spending patterns across age groups. Younger South Africans’ in the 16 to 24 age range spend the largest proportion of their donations on car guards and beggars, while South Africans’ over 50 instead prefer to spend on childrens’ rights organisations.” says Craig Kolb, Principal Consultant at Acentric Marketing Research.

The rising prominence of the mens’ rights movement is also evident as younger South Africans are more likely to donate money to mens’s rights organisations than older respondents above 34 years.

Men spend a greater share on environmental protection agencies than women, while women are more likely to donate money to womens’ rights organisations than men. Overall men spend more on charity than women (R642 versus R561 per year).

When it comes to differences by income bracket, the highest income brackets spend more on charity. Those earning more than R99,000 per month, donate on average R1,323 per year while lower income brackets below R2,500 donate just under R200 per year. “Interestingly, even though higher-income households donate more, these donations are smaller relative to total income. Of course this does not take into account higher taxation rates, which is an indirect form of donation.” says Kolb.

In the final analysis of over 100 profile variables, business ownership, travel by air and investment behaviour were the most telling predictors of how much would be donated to charity. Business owners, and the retired proved to make far larger contributions on average (R1,440) than those who work or study (R330). However of those who work/study, those that travel by air are bigger donors than those who don’t – especially those who are active investors (R603).

Technical note: Margins of error for the percentages reported vary depending on the percentage answering yes to a question. For percentages close to 50% the margin of error is 5.6% (at 95% confidence level) while the margin of error for smaller percentages are smaller – for instance if 10% answer yes to a question, the margin of error improves to 3.5%.

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