The 7 Best Charities to Donate to in 2024 (Not for Profit Organisations)

01 Mar 2024

Australians and Charitable Giving

Australians are renowned for their generosity. They donate to charities that support various causes worldwide. According to the 2020 Australian Charities Report, Aussies donated about $12.7 billion through direct donations and bequests. This represented an 8% increase.

Charitable giving is pivotal in addressing global challenges, from healthcare to education.

If you’re new to finding a charity to donate to or want to understand more,  we recommend you read this guide on how to choose the right charity.

The critical role of charities

Charities fund areas like mental health services, education, and emergency relief. In developing countries, the impact of these charities is profound. They can reduce child mortality and alleviate extreme poverty. For instance, the Malaria Foundation focuses on seasonal malaria chemoprevention, a cost-effective intervention that saves countless lives in sub-Saharan Africa.

Donations to charitable organisations are not just about money. They're about making a difference. By supporting charities providing essential services, donors play a part in creating a better world. Whether funding mental health services or supporting education, every donation counts.

Choosing who to support

There are many things to consider when deciding which charity to support. Here are some things to consider.

Do they align with your values?

Choosing charities that resonate with your values is crucial. It ensures a genuine, heartfelt commitment to the cause. This alignment fosters a deeper, more personal connection. This makes every contribution, whether time or money, significantly more impactful. By supporting causes you believe in, you ensure your resources are effectively used. This maximises positive change in the world and brings personal satisfaction and fulfilment.

Is it a cause you are passionate about?

Supporting charities aligned with your passions fosters long-term commitment. This deep connection ensures sustained involvement and consistent backing. By championing causes close to your heart, you actively shape society. Your contributions help mould a community that reflects your ideals. This dedication benefits the broader world and creates an environment you're proud to inhabit. You play a pivotal role in building a better future through such support.

Is it a charity you trust?

It's essential that you're able to trust a charity before donating. Before making any financial donations, check that the charity can demonstrate how they use donations. A charity should be financially transparent. If they don't clarify how they allocate funds, reconsider your support. Charities should also explain their plans and how to maximise their impact. A charity must also act with integrity and maintain a good reputation.

hands cupping heart in love

You should look out for the ACNC registered charity tick badge. Charities registered with the ACNC give reassurance to the public that the charity is transparent and accountable.

How we assessed charities?

We considered several indicators when determining the best charities to donate to in 2023. Here are the measures we considered.


Reputability is important for any charity. The best charity builds trust with donors, ensuring their contributions are used effectively. A reputable charity attracts consistent support, enhancing its impact. Transparency in operations bolsters public confidence. Positive reputations also foster partnerships, amplifying outreach. In a crowded philanthropic space, reputability differentiates and elevates. It ensures long-term sustainability and mission success.


A charity's measurable impact is paramount. Reputability builds trust. Tangible results validate support. But without clear outcomes, donor confidence wanes. Effective charities have a quantifiable effect, showing effectiveness and purpose. It ensures donations drive real change. A charity may offer supplementation programs for the world's poorest people or help save lives through other measures. Whatever their purpose, top charities work to make real change.

High-impact charities with proven results attract sustained backing. In essence, without measurable success, even reputable charities lose appeal and momentum.

Financial transparency

Financial transparency is vital for charities. It's a cornerstone of reputability, directly influencing donor trust. When charities openly share financial details, it boosts donor confidence. Transparency ensures honesty, deterring fund misappropriation. Donors can see where their money goes, reinforcing trust. It showcases a charity's commitment to genuine impact over profit.

Demonstrating cost-effective interventions is crucial. It proves that donations are maximised for the intended cause. Without transparency, doubts arise about a charity's integrity. In essence, transparent financial reporting fosters sustained support and ensures long-term success. Cost-effectiveness makes charities stand out. This attracts more donations and partnerships with the government or the private sector.

volunteer helping with food for donation

If you want to know how to choose the right charity organisation for you, check out this blog.

1. Wishlist - Overall Best

Wishlist is a renowned Sunshine Coast based health foundation led by CEO Lisa Rowe. Established in 1998, its primary focus is the Sunshine Coast Hospital and Health Services. The organisation is dedicated to enhancing regional healthcare and actively fundraises to procure advanced medical equipment. Vital research projects also receive their support.

One of their standout initiatives is providing family accommodation. This ensures families stay close to their loved ones during treatments. Community events play a significant role in their fundraising efforts. Generous donations and community involvement allow Wishlist to continue elevating the healthcare standard on the Sunshine Coast. Since its inception, Wishlist has raised more than $21 million.

Why we like it

  • Wishlist allocates effective and targeted funding that secures critical health infrastructure for Sunshine Coast and Gympie Hospitals.
  • Their holistic approach to assisting patients and their loved ones provides unparalleled support.
  • Wishlist offer the Give Each Month (GEMS) program so that donors can change the lives of those experiencing a health crisis.

Primary services

  • Medical Equipment Funding: Procures advanced medical tools and devices.
  • Research Support: Invests in vital health-related research projects.
  • Professional Development: Supports health practitioners' training and growth.
  • Family Accommodation: Provides lodging near medical facilities for families.
  • Community Events: Organises fundraisers and awareness campaigns.
  • Healthcare Enhancement: Aims to elevate healthcare standards in the region.

2. The Fred Hollows Foundation - Best for supporting eye care

The Fred Hollows Foundation is an international charitable organisation. Founded by Dr. Fred Hollows, it aims to end avoidable blindness. The foundation operates in over 25 countries. They focus on treating conditions like cataracts and trachoma. Training local health workers is a priority. They also equip clinics and promote eye health education.

Their work has restored sight to millions. Advocacy for affordable eye care solutions is central. The foundation's legacy continues, transforming lives through a corrected vision.

Why we like it

  • It has a cost-effective impact. Many of their interventions, like cataract surgeries, are low-cost. This ensures donations make a significant, tangible difference.
  • They empower local communities. The foundation trains and equips local healthcare workers. This provides sustainable eye care solutions in over 25 countries.

Primary services

  • Cataract Surgeries: Treats cataracts to restore sight.
  • Trachoma Treatments: Works to eliminate the preventable eye disease.
  • Training Health Workers: Empowers local eye care professionals.
  • Building Clinics: Establishes and upgrades eye health facilities.
  • Community Education: Raises awareness about eye health.
  • Research and Innovation: Invests in eye health solutions.
  • Advocacy: Promotes affordable eye care policies.
  • Indigenous Australia Program: Improves indigenous health, including eye care.
  • Diabetic Retinopathy: Addresses this cause of blindness in those with diabetes.
  • Affordable Eyewear: Supports production and distribution of glasses.
Fred Hallows

3. World Vision Australia - Best for supporting children in developing countries

World Vision Australia is a leading humanitarian organisation. Part of a global network, it tackles poverty and injustice. They offer child sponsorship programs. Emergency relief is provided during crises. Clean water, sanitation, and education projects are prioritised. They empower communities for sustainable development. Advocacy efforts influence policies for global change.

Their work spans across various countries, reaching vulnerable populations. Through partnerships, they aim for lasting community transformations.

Why we like it

  • As one of the largest charities operating internationally, it has an unparalleled ability to provide services to the disadvantaged.
  • World Vision Australia routinely ranks amongst the most reputable charities with Australian donors.

Primary services

  • Child Sponsorship: Allows individuals to sponsor a child's essentials.
  • Emergency Relief: Provides aid during natural disasters and conflicts.
  • Clean Water and Sanitation: Offers access to clean water and hygiene.
  • Health and Nutrition: Implements health initiatives and nutrition programs.
  • Education: Supports children's access to quality education.
  • Economic Development: Empowers families with vocational training and microfinance.
  • Child Protection: Initiatives to protect children from harm.
  • Advocacy: Influences policies for global justice and change.
  • Climate Change: Helps communities adapt to environmental impacts.
  • Indigenous Programs: Supports Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander communities.
World Vision Australia

4. The Smith Family - Best for supporting disadvantaged Australian youths

The Smith Family is an Australian children's charity. Established in the 1920s, it supports disadvantaged children's education. They believe education is vital to breaking the poverty cycle. Their "Learning for Life" program offers financial aid for school essentials. They also provide literacy and numeracy support. Mentorship and after-school learning clubs are available.

The charity recognises the importance of family and community engagement. Through research and advocacy, they address educational disadvantage. Their holistic approach ensures that children receive the tools and support needed for academic success.

Why we like it

  • They take a targeted approach to provide a measurable difference in the development of at-risk children.
  • Their services are backed by research 
  • to ensure that young people's fundamental challenges are met with the most effective solutions.

Primary services

  • Learning for Life: Financial support for school essentials and education.
  • Literacy Programs: Reading support and mentoring for improved literacy.
  • Numeracy Programs: Initiatives to enhance math skills and confidence.
  • Mentoring: Connects young people with positive role models.
  • After-School Learning Clubs: Supportive environment for homework and learning.
  • Tech Packs: Provides technology packages for students without home access.
  • Parent Engagement: Supports parents in their child's education journey.
  • Scholarships: Financial assistance for tertiary studies.
  • Youth Programs: Supports transition from school to work or further studies.
  • Research and Advocacy: Addresses educational disadvantage in Australia.
The Smith Family

5. RSPCA Australia - Best for animal welfare

RSPCA Australia is the nation's leading animal welfare organisation. Founded in the 19th century, it champions animal rights and humane treatment. They operate shelters, offering adoption services for rescued animals. Inspectors investigate animal cruelty. They ensure perpetrators face legal action.

Educational programs promote responsible pet ownership. They advocate for policy changes, influencing animal welfare legislation. Farm animal welfare is also a focus, promoting humane practices. RSPCA protects and supports animals across Australia through rescue, rehabilitation, and advocacy.

Why we like it

  • RSPCA Australia is one of the country's most reputable animal protection organisations.

  • They have comprehensive advocacy and enforcement protocols to protect animal rights and prosecute animal cruelty.

Primary services

  • Animal Adoption: Runs shelters for abandoned or rescued animals.

  • Rescue and Treatment: Provides medical care for injured or abused animals.

  • Cruelty Reporting: Operates helplines for reporting animal mistreatment.

  • Education: Offers programs on responsible pet ownership and welfare.

  • Advocacy: Influences animal protection policies and legislation.

  • Inspectorate Services: Investigates animal cruelty complaints and takes legal action.

  • Community Programs: Includes desexing to control animal populations.

  • Wildlife Services: Assists injured or orphaned wildlife for rehabilitation.

  • Farm Animal Welfare: Promotes humane farming practices.

  • Pet Care Advice: Provides resources on pet health and behaviour.


6. CARE Australia - Best for supporting women and girls internationally

CARE Australia is a humanitarian organisation combating global poverty. Established in 1987, it's part of the international CARE network. They focus on empowering women and girls for poverty alleviation. Services include emergency aid during crises and disaster relief. They also promote clean water access, health, and education. Climate change adaptation and resilience projects are implemented. Economic development initiatives empower communities.

Through advocacy, they influence policies for global justice. Their work creates lasting change in vulnerable communities worldwide.

Why we like it

  • CARE Australia provides critical support to women and girls worldwide.

  • They have excellent financial transparency, supplying detailed information about how donations are handled.

Primary services

  • Emergency Response: Provides immediate aid during crises and natural disasters.

  • Women's Empowerment: Focuses on gender equality for poverty alleviation.

  • Health Programs: Addresses health challenges and maternal and child health.

  • Water and Sanitation: Ensures access to clean water and hygiene education.

  • Food and Nutrition: Improves food security and nutrition education.

  • Education: Supports access to quality education for children.

  • Climate Change: Helps communities adapt to environmental challenges.

  • Economic Development: Offers vocational training and microfinance.

  • Advocacy: Influences policies promoting justice and reducing poverty.

  • Community Development: Partners with locals for tailored projects.


7. Canteen - Best for supporting young people with cancer

Canteen is an Australian charity for young people impacted by cancer. Founded in 1985, it supports those aged 12-25. Whether diagnosed or supporting a family member, Canteen offers aid. Services include peer support and professional counselling. They organise therapeutic recreational programs and camps. Online platforms provide resources and peer connections. Youth leadership opportunities are also available.

Canteen's research and advocacy promote better cancer care. Their holistic approach ensures young individuals navigate their cancer journey with ample support.

Why we like it

  • They provide many effective services to an often-overlooked group of young people.

  • They take a holistic approach to helping young people cope with the various difficulties associated with cancer.

Primary services

  • Peer Support: Connects young people with others facing similar cancer challenges.

  • Counselling Services: Offers emotional and psychological support.

  • Online Support: Digital platform for resources, peer connections, and guidance.

  • Camps and Programs: Organises therapeutic recreational activities and retreats.

  • Youth Leadership: Provides opportunities for personal development and contribution.

  • Research and Advocacy: Promotes improved cancer care for young Australians.

  • Information and Resources: Educational materials on cancer, treatments, and coping strategies.

  • Financial Assistance: Offers support for cancer-related costs in some instances.


Bottom line

To conclude, here are the seven best charities to donate to in 2023:

  1. Wishlist - Overall best

  2. The Fred Hollows Foundation - Best for supporting eye care

  3. World Vision Australia - Best for helping children in developing countries

  4. The Smith Family - Best for supporting disadvantaged Australian children

  5. RSPCA Australia - Best for supporting animal welfare

  6. CARE Australia - Best for supporting women and girls worldwide

  7. CanTeen - Best for helping young people with cancer

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