New Zealanders have doubled their donations to charity in the past six years, a new report from Philanthropy New Zealand shows.
Kiwis gave around $2.67 billion to charitable and community causes during 2011, compared to $1.27 billion in 2006.
The Christchurch Earthquake saw a spike in donations as people contributed to emergency relief and rebuild funds for the city, but Philanthropy NZ says the climb in donations has been consistent even without these figures.
The increase means New Zealand has now overtaken Australia to be second only to the United States in charitable donations.
The report, prepared by Berl Economics, found personal donations and bequests from individuals were the largest source of philanthropy with around 58 percent of the total, while trusts and foundations accounted for 36 percent.
The top three activities to benefit from funding were culture and recreation, education and research, and social services.
Philanthropy NZ executive director Robyn Scott says there has been a noticeable rise in people supporting charities through “easily accessible channels such as payroll giving”, which more than 1000 employers have also signed up to since its introduction two years ago.
“While a small nation, New Zealanders have big hearts,” Ms Scott says.
“Just over one million people gave to charitable causes in New Zealand in 2011.”
The lifting of the cap on tax credits for charitable donations was a major factor in the increase, Philanthropy NZ says.