But they rock when it comes to fundraising. According to Giving USA, American individuals gave about AUD$286bn (US$250bn) in 2008, and about 10% of that from bequests.
Estimates for Australian individual giving are about $7.7bn, but the last report I can find was the FIA's in 2005. Americans would hammer us at knowing how much they actually raise.
But I often hear how different fundraising is over here and 'cultural' differences. Well, the first cultural difference is that they raise nearly $1000 per person and we raise about $285 per person. Yes, there are historical reasons (lack of public health system being one) but we even earn more over here - the gap should be smaller.
So I am chuffed to see some brilliant American fundraisers in Australia, giving talks and helping us grow.
Kay Sprinkel-Grace was over to work with some charities here and be entertained by our koalas. She was very lucky, on meeting up with her I said keep an eye out for koalas and this one was next to us at eye level...
In addition, Ted Hart is speaking at the FIA Conference this month. I did the intro for his session in Canada in November and it was great. A new media bloke who starts off by saying something like 'Let us get this into perspective - new media is great but is a small part of fundraising...' Down to earth, and written some good books. Get to FIA, listen to him and be prepared to buy his book. Groupies will probably be able to get him to sign it.
And finally, I hear a rumour that the writer of the best blog in fundraising (ahem), Jeff Brooks is coming to the Fundraising & Philanthropy Australasia Magazine conference forum later on in the year. I am sure Jeremy from F&P will confirm or deny soon, but keep an eye out because his Forum always sells out. In the meantime, subscribe to Jeff's blog - I know you get a lot of email but I promise you will enjoy it, be challenged by it and often inspired.