The Australian Community Trends Report

Tuesday, August 22, 2017

There is no more important industry in Australia than the not-for profit sector. The charities, social enterprises and community organisations across this nation provide much of the social infrastructure that builds the capacity and function of communities Australia wide.

The importance of the sector is recognised by Australians and practically lived out by the 4 in 5 adults who give financially to such organisations and the 1 in 4 who give at least once a month. However, this data shows the long-term engagement challenge with Australians twice as likely to make a one off donation than a regular one, and to volunteer at a stand-alone event compared to an ongoing contribution. 

Amidst the message saturation, digital disruption, generational change and increasingly complex lives, communicating and connecting with donors will no doubt require a more sophisticated strategy than what worked in the past.

Along with the global trends, demographic shifts and technological transformation, leaders may face change fatigue and resilience fatigue. However, the future is best influenced by focussed commitment to a clear vision, while responding with relevance to the external environment and the emerging trends. 

Mother Teresa’s quote from half a century ago offers relevant encouragement today:

“I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples”.

It is our hope that the 2016 Australian Communities Report builds on the results from the 2015 study and offers insights to help Australia’s not-for-profit leaders continue to create ripples of change that over time change local, national and indeed global communities.

Millennials are Generation Generous

While Australia’s 18 to 29 year old's are often derided as screen-obsessed and self-focused, the latest data on giving and volunteering shows the reverse is true. 

Although the net wealth of the average Generation Y household is just one fifth that of the average Baby Boomer household, members of the younger generation are more likely to give regularly to charities (35% of them give at least monthly compared to 29% of the Over 30’s). Almost half of the 18 to 29’s have volunteered in the last year (46%) compared to less than 1 in 3 of those aged over 30 (31%).

Generation Y are more likely to prefer charities that raise awareness (46%) to those that take direct action (23%) while for the older generations, the reverse is the case (34% prefer charities that take direct action over awareness raising, 29%).

The Report

For more insights and to download your free copy of the 88-page 2016 Australian Communities Trends Report, please visit

These insights alongside fresh 2017 research will be presented at The Australian Communities Forum in September 2017. Tickets are available here

Live the Dream: Research into Australians living a successful life

Monday, August 21, 2017

McCrindle has been delighted to partner with the Financial Planning Association of Australia (FPA) again this year to conduct new research into the regrets, dreams, and attitudes to matters of money and life across generations, genders and geographies.

The new research shows almost one in four Australians (23%) believe they are ‘definitely’ or ‘mostly’ living the dream. These enviably content people are nearly three times more likely to seek the advice of a financial planner (24%) than those who describe themselves as not yet living the dream (9%).

Not everyone is 'living the dream'

Not everyone is content, however. The research also shows 80 per cent of working-age Australians are stressed about money and finances, with 1 in 4 indicating acute stress levels. 

Gen X and Gen Y are the most stressed about money and finance, and are the generation most likely to struggle with planning. Half of Gen Y (53%) finds planning their life very/somewhat hard. Two in five Gen X Australians feel the same way (44%), while Baby Boomers are the most likely to find planning easy to do (25%).

Owning a home is no longer a dominant Australian dream – slipping to a distant fourth place in the dream stakes. Most of the measures Australians attribute to “living the dream” in 2017 are linked to personal finance. While 57% believe living the dream means having the lifestyle of their choice, a similar proportion (54%) believe it means having financial freedom and independence. 

“The great Australian dream once meant home ownership, and the security which came from this, but these once-dominant goals have been replaced with lifestyle and financial freedom aspirations” stated Social Researcher, Mark McCrindle.

“Money is not the sole enabler to ‘living the dream” as Generation Y are much more likely than the wealthier Generation X to state that they are living the dream. However a lack of money and high debt are the biggest blockers for the 3 in 4 Australians who are not currently living their dreams.”

Australia’s four financial action personalities

Four distinct personality types are identified in the national data based on people’s ability to dream and act on their plans. The results are summarised in the infographic below:

About McCrindle 

At McCrindle we are engaged by some of the leading brands and most effective organisations across Australia and internationally to help them understand the ever-changing external environment in which they operate and to assist them in identifying and responding to the key trends.

Our expertise is analysing findings and effectively communicating insights and strategies. Our skills are in designing and deploying world class social and market research. Our purpose is advising organisations to respond strategically to the trends and so remain ever-relevant in changing times. As social researchers we help organisations, brands and communities know the times.

Feel free to Contact us to find out more about our research services.

A shift to volunteering in the NFP sector

Friday, August 18, 2017

Australia is a nation of volunteers. According to the latest Census results, almost one in five (19%) Australians volunteer through an organisation or group, which equates to 3.6 million Australians and is an increase of 2% since the 2011 Census. Our Australian Community Trends Report showed that this increases to 1 in 3 (34%) among Australians who give financially to charitable organisations.

There is an increasing desire of Australians to be involved in charitable organisations in an experiential way. This is particularly true among young people, who desire to go on a journey, have a tangible experience and develop a partnership, not just a transactional relationship of donating money and the charity does the work. The ability of an organisation to engage a donor on multiple levels and take them on a journey can increase loyalty and generosity towards the organisation. When Australians give of their time not just their money, there is an increasing sense of partnership and advocacy with the organisation they are engaging with.

Key motivators for volunteering

When it comes to volunteering, responsibility and satisfaction are the key motivators for volunteers with more than half (51%) indicating that they do so because of the feeling they get when they volunteer, or because they feel it is their responsibility to give back to the community (51%). Almost half (49%) are also motivated by their desire to make the world a better place.

Regular Vs. one-off

Australian charitable givers are volunteering more regularely than just a one-off. 61% of respondents indicated that they regularly give of their time, helping out once a month (24%) or at least a few times a year (37%). Two in five (39%) volunteer on a more sporadic basis with one-off activities such as Clean up Australia Day.

Time-poor students and young workers are more commonly participating in once-off activities while the older generations in retirement are more likely to volunteer very regularly for one or more charities. 35% of the Baby Boomers and 40% of Australians from the Builder generation who are charitable givers volunteer regularly for one or more charities. This compares to just 13% of Gen Y and 21% of Gen X. These young generations are more likely to participate in on-off activities instead of regularly volunteering (47% Gen Y and 41% Gen X).

How charities can engage consistent volunteers

The below mind-map shows some of the key strategies not-for-profits can use to engage consistent volunteers.


The challenge recognised by charitable organisations is the time and administration costs incurred with the management of volunteers. Some charities find it challenging to accommodate volunteers within their operations while others rely heavily on volunteers for the execution of their services or programs. Overall, the sector recognises that if it can navigate the challenges, there the countless opportunities for everyday Australians to both give back and have their own lives enriched through voluntary engagement with the not-for-profit sector.


Results are from a nationally representative survey of 1,510 Australians who give financially to charitable organisations at least once per year (80% of the total Australian population), as well as six focus groups and 14 expert interviews. Research conducted in September 2016.

Happy working in the Gig Economy? Depends whether it's a choice or forced

Thursday, August 10, 2017

The gig economy is growing at exceptional speed, with the casual workforce now representing a fifth of Australia’s workforce. We're delighted to partner with Care Support Network to produce The Australia Casual Workforce Report, which shows satisfaction with work is the highest for workers who can choose their employment status, the hours they work and their clients.


More than half (57%) of casual or contract workers choose to work this way, and it isn’t just for the emerging generations either. Baby Boomers (63%) are the most likely to choose to be a casual or contract worker, more-so than Gen Y (50%) or Gen X (52%).

We often think that it is the technology-savvy younger generation driving the gig economy. But this research shows that the older Generation X and Baby Boomers are the most likely to choose the flexibility offered by the gig-economy. It not only allows them to choose their hours, but they can choose the work times that will best suit, but also increase or decrease their workload depending on their financial needs. – Mark McCrindle.


Of the 1,007 Australian casual and contract workers surveyed, work-life balance was the biggest driver of those who work casually, with 87% considering it to be extremely or very important to them.

The report also shows that most workers employed in a casual or contract role are choosing this option for their own lifestyle, rather than being forced into it by their employer. Almost three in five casual workers choose such a work arrangement because of the flexibility it affords them.

Those who have control over their work-life balance have a 90% satisfaction rate, while those without control over this only have a 26% satisfaction rate.


Choosing who people work with also has a correlation with job satisfaction. Those who have control over it have an 85% satisfaction rate compared to 39% for those who don’t have control over this.

43% of respondents said they do not have control over who they provide services to and 56% have no control over their pay or the fees charged for their services.


Care Support Network Co-Founder and CEO Rob Evers said it isn’t surprising that healthcare, community and social assistance workers are most likely to choose to work casually because of the flexibility it affords.

“Healthcare workers choose to work casually as they generally have multiple jobs across several providers in order to increase their weekly earnings. But the rise of the sharing economy, particularly in the home care sector, now allows casual and contract workers control over who they work for, when they work and even their own hourly rate,” said Rob.

Care workers have an even greater desire for control and satisfaction, with 24% of respondents saying they experienced anxiety around unfamiliar clients and different environments in the last month, as opposed to 14% of casual workers in other industries.


Australians who choose to work casually have their ideal hours per week at 22.9 hours, which equates to three days per week. Further, the amount people work is also linked with satisfaction, where those who control how much they work are three times more likely to be satisfied.

Research findings from The Australia’s Casual Workforce Report by Care Support Network and McCrindle.

Click here to download the full infographic

Media Contact

For any media enquiries please contact Kimberley Linco at, or call our offices on +61 2 8824 3422.

Four key takeaways from the Australian Community Trends Report

Wednesday, August 02, 2017

The industry that does the most to support and develop our communities is the not-for-profit sector. This is recognised by Australians and practically lived out by the four in five adults who give financially to such organisations and the one in four who give at least once a month. However, McCrindle’s data on the sector shows that there is a long-term engagement challenge, with Australians twice as likely to make a one-off donation than a regular one, and volunteers most likely to participate in a stand-alone event rather than make an ongoing contribution.

Amidst the message saturation, digital disruption, generational change and increasingly complex lives, communicating and connecting with donors requires a more sophisticated strategy than what worked in the past.

Research Methodology

This report was compiled through findings received from a national survey, focus groups conducted in Sydney and Melbourne and interviews with expert leaders in the not-for-profit sector.

The key takeaways for charitable organisations are outlined below

1. Multi-tiered levels of engagement 

There is a desire from Australians to be involved in charities, however increasingly this is to be on their own terms. Charitable givers do not want to be locked into long-term contracts, but desire flexibility in donation amounts and involvement. Older generations suggest they are  time-poor, however younger generations state they don’t have as much money to give yet still want to be involved.

2. Community building 

Particularly in the younger generations there is a desire to be part of a community that brings about social change. They want to be involved in something bigger than themselves with the knowledge that together they can make a difference. This gathering of community is not just in the online space but in the physical space as well and often achieved through events that bring people together.

3. Effective communication of results 

Donors state that they want to see the results of where their investment is going. They want to know how has it practically helped people in need. When participants they know their donation is being effective and making a material difference, there is a desire to continue engaging with the charity.

4. Create engaging and fun experiences 

Supporters, particularly in the younger generation, desire to be involved in experiences with charitable organisations. Rather than simply givingtheir money and movingon they want to feel some level of partnership with the cause. Their desire is for the donation experience to be convenient, meaningful and fun.

The Report

For more insights and to download your free copy of the 88-page 2016 Australian Communities Trends Report, please visit

These insights alongside fresh 2017 research will be presented at The Australian Communities Forum in September 2017. Tickets are available here

Welcome to our blog...

We have a passion for research that tells a story, that can be presented visually, that brings about change and improves organisations. And we hope these resources help you know the times.

Our Social Media Sites

Facebook | McCrindle Research Social Media YouTube | McCrindle Research Social Media Twitter | McCrindle Research Social Media Flickr | McCrindle Research Social Media Pinterest | McCrindle Research Social Media Google Plus | McCrindle Research Social Media LinkedIn | McCrindle Research Social Media Mark McCrindle Slideshare

Last 150 Articles


ACF2017 Sydney keynote speaker logan fresh culturally diverse Wagga Wagga divorce volunteering February 16 offenders baby names report sector wide trends 24,000,000 australia Australian Dream tv potts point easter jobs of the future google follow community engagement consumer rent in depth interviews Sydney Hills Business Chamber the average aussie impact tuesday Population Clock celebration NEETs financial planning cloudy days Education Future Forum curiosity TAS New Zeland Wodonga media 1975 ideas aged care puzzle cancelling event Charlotte ferry media activity experience social organisational culture greatness technology EFF Territory apartments youth unemployment meals home ownership #censusfail Australian Census casual DESTEL capital city System's Architect mobile data mover and shaker teach baby name goal social researchers Christmas season cartodb parents huffington post learning sydney metro communication socialising australian communities trends report selfie entrepreneurs of today cancelling plans affordable households 1968 rich cancel plans Australian schools property market NFP event community event housing affordability Australian Trends affordability global generations mateship internet sydneysider darwin young people property CPI relational community trends of 2016 priorities NBRS Architecture communications society school students government Love Netflix financial fears ACF17 father's day high school rental stress national private wealth product urban sector tattoos internships sunny days education future faux-cilising case study society trends area Kiwi tips learn Social Trend the changing face of aged care 2012 challenge religion group office space safe hornsby emerging trends unemployment REIV Conference breakfast blaxland debt baby names office news research new office 2015 future of education visual SMSF keynote speaker Res Vis future-proof thought leadership Adelaide generation year 7 market research goals faux-ciliser rise of local CBD social issues car Merry Christmas water millennials Duchess of Cambridge events bureau pharmacies anzac population growth Northern Beaches participants professional outsourcing sentiments Northern Beaches Christian School customer urban living commuters financial independence Channel Seven group session engage university brands professional presenters equip long weekend future of work urban living index VET change travelling "know the times" English gold coast marriages screenage social analysis princess charlotte education sector Canberra survey design growth tableau public speaker Gen Y crows nest sunburnt country omnibus village event Hills Shire Council internship financial dreams suburbs social researcher rising house prices cars Real Estate language renter of the future the hills earn researcher belief paying to work train housing market house price investor families home owner year 12 presentation lifestyle city census fail average Australian professional speaker Christmas lunch happiness shopper's pick ashley mckenzie educhat future proof 1994 millionth shifts Generation Y australian South Australia gig staying in Wellington Real Estate Institute of Victoria weather collaborative showreel christianity narcissism social research work-life public holiday charities trends of 2017 public speaking research services income GPO Australian Population unaffordable responsive resilience wealth and income australian communities forum identity focus groups neutral bay baby boom wealth demographic norwest menai mother's day low density work social media workforce Generation X communicate forecast speakers pack spend socialites census winter future proofing business relevant engagement 2016 census results authenticity dream finance Financial Planning Week quote mythbusters supply and demand kate middleton wolloomooloo Northern Territory skills results ACF 2016 keynote wedding royal PSI google for education The ABC of XYZ panel demographics education men buildings couple 40 million mccrindle tea infographic wall mythbusting economic 2013 chairty workplace culture ultimo schools publication residents not-for-profit HSC renting graphs fears Deaths politics education research optus REIV National Conference ACT grandparents transport teacher baby name predictions poker master Western Australia personal growth learner business index office opening wealth distribution Hornsby Shire Council suburban living healthy future manly video careers Australians acf15 staff builders capital cities NBRS real average aussie digital cultural diversity generational trends brand experience baby woolworths sydneycity states daily commute young australians data analyst workplace domestic Tuesday Trend mining boom Vocational education media release 23 million hills entrepreneurial annual income cultural diveristy australian social research social impact youth census results pharmacy Valentine’s Day story research report sustainable focus group divorce rate spirituality click purpose insights emerging generations educated gig economy family business performance eliane storytelling live the dream earnings micro snapshot shbc post rationalism Financial Planning Association of Australia the hills shire rain nfp VET sector IT Specialists trend tuesday meetings wealth and income distribution demographic transformations program presentations Research Executive etiquette wage sports Aussie Melbourne sydney event household coffee Christmas presents dessert changing face of sydney forum Assistant Store Manager state jobs australian community trends report infographic the great screenage conference Australia Day 2017 social trends volunteering data prince george royal baby future housing growth dare to dream infographics research visualisation marrickville environment future of shopping Australian community trends criminal Channel 7 report townhouses training charity friendship waverton average sydneysider ABS statistics financial social change social commentary middle class Crime Rates analysis care support speaker non profit debate going out workshop teleworking VIC baby names australia report entrepreneur social life speakers christmas holiday Births royal family research pack Tasmania survey hello fresh Aussies marriage ageing population megatrends global financial crisis learning styles social shifts Caregiver home the australian dream Australia street Northern beaches Event Gen X Mark McCrindle interactive property price environmental scanning aussie culture Queensland: QLD 1980 not for profit demographic trends money census data World Water Day in the media work mates brisbane 2014 names education future report housing trends Australian Families dreams qualitative research hopes Do It Yourself Tuesday Trends TDE Sydney hobart media commentary employment victoria sydney hills insight litter geomapping recap ashley fell baby boomers online shopping commute lalor park proactive mortgage Myth ACF energy ipswich 2016 census daily telegraph trades New South Wales demographer innovative know the times bus food mentor choice workers newspaper teaching Financial Planning Association shopping centre cash global baby name trends define Christchurch cica census 2016 budget high density apartments overcast social enquiry crime demography faith Skilling award trends analyst communities perth generations cooking local community easy rider mccrindle research 2016 SRE suburb twentyseventeen slideshare ethnography optimistic cost of living motivate pyrmont living travel sun cost Australia Day Queensland 24 million SA dreaming social commentator royal influence small business study house prices Work place forecasting WA futurist visualisation mccrindle in the media Word Up christian professional development faux-cilise millenials population map world youth day national crime rates deloitte FPA brand TED rule keeper generation alpha growing population 2020 Macquarie University friends leadership workshop Kirsten Brewer culture thrive school satisfaction balance local communities intern 10 years Australian communities SMART seasons poor Australian Communities Trends wellbeing hills shire population stay home NT local high density living holidays typical australian plans online increasing densification national wealth apartment leadership organisations generation Z child care networking award winner personalities owning a home employers January 26th urban taskforce Australian Bureau of Statistics repayments professional services gen z vegetarian house price rise winter blues salary 2017 Geoff Brailey weekly earnings entertainment Bathburst James Ward world university degree marketing facts housing Research Director high density TED talk NSW earning gen alpha retirement list schools students Engineering Manager optus my business awards micro apartments collaboration school JOMO shopping conference presentation volunteers career conference speaker Scouts sydneysiders The Daily Edition church contiki volunteer trend consumerism land of the middle class women ageing population milestone FOMO Royals McCrindle Speakers innovation sydney speaker vegemite investing summer sector wide study clothing New Zealand emerging technologies moderators guide house monarchy social lives leader cold gender data visualisation teachers stats Australian demographics tea students wages australians staying home more grave decision Australian Home tertiary education investment toys Andrew Duffin moreton bay research data alpha new york times parenting bondi TEDx financial future ease of travel mccrindle children medicine conferences life DIY economy eliane miles resource student