8157.0 - Generosity of Australian Businesses, 2000-01  
ARCHIVED ISSUE Released at 11:30 AM (CANBERRA TIME) 27/06/2002   
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This publication contains estimates from the Business Generosity Survey (BGS), conducted in respect of 2000-01. This survey collected information on 'business giving'. Previous Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS) surveys have collected information on sponsorships of a monetary nature. A feature of the BGS was that it not only collected such data, but also the 'dollar equivalent values' of any goods or services components associated with any business giving arrangements.

The data contained in this publication are based on a live response rate of 93%.

The ABS acknowledges, with appreciation, the financial contribution by the Community Business Partnership and the Department of Family and Community Services to enable this survey to take place.


The ABS welcomes feedback from readers regarding the usefulness, range and quality of the data presented and explanations provided. Please send any comments to: The Director, Economy Wide Statistics Section, Australian Bureau of Statistics, PO Box 10, Belconnen ACT 2616. Alternatively, email <brian.mclinden@abs.gov.au>.


ABSAustralian Bureau of Statistics
ANZSICAustralian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification
BGSBusiness Generosity Survey
EASEconomic Activity Survey
RSERelative standard error
SEStandard error



Details of the scope and coverage of the Business Generosity Survey are outlined in paragraphs 5 and 6 of the Explanatory Notes on page 9.


During 2000-01 businesses gave $1,447m to the community sector. Most of the giving was in the form of money ($921m). Services provided to the community sector were valued at $290m, while goods provided to the community sector were valued at $236m.

Of the total amount given, $679m was in the form of sponsorship, $586m in the form of donations and $182m in the form of business to community projects.

For the businesses who gave, the total value of giving represented 0.15% of Total income, 1.02% of Wages and salaries and 1.66% of Operating profit before tax.
Of all businesses, those in the Manufacturing industry gave the most ($277m). Businesses in the Property and business services industry gave the most in the form of donations ($124m). The biggest providers of sponsorships were businesses in the Manufacturing industry ($192m). Businesses in the Manufacturing industry also contributed the most to business to community projects ($35m).

The small business sector donated $251m, more than each of the medium and large business sectors. Large businesses were the biggest sponsors ($427m). They also contributed the highest value to business to community projects ($113m).

In terms of donations received, the largest amount ($243m) went to activities associated with Community services and welfare. The biggest contribution of donations to Community service and welfare came from businesses in the Finance and insurance industry ($53m). Activities associated with Sport and recreation attracted the biggest sponsorship ($480m). Businesses in the Manufacturing industry were the biggest sponsors of Sport and recreation activities ($148m).

Organisations providing Community service and welfare activities were the biggest beneficiaries of business to community projects ($51m). Businesses in the Property and business services industry provided the most ($10m) to Community service and welfare through Business to community projects.


Businesses who did not undertake any giving during 2000-01 were asked to provide reason for their decisions. However, businesses were not restricted to providing only one reason.

Of those businesses that provided reasons for not donating, 70% indicated their business resources were committed elsewhere, 31% indicated they had not been approached to make a donation and 41% indicated they had not considered making any donations. Similarly, in respect of sponsorship, 63% of businesses indicated their business resources were committed elsewhere, 27% indicated they had not been approached by anyone seeking sponsorship and 44% indicated they had not considered undertaking any form of sponsorship. In respect of business to community projects, 59% of businesses indicated their business resources were committed elsewhere, 34% indicated they had not been approached by anyone seeking to enter into business to community projects and 45% indicated they had not considered entering into any business to community projects.



1 The statistical results presented in this publication have been derived from the Business Generosity Survey (BGS).


2 The BGS was conducted as a supplementary survey, run in conjunction with the 2000-01 Economic Activity Survey (EAS). It involved collecting data from selected businesses, mainly by mail-out questionnaire. Businesses were asked to provide data in respect of the financial year ending June 2001. In a minority of cases, where businesses did not account on a June-year basis, details were reported in respect of the accounting year which ended between October 2000 and September 2001.

3 The reference period for this survey includes the Sydney Olympic and Paralympic Games which were held in September 2000. The inclusion of Sydney Olympic and Paralympic Games within the reference period may have had some impact on the estimates.

4 The estimates relate to businesses in the public trading and private employing sectors of the economy only.


5 The scope of the BGS is all management units on the ABS Business Register except those classified to either General government or ANZSIC subdivisions 01-04 (Agriculture, forestry and fishing), 81-82 (Government administration and defence), 97 (Private households employing staff) and Religious organisations (ANZSIC class 9610). Please note that class 9610 comprises units of religious organisations operated for worship or for the promotion of religious activities. Units of religious institutions mainly engaged in the provision of education, or operation of hospitals, charitable homes etc., are included in the ANZSIC classes appropriate to these activities and are within the scope of the BGS.

6 Coverage of the BGS is limited to employing businesses only.


7 The business unit, about which information is collected and published for the BGS, is termed the management unit. This is the highest level unit within a business, for which a set of management accounts are maintained. In most cases it coincides with the legal entity owning the business (i.e. company, partnership, trust, sole operator, etc.). However, in the case of large diversified businesses there are often a number of management units, each coinciding with a 'division' or 'line of business'. A division or line of business is recognised where separate and comprehensive accounts are compiled for it.

8 The ABS Business Register provided the population frame from which management units were selected for inclusion in the BGS.

9 Approximately 9,000 management units were selected for the BGS-based collection drawn from the 2000-01 economy wide EAS sample, using sub sampling methodology. All units in the BGS sample were also selected in the EAS sample.


10 Business size is classified into three categories in the BGS:
  • a management unit with less than 20 employees is deemed to be a small business;
  • a management unit with 20 or more, but less than 200 employees is deemed to be a medium business; and
  • a management unit with 200 or more employees is deemed to be a large business.


11 This publication presents statistics classified according to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Industrial Classification (ANZSIC), 1993 (Cat.no.1292.0). Each business unit is classified to a single industry. The industry allocated is based on an estimate of the primary activity of the management unit irrespective of whether a range of activities or a single activity is undertaken by the unit. For example, a management unit which derives most of its income from construction activities would have all operations included in the aggregates and ratios for the Construction industry division, even if significant secondary activities (e.g. quarrying) were undertaken. This is different from the approach that might be taken to the collection of statistics on an activity basis.


12 Where figures have been rounded, discrepancies may occur between the sums of the component items and totals. Published percentages are calculated prior to rounding of figures and therefore some discrepancy may occur between those percentages and those that could be calculated from rounded figures.


13 ABS publications draw extensively on information provided freely by individuals, businesses, governments and other organisations. Their continued cooperation is very much appreciated: without it, the wide range of statistics published by the ABS would not be available. Information received by the ABS is treated in strict confidence as required by the Census and Statistics Act 1905.


14 Finer data dissections other than those presented in this publication are available on request. For example, subject to confidentiality testing, table 1 is available by industry, business size and activity.

15 The data can either be purchased separately as a product, or accessed through the ABS web-based information service, AusStats. AusStats provides access to a comprehensive range of ABS material. It is available on-line, via the World Wide Web, and is a part of the ABS web site where both free and charged data are integrated.

16 A charge is made for providing non standard data requests and information is only made available if it passes confidentiality testing.


17 For the financial year 1999-2000 the ABS released a series of publications that included data on the amount of donations and sponsorships received by organisations in the Arts, Libraries, Museums, Botanic gardens and Community service industries. It should be noted however, that this series of publications are based on the industry classification of the receiving organisation. In the BGS, businesses were asked to provide details of giving to a type of community activity. For more information on these surveys refer to the following ABS publications.
  • Museums, Australia, 1999-2000 (Cat.no.8560.0)
  • Public libraries, Australia, 1999-2000 (Cat.no.8561.0)
  • Botanic gardens, Australia, 1999-2000 (Cat.no.8563.0)
  • Community services, Australia, 1999-2000 (Cat.no.8696.0)
  • Performing arts industries, Australia, 1999-2000 (Cat.no.8697.0)



1 Since the estimates in this publication are based on information obtained from a sample drawn from units in the surveyed population, the estimates are subject to sampling variability. That is, they may differ from the figures that would have been produced if all units had been included in the survey.

2 One measure of the likely difference is given by the standard error (SE), which indicates the extent to which an estimate might have varied by chance because only a sample of units was included. The sampling variability can be measured by the relative standard error (RSE) which is obtained by expressing the SE as a percentage of the estimate to which it refers. The RSE provides an immediate indication of the percentage errors likely to have occurred due to sampling, and thus avoids the need to refer to the size of the estimate. The relative standard errors table on page 8, provides RSEs for total giving by industry. It should be noted that every data item in this publication is subject to a RSE. These are available on request.

3 There are about 2 chances in 3 that the difference between the estimate shown and the true value will be within one SE, and about 19 chances in 20 that the difference will be within two SEs. Thus, for example, if the estimated value of Total business giving by businesses in the Finance and insurance industries is $212m and its RSE is 5%, its reliability in terms of sampling error can be interpreted as follows. There are about 2 chances in 3 that the true value of the variable lies within the range $201m to $223m, and 19 chances in 20 that it lies within the range $191m and $233m.


4 The imprecision due to sampling variability, which is measured by the SE, is not to be confused with inaccuracies that may occur because of inadequacies in available sources from which the population frame was compiled, imperfections in reporting by providers, errors made in collection such as in recording and coding data, and errors made in processing data. Inaccuracies of this kind are collectively referred to as non-sampling error and they may occur in any enumeration, whether it be a full count or a sample.

5 While it is not possible to quantify non-sampling error, every effort is made to reduce it to a minimum. Collection forms are designed to be easy to complete and assist businesses to report accurately. Efficient and effective operating procedures and systems are used to compile the statistics.



Includes the performing arts, the creative arts, museum, art gallery and library activities and zoological or botanical parks and garden operations.


Cooperative arrangements between businesses and non-related community organisations or individuals. Such arrangements normally involve the voluntary transfer of money, goods or services in exchange for strategic business benefits such as improved staff expertise, wider networking, enhanced community reputation and/or other quantifiable benefits.


Includes organisations providing the following activities; Arts and culture, Community service and welfare, Education and training, Employment, Environmental, Health, and Sports and recreation.


Includes material assistance, counselling or advice services to individuals, social services to the general community, accommodation referral and advice services and the operation of soup kitchens, shelters or homes for the aged or disadvantaged.


Unconditional voluntary transfers of money, goods or services to non-related community organisations or individuals. The underlying motivation behind donations is to show support, not receive a benefit.


An annual business survey that collects data based on a business' statements of position and financial performance.


Includes the operation of preschools, schools, colleges or universities and development activities.


Includes working proprietors, working partners, permanent, part-time, temporary and casual employees, and managerial and executive employees working for a business during the last pay period in June each year. Employees absent on paid or prepaid leave are included.


Includes environmental conservation services, pollution control or prevention services and environmental education services.


Includes hospitals, nursing homes and health centre operations, flying doctor service, medical research, specific health condition support group operations and first aid services.


Represents the value added by an industry to the intermediate inputs used by that industry.


See under 'Classification by size' in paragraph 10 of the Explanatory Notes.


See under 'Statistical unit' in paragraph 7 of the Explanatory Notes.


See under 'Classification by size' in paragraph 10 of the Explanatory Notes.


Total assets minus total liabilities. This is equal to the interests of shareholders or other owners in the assets of the business.


A measure of profit before extraordinary items are brought into account and prior to the deduction of income tax and appropriations to owners (e.g. dividends paid).


See under 'Classification by size' in paragraph 10 of the Explanatory Notes.


Voluntary transfers of money, goods or services to non-related community organisations or individuals in exchange for advertising or promotional benefits.


Includes the operation of sporting events, clubs and teams, indoor or outdoor recreational facility operations, social, leisure and hobby club activities and recreational parks and garden operations.


Total giving is comprised of the total monetary value of donations, sponsorships and business to community projects.


This is derived by dividing total giving by total income multiplied by 100.


The total income of a business, excluding extraordinary items.


The total expenses of a business, excluding extraordinary items.


Includes provisions for employee entitlements and salaries and fees of directors and executives.