Images provided by RFS member Gena Dray
In recent days and weeks, catastrophic bushfires have swept across vast stretches of Australia, destroying large and beautiful swathes of the landscape and causing uncalculated damage to people, wildlife, property and critical infrastructure.
The philanthropic community has a significant and deeply impactful role to play in tackling the escalating frequency and ferocity of bushfires, both in providing short-term relief for our scarred villages and regions and driving long-term advocacy, resilience-building and critical, complex system change to build a truly sustainable future.
Many of our members and supporters have asked how they can provide meaningful support right now. Australians have already generously donated a range of vital physical supplies. And while physical donations make a world of difference in the first few days, governments, charities and relief organisations are now calling for an increased emphasis on giving financial support.
Financial support empowers fire services, relief organisations, community funds, mayoral emergency funds, wildlife carers, animal sanctuaries, and change-makers to provide tailored, targeted relief to communities in the way and at the time it is most needed and most impactful.
Philanthropy Australia has compiled a list of some of the many and varied organisations, funds and appeals that members and supporters may wish to consider giving to during this fire season.
This list is by no means exhaustive, and we encourage you to share your recommendations with us - firstname.lastname@example.org - to help grow this important list.
You can donate directly to our state fire services to support the critical work they are doing.
CFA VIC. Donate here.
RFS NSW. Donate here.
CFS SA: Donate here.
RFS QLD: Donate here.
SES VIC. Donate here.
SES NSW. Donate here.
SES SA. Donate here.
SES QLD. Donate here.
WA Fire and Emergency Services. Find a local brigade, group or unit to donate to.
WA Emergency Services Volunteers' Hardship Assistance Scheme. Donate here.
The Association of Volunteer Bush Fire Brigades WA. Donate here.
Anglican Aid NSW Bushfire Appeal
The Archbishop of Sydney's Anglican Aid has launched an appeal to allow immediate response to the devastating bushfires raging in NSW. Donate here.
Australian Lions Foundation
Lions Clubs across the country are currently out in their communities hosting sausage sizzles and shaking donation buckets to raise funds for the Australian Lions Foundation National Bushfire Appeal. Lions Clubs have already been using the funding from the national appeal to purchase local shopping vouchers, food, water and supplies to support impacted residents and businesses. Australians looking to make a donation and support those affected by the bushfires can do so through their local Lions Club or online. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
Australian Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery
The Red Cross Disaster Relief and Recovery Appeal provides emergency response and recovery support, from helping people at evacuation centres to supporting families through recovery. Donations $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
Bega Valley Community Disaster Relief Fund
Established by the Bega Valley Shire Council, this fund is assisting those impacted by the 2020 New Year's fires in the Bega Valley. Donate here.
Bendigo Bank Bushfire Disaster Appeal
Bendigo Bank has established a national Bushfire Disaster Appeal - in partnership with The Salvation Army - to help those devastated by the ongoing bushfires across Australia. One hundred percent of funds donated to the Bushfire Disaster Appeal will be directed to communities affected in the state or territory of your choice. In Victoria, the Victorian State Government is directing donations to this Appeal to raise funds for those communities directly impacted by bushfires across the state. Donations can be made at any Bendigo Bank branch or online. All donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
BlazeAid is a volunteer-based organisation that works with families and individuals in rural Australia after natural disasters such as fires and floods. Working alongside the rural families, our volunteers help to rebuild fences and other structures that have been damaged or destroyed. BlazeAid volunteers work in a disaster-affected area for many months, not only helping individuals and families but also helping rebuild the local communities. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
Border Trust Bushfire Relief Fund for Albury Wodonga Region
Border Trust is the Community Foundation for the Albury Wodonga Region. 100% of funds from the Border Trust Bushfire Relief Fund will stay local in the Albury Wodonga region and go directly to support the bushfire recovery efforts. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
FRRR Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fund
The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) Disaster Resilience and Recovery Fund is a perpetual fund, the returns from which are granted out to communities to support disaster preparedness and disaster recovery. Donations are pooled and invested to ensure rural, regional and remote communities affected by natural disasters can access fit-for-purpose funding to support preparedness and recovery efforts. Donate here.
Foodbank provides natural disaster relief, delivering emergency supplies and much-needed food to impacted communities. Foodbank accepts food, goods and monetary donations. Donate here.
Gippsland Emergency Relief Fund
Established in 1978, this registered charity provides immediate short-term funds to Gippslanders affected by natural disasters. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
Prefer to give items instead of money? Givit (backed by the Queensland Government) is coordinating a list of items needed by charities around Australia, from grocery vouchers to fencing posts to school supplies. Give here.
Good360 is a matchmaker connecting the brand-new goods of businesses with the Australians who need them most. Good360 helps connect the right goods to the right people at the right time during all stages of a disaster, providing hope and dignity to those impacted. Good360 is there in the early days with personal care items, supplies for shelters and evacuation centres and is there months and years later with furniture, mattresses, home goods and other necessities to help communities through the recovery journey. Donate here.
Into Our Hands Community Foundation (North East Victoria)
For 10 years Into Our Hands, Community Foundation has been working across North East Victoria to provide relief and recovery funds and support following the devastation of Black Saturday in 2009. Following the events over New Year's Eve and early January 2020 in the Alpine, Corryong, King Valley and Wangaratta areas of our region in North East Victoria, they have set up a specific appeal fund for ongoing Bushfire Relief for their local communities. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
Kangaroo Island Mayoral Relief & Recovery Bushfire Fund
This dedicated fund has been established to support those in need on Kangaroo Island. Council is currently seeking tax deductibility status for the fund. Donate here.
Rural Aid provides financial assistance, counselling, fodder and support to primary producers in New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria and South Australia. You can make a donation or buy a bale. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
Salvation Army Disaster Appeal
The Salvation Army Disaster Appeal supports the Salvation Army Emergency Services team, who are on the ground responding to bushfires around Australia. Donations of $2 or more to the Salvation Army are tax-deductible. Donate here.
Save the Children Child Friendly Spaces
Save the Children is setting up Child Friendly Spaces in bushfire-affected regions to help children cope by giving them a place to be kids again. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
Shoalhaven City Mayor’s Relief Fund
The Shoalhaven City Council’s Mayoral Relief Fund was opened in response to the Currowan Fire Emergency in southern Shoalhaven NSW. Donate here.
Shoe Boxes of Love Bushfire Appeal
Shoe Boxes of Love provides shoebox-size boxes of essential and luxury items to communities affected by Australian disasters. They are working with Need for Feed Disaster Relief to distribute boxes in NSW, VIC, QLD and SA. Donate here.
The Lord Mayor's Distress Relief Fund (WA)
The Lord Mayor’s Distress Relief Fund (LMDRF) was established in 1961, following the disastrous Dwellingup fires. The LMDRF provides financial assistance to individuals for the alleviation and relief of distress, suffering and personal hardships, brought about by any disaster or emergency within Western Australia declared by the Western Australian Government or for which the LMDRF Board considers assistance is warranted. Donate here.
Uniting Church Moderator’s Bushfire Appeal
The Uniting Church in Australia, Synod of NSW & ACT has established a Moderator’s appeal to distribute funds where they are needed. Donate here.
Uniting Vic.Tas 2020 Bushfire Appeal
Uniting is the community services organisation of the Uniting Church in Victoria and Tasmania. Their Vic.Tas 2020 Bushfire Appeal will support relief and recovery by funding services to help communities recover, and buying urgently-needed goods. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
Vinnies Bushfire Appeal
St Vincent de Paul Society, in partnership with Channel Nine, has launched the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal. Vinnies is providing on the ground support for people in the immediate aftermath of the fires and will continue to provide support throughout the recovery phase.
Wingecarribee Shire Mayoral Relief Fund
Donations to the Wingecarribee Shire Mayoral Relief Fund are assisting residents impacted by the Green Wattle Creek Fire, including the areas of Balmoral and Buxton. Donate here.
Wollondilly Mayor’s Relief Fund
Wollondilly Council has established a Mayor’s Relief Fund to assist residents who may be impacted by the fires and to support local recovery. Donations over $2 are tax-deductible. Donate here.
This Australian animal charity is providing immediate support to wildlife vets to travel to bushfire impacted areas. Donate here.
Animal Welfare League NSW Bushfire Relief Appeal
AWLNSW are on the ground treating injured and burnt animals in fire impacted areas across NSW. They have established a Bushfire Relief Appeal to support this work. Donate here.
Australian Wildlife Conservancy
The Australian Wildlife Conservancy is the biggest private (not for profit) owner and/or manager of land for conservation in Australia. They are working to support various organisations to help save endangered wildlife affected by the bushfires. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
Birdlife Australia is an independent, not-for-profit bird conservation organisation. Birdlife Australia send Fire Emergency teams into fire-affected areas, help create resilient habitat refuges for birds, and work with landowners and councils to develop people-and-bird-safe burns to safely reduce fuel loads while keeping birds, their food sources and their homes safe. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
Canberra Pet Rescue Animal Bushfire Appeal
Canberra Pet Rescue is raising funds for hay, wildlife mix, cat, dog, bird and poultry food. Every $5,000 raised will provide over 7 tonnes of food. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
FNPW Wildlife Emergency Appeal
Sydney-based Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife has launched a Wildlife Emergency Rescue Appeal to recognise and support the carers and rescuers working behind-the-scenes to help animals that have been impacted by fire. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
Humane Society International Australia Emergency Fund
The Humane Society International Australia has established an emergency fund to support Wildlife Land Trust members and any wildlife carers who need assistance in supporting animals impacted by bushfire. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
RSPCA NSW Bushfire Appeal
The RSPCA NSW is involved in evacuating animals during natural disasters, and working alongside Local Land Services, Department of Primary Industries and local vets to assess injured animals. Donations of $2 and more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
South Australian Veterinary Emergency Management Inc is a Tier 2 Response and Recovery agency who assess, triage, treat, shelter, reunite with owners or rehabilitate and return to habitat all species of animal post-event. Savem has had teams out on Kangaroo Island during the current fires. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
Science for Wildlife Blue Mountains Koala Bushfire Appeal
This not-for-profit wildlife conservation organisation has established a bushfire appeal dedicated to supporting koalas that have been impacted by fire in the Blue Mountains, and continuing research and rescues on koalas in the Greater Blue Mountains area. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
Taronga Zoo Wildlife Crisis Appeal
Taronga Zoo enacted a phased response to saving and restoring vital species and habitats: from first-line emergency wildlife response to long-term strategy and recovery plans including breed to release of endangered species. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
VFF Disaster Relief Fund - Gippsland & Upper Murray Fires
The Victorian Farmers Federation is open to farmers impacted by the bushfires in Gippsland and the Upper Murray. Donate here.
Wildlife A.R.C Public Fund (Central Coast NSW)
The Wildlife Animal Rescue and Care Society was established on the Central Coast of NSW in 1987 to address the problems the local wildlife were experiencing. A.R.C cares for injured, orphaned and sick native animals with the express ambition of returning them to the wild, and operates a 24 hour 365 day a year personally manned telephone service backed by a network of rescuers. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
Wildlife Rescue South Coast
This volunteer-run organisation is dedicated to the rescue, rehabilitation and release of Australian Native Fauna along the significantly fire-affected NSW South Coast. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
Wildlife Victoria Victorian Bushfire Appeal
Donations to the Wildlife Victoria Victorian Bushfire Appeal will be distributed to wildlife shelters and carers to help rebuild enclosures that have been lost in the fires and to support those that are struggling with the huge number of animals that will need care in the coming weeks and months. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
WIRES Emergency Fund
The WIRES Emergency Fund supports the work of WIRES volunteers to rescue wildlife in fire impacted areas. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
WWF: Koala Crisis
Thousands of koalas have been killed in the fires, and crucial habitat destroyed. The World Wildlife Fund (WWF) is collecting donations to support work to restore koala homes and care for injured wildlife. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
Zoos Victoria Bushfire Emergency Wildlife Fund 2020
Donations will help fund emergency veterinary assistance and scientific intervention. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
SANE is committed to supporting affected communities in navigating the lasting impacts of the bushfire crisis and other traumatic events. The SANE Help Centre is staffed by mental health professions who provide phone and online counselling, information and referrals. The SANE Forums provide a safe, anonymous mental health discussion with others impacted, moderated 24/7 by mental health professionals. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.
The Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network (AEGN) has developed a searchable resource list to help you direct funds to organisations across the country that are taking a variety of approaches to the bushfire crisis; from immediate support through to longer-term systems and policy change. Access the list here.
Philanthropy Australia has compiled this list for information purposes. Inclusion on the list does not indicate endorsement of a particular organisation by Philanthropy Australia. The list is by no means exhaustive. Links to other sites are provided in good faith and do not constitute endorsement of material at those sites. Philanthropy Australia encourages all donors to conduct due diligence and undertake their own research before committing to making a donation.