Giving is an important part of who we are in Australia and there are many charities and not-for-profit organisations* we can support in this nation.
A 2021 McCrindle Research report found Australia had 43,349 charities and not-for-profit organisations. The top three areas they covered were religion, education and research, and social services.
In total, they generated $174.3 billion in 2021 from government grants, goods and services, donations and bequests*, and investments.
Donations and bequests, which include money and possessions that people leave to charities and not-for-profit organisations in their wills*, totalled $11 billion.
Where the money goes
The funds raised by charities and not-for-profits is spent in many ways.
Australia’s top 10 charities on the Good2Give workplace giving platform in 2020 reflected the times.
With the country emerging from serious bushfires and entering the global Covid-19 pandemic, health and emergency relief organisations were prominent*.
- Australian Red Cross, which provides relief after natural and man-made disasters;
- The Smith Family, which helps people experiencing disadvantage and helped connect thousands of students to digital devices in 2020;
- WIRES wildlife rescue, which rescued and cared for injured wildlife following the 2019-2020 bushfires;
- World Vision Australia, which runs a popular child sponsorship program and other community programs in developing countries;
- Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders), which helps people who don’t have access to healthcare or who are affected by conflict, epidemics and disasters;
- PCYC Police Citizens Youth Clubs NSW, which works with police and young people to break the cycle of disadvantage and prevent crime;
- NSW Rural Fire Service, which played a prominent role fighting the 2019-2020 bushfires;
- The Salvation Army Australia, which runs social programs for those who are homeless and/or need help with daily living;
- Beyond Blue, which provides mental health services;
- and Cancer Council Australia, which supports, funds and provides information about cancer prevention and research.
THE GOOD FRIDAY APPEAL
The Royal Children’s Hospital Good Friday Appeal is one of Australia’s largest fundraisers. It has raised almost $400 million since it began in 1931.
This money has helped the Melbourne-based hospital, which turned 150 in 2020, provide world-class care for children in Victoria and beyond. Among other things, Good Friday Appeal donations help to fund:
- groundbreaking research such as the Kidney Flagship Research program;
- state-of-the-art technology and equipment, like nanoString Technology for hi-tech disease diagnosis*;
- patient and family centred care programs, including a Virtual Care Program and Child Life Therapy;
- and staff excellence programs such as the Simulation Centre.
The appeal started in 1931 when the hospital was at risk of closing due to rising costs and lack of resources.
A team of journalists from The Sporting Globe newspaper organised a sports carnival, which attracted 20,000 people and raised £427.
The carnivals continued until 1942, when the appeal joined forces with the Herald and Weekly Times and radio station 3DB, moved to Good Friday and started taking donations by phone.
It has continued to grow since then. Here are some key dates in its development:
- The first all-day Telethon was broadcast on Channel 7 in 1957
- The Herald Sun-Transurban Run for the Kids fun run, which raises money for the appeal, began in 2006
- In 2017 the AFL launched its annual Good Friday Kick for the Kids match
- The appeal went virtual in 2020 due to Covid-19
- It celebrated 90 years in 2021
An army of volunteers
Good Friday Appeal executive director Rebecca Cowan said the appeal’s success was due to its 100,000 volunteers. Individuals, businesses, schools and community groups all give their time, money and support.
“The Good Friday Appeal is about people,” Ms Cowan said. “It has been built on an incredible amount of commitment, passion, creativity and collaboration*, with people of all ages and generations of families volunteering their time, holding a fundraiser or donating what they can.
“Whether it is a family member, friend or work colleague, we all know someone who has been helped by The Royal Children’s Hospital.”
How can kids get involved?
There are many ways kids can get involved in the Good Friday Appeal. Here are some ideas:
- organise a fundraising event such as a bake sale, a pyjama day at school or a gold coin line challenge
- get your school involved to fundraise
- get a team together for Run for the Kids
- volunteer to door knock with a local collection group
For more information visit goodfridayappeal.com.au
- not-for-profit organisations: organisations that do not operate to make money
- bequests: money or property that someone leaves to another person or organisation after they die
- wills: legal documents that set out how someone wants their money and belongings to be distributed after they die
- prominent: stood out, noticeable, important
- diagnosis: the process of identifying a disease, illness or problem
- collaboration: the act of working together with others to produce something
- How many charities and not-for-profit organisations are in Australia, according to the 2021 McCrindle report.
- How much money did they generate in 2021?
- Name three of the charities mentioned in this story.
- When did the Good Friday Appeal start?
- Which hospital does it raise money for?
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