You can learn more about an NGO by checking their website, annual reports or profile. You can also call them – when NGO’s realise that potential donors are interested in the quality of their work they will be more inclined to improve this.

Some important issues to find out about before donating:

  • What is the NGO’s policy on being accountable to its donors and the Australian public?
    • Do they just give you stories and pictures or do they provide detailed project evaluation reports and budgets
  • What is the NGO’s policy on being accountable to the people they claim to be helping
    • Are communities able to get information about the project plans, budgets and evaluations?
  • What is the NGO’s policy on allowing communities to participate in the projects that are supposed to be helping them?
    • When the NGO approaches a community with a project idea what changes do they allow the community to make to it? In what ways can a community make changes to a project once it has started?  Try asking for examples.
  • Does the NGO directly support local communities, groups and civil society?
  • Does the NGO have environmental sustainability, accountability and human rights as core values? How have they implemented these?
  • Does the NGO have a religious affiliation? If so you should feel comfortable with this
  • Is the NGO a signatory to the Australian Council For International Development (ACFID) Code of Conduct which ensures accountability or equivalent? To find out check on ACFIDs list
  • How big is the NGO?
    • Consider searching out smaller organisations that do equally good work but may not have the public profile of larger organisations. – you can get information on the size of an organisation by looking at the financial and administrative information at Giving One Percent
  • For emergency relief – has the NGO been active in the affected area?
    • This indicates the likelihood that they will continue providing support in the long term, which is very important for recovery.

Check out the links below for specific information on choosing who to give to and how much to give:

Giving One Percent – Information on deciding how much to give and who to give to (free)

Give Well (Australia) – Charity research for fee-paying subscribers, one free charity search per day

Philanthropy Australia – Information on giving, particularly directed at philanthropic foundations and trusts

Did you know…?  

You are already donating $4.3 billion a year for development aid! This is through the Australian Governments tax-payer funded aid budget.[i]

But half of this money is spent on highly paid consultants and training, much of which, according to Canberra’s own review of Australian Aid to Papua New Guinea, has “simply made little difference” [ii]

Also, the official objective of Australia’s Aid program is to “to assist developing countries reduce poverty and achieve sustainable development, in line with national interest.” [i]

  • For example aid money has been used to fund controlling ‘irregular’ immigration and upgrading of detention facilities in Indonesia;[iii] and training Burmese intelligence officers and counter-terrorism workshops;[iv]

One of the best ways to help alleviate poverty is to join the campaign to change Australia’s aid policy towards real poverty alleviation.

                                                               Take Action!

 


[i] AUSAID BUDGET STATEMENT 2010 – AUSTRALIA’S INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE – STATEMENT BY THE HONOURABLE STEPHEN SMITH MP MINISTER FOR FOREIGN AFFAIRS AND THE HONOURABLE BOB MCMULLAN MP PARLIAMENTARY SECRETARY FOR INTERNATIONAL DEVELOPMENT ASSISTANCE 11 MAY 2010  http://www.budget.gov.au/2010-11/content/ministerial_statements/ausaid/html/ms_ausaid.htm

[ii] Review  of the PNG

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