New research provides insight into Asian-Australian philanthropy

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Monday, 20 August 2018

Monday, 20 August 2018

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A new research report has investigated the giving traditions and philanthropy of Asian-Australian donors in Melbourne.

Commissioned by Lord Mayor’s Charitable Foundation, the research was undertaken by Emeritus Professor John Fitzgerald and Wesa Chau at Swinburne University’s Centre for Social Impact.

The Asian-Australian Diaspora Philanthropy research focuses on four key diaspora communities including Chinese-Australians, Indian-Australians, Filipino-Australians and Chinese-Malaysian Australians.

The Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer Catherine Brown said it was important to understand the giving traditions of Melbourne’s donor communities so that charitable interests and goals were being met.

“As a community foundation we have undertaken research to better understand Melbourne’s social issues to inform our grantmaking, and we have now applied this learning lens to our donors.

“This new research has provided us with a deeper insight into Melbourne’s Asian-Australian donor community enabling us to better understand their giving goals and aspirations. From this report we can also further develop our relationship with current donors and those wishing to embark on a philanthropic journey with us.

Researcher Wesa Chau said Asian-Australian diaspora was very active but not well recognised in mainstream Australian society.

“This report highlights that Asian Australians contribute in every way in Australia, including charity and philanthropy.  They already give a lot and want to contribute more. They are also keen to co-operate with mainstream philanthropy and eager to learn how to give more effectively."

“There are many opportunities for not-for-profit organisations to engage with Asian-Australian donors as well as recognising the positive contribution they are making in communities across Melbourne.”

Key findings from the report include:

  • Kinship and country of origin are dominant factors in charitable giving particularly during times of emergency

  • Cultural and religious factors have a strong influence on giving

  • Personal interests and experience often drive the selection process for causes and charities

  • Charitable work is viewed as important to demonstrate community leadership

  • Trust and personal relationships are important factors in making giving decisions

  • Australian charities are viewed as trusted institutions

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Download the Asian-Australian Diaspora Philanthropy ​report »