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How do charities spend their money and where it goes

Read our accountability reports to see how we distribute donation money

How To Find Out Where Charity Money Goes

When you donate to a charity, it makes sense that you want to know how charities spend their money so you know where your donation is going. So, where does your money go?

Where funds are distributed will vary between charities, however, there should always be transparency around how they spend their money so people can make informed decisions about which organisations they want to support. If the information isn't readily available on a brochure or their website, a charity should be forthcoming with information on where donation money goes if you ask.

Over three-quarters of every dollar donated to Save The Children goes directly towards programs that help children and families. 80.4 cents are invested to benefit children through our programs and increase public awareness of international aid and development issues, 7.2 cents are spent raising the funds we need to deliver these programs, and 7.3 cents are spent on making sure we have the talented people, infrastructure and systems in place to manage and deliver our programs and the remaining 5.1 cents are invested in commercial activities (e.g. our retail stores).

With your donation, we can provide the following to children and their families in need around the world:

  • Emergency health and medical care

  • Food, clean water and shelter

  • Sanitation and hygiene kits to help prevent the spread of disease

  • Safe and supportive places for children to learn and play

  • Access to education

  • Pyschosocial support to help children recover who have experienced trauma

  • Ensuring children are protected from harm

  • Reuniting children that have been separated from their families

  • Providing cash grants to families in a crisis so they can get the things they need

  • Delivering evidence-based programs that reach children, families and communities that focus on health, education and protecting children

How Can Donors Ensure That Their Donations Are Being Spent Wisely By Charities?

Before you donate to a charity it is always best to do your research. Here are things to look for:

  • Are they transparent about where your donation goes?

  • Do they have accountability measures and policies in place and what are they?

  • Do they give examples of outcomes and how their organisation makes a difference?

  • Do they provide information about who they are, their mission and their history?

At Save The Children, we strive to make sure every dollar donated to us is invested to deliver the best possible outcomes for children at the lowest possible cost. Having become a global organisation that helps millions of children and their families in 117 countries, we need all the support we can get and it is important we use our donations wisely. We believe every child should attain the right to survival, protection, development and participation and we are dedicated to this mission.

We value transparency and accountability and want you to feel confident knowing that your donation goes towards making a real difference in children's lives. We provide detailed information about how we stay accountable, our outcomes, who we are and why we do what we do.

What Accountability Mechanisms Exist For Ensuring That Charities Spend Their Money Responsibly?

When looking into charities, one thing you can do is check if they are registered as a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR) and if they are listed on the ACNC (Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission) Charity Register. If the charity is a DGR your donation is tax deductible (ensure you check the requirements for claiming donations).

Save The Children is registered as a DGR, we are regulated through the ACNC and we also comply with the Code of Conduct of the Australian Council of International Development (ACFID). We have policies in place and a Child Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct that help our employees and volunteers to meet our high standards of ethics and conduct - ensuring all activities are conducted legally, ethically and following high standards of integrity.

We regularly release evaluation reports that assess our long-term outcomes and the impact of our programs at local, national, regional and global levels. They ensure we continue to monitor, measure and learn about the effectiveness of our work. This helps us track our progress and ensure that we're making the greatest possible impact with each donation.

How You Can Help Make An Impact On The Lives Of Children Around The World

When you donate to Save the Children, your money goes towards helping us reach millions of children around the world. You can make a single donation today or become a monthly giver to make a real difference to children in need.

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