This report examines trends in high net wealth (HNW) and ultra high net wealth (UHNW) in Australia, the philanthropic giving of these individuals and their potential to have a greater positive social impact.
It explores the distribution of wealth in Australia, the rate of tax-deductible donations in Australia, and giving among the wealthiest Australians. Further, this report makes comparisons with the wealth and giving behaviour of other countries. Overall, Australia is one of the world’s richest nations, and the wealthiest Australians are currently experiencing unprecedented growth in their fortunes. The wealth of the top 200 Australians, as reported in the Financial Review Rich List (AFR Top 200 Rich List), has grown 183% from $195.9 billion in 2015 to $555 billion in 2021.
The report highlights the untapped potential that exists to better fund the not-for-profit sector. The authors demonstrate how the sector could be transformed through relatively modest increases in donations. A commitment by the 200 wealthiest Australians to donate 1% of their wealth to charity would generate an extra $5.55 billion for the sector, boosting revenue by 3.2% and donations by 44%. Finally, the authors consider other alternatives to increase philanthropic giving, including the application of an inheritance tax on HNW bequests.