Responding to Disasters

Disaster Recovery - Philanthropy and Giving

Photo credit: Twitter @MaryannCTurner 

Extreme weather events and natural disasters are an unfortunate reality of living in Australia, and our charities sector is routinely on the frontlines when disaster strikes.

The philanthropic community has a significant and deeply impactful role to play in supporting Australians through both the initial response stages of a disaster by providing relief and financial lifelines for affected regions, as well as supporting recovery efforts and driving long-term advocacy, resilience-building and critical, complex system change to build a truly sustainable future.

Many of our members and friends of PA have asked how they can provide meaningful support during disaster season. When responding to emergencies, it is important to remember that communities and organisations are best positioned to know what goods and resources they need –for this reason, financial support, rather than physical supplies, is nearly always preferable. 

Financial support empowers fire and flood 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.

This list is by no means exhaustive, and we encourage you to share your recommendations with us - - to help grow this important list.

This list has been put together as an information resource and does not indicate endorsement of a listed organisation. Philanthropy Australia encourages all individuals and organisations to undertake their own research into an organisation before committing to making a donation. You can quickly and simply check a charity’s credentials on the ACNC Charity Register and learn more about safe giving on the ACNC website.


Disaster Recovery Appeals

Foodbank NSW Flood Appeal

Foodbank is supplying emergency food hampers and emergency drinking water to families who have been evacuated from their homes. You can support them by donating here.  

NSW Farmers Natural Disaster Relief Fund

NSW Farmers Natural Disaster Relief Fund is used to support NSW farmers affected by a Natural Disaster (bushfires, floods, drought). Support the NSW Farmers Natural Disaster Relief Fund by donating here.  

NSW State Emergency Service (NSW SES)

NSW SES is the lead agency in the response to floods, storms and other extreme weather events in NSW. Support the NSW SES by donating here.  

Red Cross Disaster Response and Recovery Fund

The Red Cross has set up evacuation centres housing more than 800 people, and is also conducting flood rescues and answering calls for assistance from affected communities. Donate to their disaster fund here.

GIVIT Severe Storms and Flooding Appeal  

GIVIT is working with the NSW and Queensland State Governments in supplying essential goods and services to those who have lost their homes. You can donate money and resources here.

Red Cross Disaster Response and Recovery Fund

Donations to the Disaster Response and Recovery fund power the work of Red Cross emergency teams. You can support Red Cross by donating here

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army Emergency Services has mobilised to assist evacuations across the NSW north coast. You can support the Salvos by donating here.

St Vincent de Paul's Disaster Recovery Assistance

Vinnies supports people in communities across Australia every day, and we’re also on-hand to help during major emergencies such as the drought, bushfires and floods. You can support Vinnies by donating here.

Vinnies Flood Appeal

Vinnies has launched a flood appeal for families affected by flooding in NSW, providing essential goods and support to those who have suffered losses and upheaval. Donate to the appeal here.  


Extreme weather events result in stress and shock for local wildlife, and WIRES has been assisting in rescuing affected wildlife throughout NSW during the flooding. You can donate here.

Animals and Wildlife 

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 disasters. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. 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

Animals Australia

This Australian animal charity is providing immediate support to wildlife vets to travel to bushfire impacted areas. 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

Birdlife Australia 

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


Foodbank provides natural disaster relief, delivering emergency supplies and much-needed food to impacted communities. Foodbank accepts food, goods and monetary donations. 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

FNPW Wildlife Emergency Appeal

Sydney-based Foundation for National Parks & Wildlife supports the carers and rescuers working behind-the-scenes to help animals that have been impacted by disaster. 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.

Rural Aid

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


Bushfire Response and Recovery


RSPCA NSW rescues animals who have been victims of cruelty, neglect, and abuse. . Donations of $2 and more are tax-deductible. Donate here

Savem (SA)

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. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here

Science for Wildlife 

Science for Wildlife is a not-for-profit organisation that creates and shares scientific knowledge to empower wildlife conservation. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. 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 NSW South Coast. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.

Wildlife Victoria Victorian 

Wildlife Victoria helps rebuild enclosures that have been lost due to disaster and supports those that are struggling with the huge number of animals that will need care over the summer emergency season. 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

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.

St Vincent de Paul Society Disaster Recovery Assistance

Vinnies supports people in communities across Australia every day, and are on-hand to help during major emergencies such as the drought, bushfires and floods. Donate to their disaster appeals here.

The Shed of Hope Inc.

The Shed of Hope Inc was started after the 2019 February Tabulam Bush Fires. The incorporated association builds a FREE 6x3m shed on properties that were affected by bush-fires, free of charge, (partly or non-insured properties) built by donations and volunteers to help give the owner somewhere to start from again. The sheds are 3 sided and include a 1000L IBC tank and sink. Donations over $2 are tax-deductible. 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 Disaster 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.

Disaster Recovery and Relief 

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

Bushfire Recovery Grants for Community Facilities

Community groups, not-for-profits, Aboriginal organisations and other social enterprises can apply for the Bushfire Recovery Grants for Community Facilities of up to $50,000.  Groups across Victoria’s bushfire-affected areas will share in funding to build or repair local community facilities such as playgrounds, skate parks, pavilions, community gardens and halls.  Up to $5 million in grants will be provided.  Click here for more information.

Creative Recovery Small Grants Program 

The Creative Recovery Small Grants Program supports community connection, engagement and resilience for communities impacted by the 2019-20 bushfires in regional Victoria. The program will focus on the creative activity that assists these communities with short and long term recovery. Up to $5,000 is available for individuals and organisations based in six local government authority areas of Alpine, East Gippsland, Indigo, Mansfield, Towong and Wangaratta.  Click here for more information.

FRRR Disaster Resilience and Recovery Program

The Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal (FRRR) 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.      

Resilience and Regeneration Fund

The Resilience and Regeneration Fund has been established by NRCF, the Portland House Foundation, the James Frizelle Charitable Foundation, Yulgilbar Foundation and Global Giving to support local community groups in their response to crises - be it a global pandemic or natural disaster. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.

Uniting Vic.Tas 2020 Disaster 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. 

Donate to the NSW Bushfire Appeal here.

Donate to the ACT Bushfire Appeal here.

Donate to the VIC Bushfire Appeal here. 


WWF's bushfire recovery appeal supports the rejuvenation of the 12 million hectares of Australian land burnt during the Black Summer fires, and restores the homes of injured wildlife. Donations of over $2 are tax-deductible. Donate here

Fire and Emergency Services

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.

Mental Health Support

SANE Australia

SANE is committed to supporting affected communities in navigating the lasting impacts of natural disasters 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.

Mental Health Australia 

Mental Health Australia aims to promote mentally healthy communities, educate Australians on mental health issues, influence mental health reform so that government policies address all contemporary mental health issues, conduct research on mental health issues, and carry out regular consultation to represent the best interests of our members, partners and the community. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.

Beyond Blue 

Beyond Blue is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals, families and communities affected by anxiety, depression and suicide – and creating change to protect everyone’s mental health. Donations of $2 or more are tax-deductible. Donate here.

Support Systems Change

The Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network (AEGN) 

The Australian Environmental Grantmakers Network (AEGN) provides resources, networks and support for grantmakers interested in funding charities focused on addressing climate change and the underlying environmental factors contributing to Australia's increasingly severe disaster season. You can find more information here. Read here. 

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