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Where does charity donation money go? 

Find out where your charity donation money goes and how we stay accountable for every dollar raised.

Where does your money go when you donate to charity

When you donate to charity, where does your money go? When it comes to charitable donations, it's important to consider how much of the donations you make actually go to the cause. After all, you want to make sure that your donation is going to be put to good use. 

Save the Children Australia strongly believes in transparency and accountability in the charity sector, so we've prepared this guide to charity expenses and how to find out where charity money goes.

What percentage of donations go to charity in Australia

Each charity is set up differently, with factors like the charity's areas of focus and size greatly impacting what percentage of proceeds are distributed where. However, things to look out for when ensuring your donation is going to where it's needed are transparency and accountability.

Look for charities that are open about exactly how much of the donations go to charity administrative and employee costs within their organisation, and what measures they take to ensure funds are allocated appropriately. Regardless of how transparent they may be to their donors, there are ways to find charities with low administrative costs in Australia.

How to find out where charity money goes

Since the governing body was founded in 2012, every year charities in Australia provide their annual expenses in an Annual Information Statement to the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC). This information includes the breakdown of a charity's expenses and is easily searchable by size, areas of focus, and individual organisations. This transparency and accessibility of financial information allows for greater accountability and helps donors make informed decisions about which charities to support.

Which charity gives the most to its cause in Australia

According to the ACNC, large charities on average spend 55% of their funds on employee expenses, Save the Children Australia stands out in this category as one of the charities with the lowest administrative costs, with our program, consulting and training expenditure ratio in 2022 (the percentage spent on our initiatives,) at 80.9% and total employee expenditure at less than 28%. 

Donations help cover necessary administration costs and expenses a charity needs to run daily. Including things like marketing that helps to raise awareness as well as the donations they need and the services and supplies needed to provide aid. As an example, in humanitarian emergencies, we provide life-saving medical care, shelter, food, and clean water along with providing families with cash grants so they can get the things they need.

When a disaster happens, anywhere in the world - we send specially trained teams to deliver immediate relief when children need it most. Recently in Tonga, where the nation was devastated by a volcanic eruption and tsunami, we sent critical supplies along with classroom kits, chalkboards, face masks, school bags, and large tents to be used as temporary classrooms so children could continue to learn in places where schools have been destroyed.

Make sure your donation has the maximum impact

If you're looking for a way to make sure your donation has maximum impact, look no further than Save the Children. We work hard to ensure that every donation makes a difference in the lives of children around the world. We are dedicated to our mission and with decades of experience, we know the best way to effectively help as many children as possible, making long-lasting change. 

We have grown into a global organisation helping millions of children in 117 countries which means we can use our global scale to ensure we are as efficient and effective as possible working through a single structure when implementing projects internationally.

We are set up so that we can act quickly in the event of a disaster with specially trained teams on standby that can provide immediate aid on-site within 72 hours. And we don't leave when the immediate need has been addressed.

Your donation can save a child's life

Your generous donation today has the power to save and transform the life of a child.

See your impact for children

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children receive lifesaving diarrhoea treatment.
children receive a week's supply of high-nutrient peanut paste.
children receive urgent treatment for deadly pneumonia.
children receive a mosquito net to protect them from malaria.

Where does donation money go when you donate to Save the Children Australia

Children often need support long after experiencing trauma. We are there when they need us and are often the last to leave. We are there every step of the way, ensuring children are kept safe and have the best opportunity to recover.

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. We are transparent about how your donation is used to make real change. So where does your money go when you donate to our charity?

From every dollar raised:

  • 81.1 cents are invested to benefit children through our programs and to increase public awareness of international aid and development issues.
  • 7.3 cents are spent raising the funds we need to deliver these programs.
  • 6.5 cents are spent on making sure we have the talented people, infrastructure and systems we need to manage and deliver our programs for children.
  • 5 cents are invested in commercial activities such as our retail stores.

All our activities are conducted legally, ethically and following high standards of integrity. We have a Child Safeguarding Policy and Code of Conduct that everyone who helps us to help children in need (e.g. board members, employees and volunteers) must comply with.

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 interventions. This helps us track our progress and ensures that we're making the greatest possible impact with each donation.

We have policies in place that help our employees and volunteers meet our high standards of ethics and conduct and ensure our organisation is a safe and positive place to work with everyone having equal opportunity.

We are also regulated by the Australian Charities and Not-for-Profits Commission (ACNC) and we comply with the Code of Conduct of the Australian Council of International Development (ACFID).

Donate today

There are many children in need around the world - caught up in crises or circumstances where they need protection, nurturing, support, and care. When disaster strikes, children are the most vulnerable.

The programs we run here in Australia and internationally focus on giving children the best start in life. Read some of our stories to see the difference we're making and the difference donations to our charity make.

When you donate to a charity that helps children, you are investing in their future. When you donate to our charity, you know how to find out where charity money goes. Make a single donation or become a monthly giver and be confident that your money is being put to good use and will have a lasting impact on the lives of children in need.

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