Putting Our Money Where Our Mouths Are? Donations to NGOs and Support for ODA in Australia

This paper examines support for aid amongst the Australian public. It draws on two new datasets – one based on surveyed support for government aid (ODA), and one based on actual private donations to non-governmental aid organisations (NGOs). In the paper these data are combined with census information and election results to isolate factors associated with differing levels of support for aid. Our analysis shows that parts of Australia where surveyed support for ODA are highest are also, on average, the parts of the countries which have the highest proportion of the population who give to NGOs. Findings also show tertiary education to be the strongest positive socio-economic correlate of both support for ODA and NGO donations. Income, on the other hand is actually negatively correlated with support for aid (although the relationship is not statistically significant for NGO donations). We also find more religious parts of the country to be less supportive of ODA and also home to lower proportions of NGO donors. Politically, we find Green party voting to be strongly correlated with both support for government ODA and private donations. There is also a positive association between Labor voting (and a commensurate negative relationship for Coalition voting) and support for ODA. However, in the case of the major parties, there appears to be no relationship between their support and NGO donations.