Australian Development NGOs

For many Australians, Non-Government Organisations (NGOs) are the most visible representation of development assistance and a major source of information on issues related to international development.

Australian Development NGOs

NGOs play numerous roles in development work, including:

  • providing direct services to members of marginalised groups;
  • advocating for changes to the nature of aid; and,
  • providing a necessary and critical voice about implementation of international aid.

Financially the NGO sector is tiny, out of Australia’s $4.3 billion 2010/2011 aid budget, only $135 million is allocated to NGOs and community engagement programs, this amounts to a mere 2.5%. [1] 

In addition, of the tendered contracts shown in the Australian tenders database, less than 4% of the total value of aid contracts between 2007 and 2010 were given to NGOs - see the pie chart below [2]

Percentage of Total Value of Contracts 01/07/07 - 30/06/10

Graph sourced from Crikey, October 2010.

Many NGOs rely on public support to stay viable. By definition, they are not-for-profit and although some may receive funds from government, it is donations from philanthropic individuals and organisations that keep them going.

International aid and development funds managed by Australian NGOs, 2004–2008[3] 

Funds Managed by Australian NGO's


Graph sourced from ACFID.

In the 2008-09 period, Australian NGOs received just over $800 million in private donations. This makes up 73% of total funds raised by NGOs. Private donations include Australians supporting overseas aid and development NGOs as regular donors,by supporting a fundraiser event, or giving a one-off donation.

In comparison, government funding for NGOs through Aus AID amounted to $160.45 million in the 2008-09 period, which represents 14.5% of the total funds managed by the sector. [4]

Many Australians want to give money and take action when immediate help is needed - but who to give to? There are over 100 NGOs fundraising in Australia working towards development through different methods and in different fields.

Check out some key considerations to take into account when donating to NGOs.

Check the NGO profiles for more detailed information on specific NGOs.


Next page

Last updated 17 December 2010




[1] Australian Council For International Development, Aid Budget Analysis 2010/11, June 2010  p7 , p3

[2] Bacon, W. and He, S.S, 23.7.10, Who Profits from our foreign aid?: Carving up the pie, where the little-known dominate, Crikey ,, last accessed 17/12/10

[3] ACFID, 2009, Facts and Figures,  , last accessed 17/12/10

[4] ACFID, 2009, Facts and Figures,, last accessed 20/12/10

Copyright © 1995 - 2014 AID/WATCH. Reproduction of materials is encouraged provided acknowledgement is given. Opinions expressed within this site are those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of AID/WATCH.

Site by NetSpectre