OzBargain 2015 Christmas Donations - $19,580 to Charities of Your Choice

Update 22 Dec 2015 #: Poll has finished. Thanks to everyone who has participated. Last year there were 258 unique commenters so I thought it might just be a bit more than that this year. Turn out I was wrong and the figure almost doubled. 458 users have commented on this thread, many simply posted "+$10". At the end of the day OzBargain will donate $19,580 to the top 4 charities from the poll:

  • Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders)
  • beyondblue
  • Cancer Council
  • RSPCA

They will receive $4,895 each. That will happen in the next couple of days when I get to move the funds around.


It's almost Christmas and OzBargain will donate $15,000 or more to charities of your choice. We have been running the biannually charity donation since 2012 where OzBargainers get to choose and vote for the charities that OzBargain will donate to. So for this year:

  • We'll take suggestion from commenters using this poll feature.
  • Donation amount will be $15,000 + $10 x number of unique commenters. So if 200 OzBargainers commented in this thread we will donate $17,000 to charities.
  • We'll pick the top 4 charities from their votes, and the donation will be evenly distributed. For example if $17,000 is the final donation amount, each charity will receive $4,250 in donation.

Timeline

This is the schedule for our donation event:

  • 15 Dec — start taking suggestions & votes
  • 21 Dec — voting closes
  • 24 Dec — donations made

Because we started late this year we'll take the suggestions and voting at the same time, unlike last year where we only allow voting after closing suggestions.

Suggestion Guidelines

To suggest a charity, put in the name of the charity or specific appeal fund in the suggestion text field right above the comment box (top-level comments only). Once you submitted the comment your suggestion will be added to the moderation queue. After moderator has approved your suggestion, it would then appear in the poll options.

Please also have the following included in the comments:

  • Link to the charity
  • Reasons why we should donate to this charity

As for which charity to suggest, have a look at our past donation polls (2014 Xmas, 2014 EoFY) also this discussion thread, Which Charity? I have to say that there were some not so suitable ones but I believe the majority of the community would be able to make sensible votes.

Poll Options expired

Comments

  • +3 votes
    Suggested Cottage by the Sea

    Cottage by the Sea is a non-profit, non-government funded organisation that runs weekly camps for disadvantaged youths. The kids are usually referred to them by school welfare officers, welfare agencies, government health departments or council services. What I like about them is that they actively impact the lives of children in a positive way. They foster a sense of community, and team building and support to children who need it the most, particularly during their formative years. I believe this will further raise Australia's children (particularly the disadvantaged ones) to be adults who will later contribute to society in a positive way. These kids need our help.

    OBJECTIVES
    to establish positive patterns of behaviour in children
    to develop additional social skills that assist children in group situations
    to improve school attendance
    to encourage children to be more active
    to endorse the benefits of healthy eating habits
    to support well-being by increasing self-esteem and confidence
    to advocate respect for self and others

    OUTCOMES
    improved school attendance
    more active children
    healthier eating habits
    increased self-esteem and confidence
    greater respect for self and others

    •  

      First time I heard about this great organisation. Voted

      •  

        That's exactly it. They're small but they do lots. However they also get no government funding and they're not well known, they need all the help they can get.

        • +1 vote

          Thanks for sharing, I've voted too.

  • +20 votes
    Suggested Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders)

    I'll kick start with some top-voted charities from our End of Financial Year charity donations this year. Médecins Sans Frontières Australia (Doctor without Borders).

    Médecins Sans Frontières is the world’s leading independent organisation for medical humanitarian aid. Every day more than 24,000 Médecins Sans Frontières field staff are providing assistance to people caught in crises around the world.

    I think it would be a worthwhile charity to donate to consider the medical needs to what happened in the world this year, especially around Middle East where millions of people are displaced.

    •  

      +1 to this

    •  

      Totally agree with this suggestion. Although we in Australia have those in need and need of our support I think that there are parts of the world in desperate situation and this group is always at the forefront of delivering to the most needed.

    •  

      I fully agree. All of the proposals are meritorious, but these guy are on the front-line in more ways than one - including 'day zero' type infections. Given the breakdown of all civil life in the areas they often work, infections and disease can rapidly turn to plague and pandemic. Even from a viewpoint of pure naked self-interest, these guys are still a worthwhile cause as they are the plaster on the species [as an organism] that can stop septicaemia and gangrene.

    • +1 vote

      I try and avoid charities that use chuggers.

      Although that seems to be harder to do these days.

    •  

      Sounds good

    • +1 vote

      Yes, totally agree.

    •  

      Done.

    •  

      agree

    •  

      +1

    •  

      +1 here too

    •  

      Definitely gets my vote

    •  

      Amen

      •  

        +1

    •  

      +1 to this, I donate regularly too.

  • +4 votes

    Médecins Sans Frontières (Doctors Without Borders) needs all the help they can get with emurika bombing them

    • -1 vote

      any money from RSPCA should be transferred to MSF. Better to save people than animals, i think…

      • +2 votes

        Funny part is that most of the money goes to over priced Vets, that charge a fortune once they know its RSPCA.

      • -2 votes

        any money from RSPCA should be transferred to MSF. Better to save people than animals, i think…

        Completely correct. Such a first-world, ignorant valley-girl logic to give money to save puppies that could be saving children.

        I guess the people downvoting you value cute puppies over brown kids…

        • +13 votes

          What complete garbage. If you want to rationalise things by that logic:

          "Bought some chocolates? I guess you value stuffing your fat face over brown kids…"
          "Bought a new TV? I guess you value watching The Block over brown kids…"
          "Bought a new necklace? I guess you value shiny things over brown kids…"

          Yes poverty is bad, but so is abusing animals. Both MSF and RSPCA are fantastic charities, and donating to one shouldn't be at the exclusion of the other.

        •  

          @arescarti42:

          That's true.

          The classic waste of money is spending on defence and arms. If only that money was spent else where. :(

  • +4 votes
    Suggested Sids and Kids

    Sids and Kidsis dedicated to saving the lives of babies and children during pregnancy, birth, infancy and childhood and supporting bereaved families. We deliver on our vision through world class research; evidence based education and bereavement support; and advocacy.

    In Australia each year over 3,500 families experience the sudden and unexpected death of a baby or child, either through stillbirth or during the first month of life, from sudden unexpected death in infancy (SIDS or fatal sleeping accidents), SUDC (sudden unexpected death in childhood) or accident.

    Sadly, for many of these deaths there is no known cause. For example, more than half the deaths of unborn babies during the last 8 weeks of pregnancy each year are unexplained.

    SIDS and Kids works to find answers for parents by funding and supporting vital research into stillbirth, SIDS and safe sleeping practices. Through evidence based community education we aim to prevent these deaths and we advocate for and support bereaved families.

  • +12 votes

    I am always very pleased to see this site contribute to charity. Well done.

    •  

      That is exactly my thought … only 1 day apart from yours XD. Not many site/forum do this.

    •  

      I agree - great work, OzBargain!!

  •  

    SIDS and kids is good for me!

  • +32 votes
    Suggested Starlight Children's Foundation

    Starlight Foundation
    My brother was diagnosed with a terminal heart condition at the age of 6, was given 2-3 years to live but he almost made his 14th Birthday. My family made so many sacrifices with the countless trips interstate to have surgery, taking on 2 jobs just to pay for all the medical bills & even had to draw down half on my fathers super just to keep the family together (Something I have no doubt will come back to bite him even harder come retirement).
    Upon hearing of his condition (then aged 6) the Starlight Foundation contacted my family and offered to grant him a wish; a family holiday was something that was far outside of our own means.
    They organised the most amazing holiday for my family, treated him like royalty and gave me some of the most vivid memories I have of him even though I was only 10 at the time. They helped connect us to some of the most incredibly generous and loving people, some of which I am still in contact with today.
    I cannot thank them enough for what they have given me and my family, thus would like to throw their name into ring.

    • +1 vote

      Voted for them!

    • +3 votes

      Thanks for sharing your story. It is nice to be reminded the good work these charities do.

    • +2 votes

      You made me cry a bit! Most of us take our (family's) health for granted. I've come across starlight a few times, great to read they've been able to offer you some relief.

      • +1 vote

        I wrote it whilst I was in the office and it got to me while I was writing it also. Today is 11 years since he passed away, never gets any easier.

    • +2 votes

      Your story made me teary eyed. I gave you my vote.

    •  

      My vote here, they do fantastic work.

  • +1 vote
    Suggested Cancer Council

    Cancer Council is good for me!
     
    Cancer Councils are the leading independent funders of cancer research in Australia. As Australia's peak national non-government cancer control1 organisation, Cancer Council Australia advises the Australian Government and other bodies on practices and policies to help prevent, detect and treat cancer. We also advocate for the rights of cancer patients for best treatment and supportive care.

  • +1 vote

    Médecins Sans Frontières sounds good.

  •  

    OzBargain's smart, sweet, but wayward waterlogged turnip, appears to have disabled her account, again. (Getting tedious, turnip, come back and stay.)

    Unsuccessfully suggested last year, according to one of Scotty's links, but suggesting Wesley Mission this year on Turnip's behalf, following this heartfelt comment, a few months ago.

    • -1 vote

      waterlogged turnip, appears to have disabled her account,

      So has wicket1120. Are you thinking what I'm thinking? ;)

      • +2 votes

        That you could really go for some cold pizza?

      • +1 vote

        So you have been required to take wiki's explanation at face value, too? Ok. Fair enough.

        I'll message you with something entirely unrelated, in a minute.

        •  

          No I wasn't thinking of food nor was I thinking that my lovely wife was cheating.

          I was thinking of taking the twins to see the cute cubs at the Werribee zoo. Also that Turnip n Wiki could be the same person 0.0

          P.s: Cathriona was behind the online dating profile.

        • +1 vote

          @Jar Jar Binks: Total first sentence @email headscratch until I re-saw altomic's comment.

          Mentioning the redheaded Cat on Sat, could just have been your beloved adding to the confusion, for all I could know.

          Turnip and Wiki being one in the same would certainly make for quite the twist, Jar Jar Binks. (ʘ‿ʘ)

          Wicket1120 should have asked one of the Mods to re-enable her account, by now.

          A redhead - certainly one with a goat on her head, isn't really that scary.

  •  
    Suggested Vision Australia

    http://www.visionaustralia.org/ Vision Australia provide services to people who are blind or visually impaired. My brother became legally blind a few years ago and they helped him a lot with tools to be able to keep living a semi-normal life and assistance in finding employment. Seeing some of the people they work with (little kids through to adults) and some of the things they are able to achieve (I went to a vision impared bowling tournament where people could bowl way better than I could without being able to see anything) is amazing. A worthy cause.

    •  

      I can't go past the cancer council!

    •  

      Thanks for sharing, voted for them

  •  
    Suggested Wesley Mission

    I neglected to add Wesley Mission in the suggestion field, earlier.

    Thanks Hamza.

  • +1 vote
    •  

      A great company doing great things for kids around the world in desperate need.

      +1 from me.

    •  

      This charity actually does stuff, like you can see direct results due to it unlike some charities that make it seem like your money just disappears.

  •  

    Cancer council, particularly so in Australia

  • +4 votes

    Beyond blue

    • +2 votes

      Purple

    • +1 vote

      Could not agree with this enough. It's got my vote.

  •  

    Cancer Council gets my vote!

  •  

    This is great to see. Good on you guys!!

  •  

    +$10 :)

  • Please remember everyone:

    To suggest a charity, put in the name of the charity or specific appeal fund in the suggestion text field right above the comment box (top-level comments only)

    I see a couple of suggestions made as comments only, these won't be added to the list unless you comment again with the charity in the suggestion field.

    Please also have the following included in the comments:

    Link to the charity
    Reasons why we should donate to this charity

  • +5 votes
    Suggested RSPCA

    Meow (aka comment for the purpose of adding RSPCA).

    The RSPCA is an independent, non-government community-based charity providing animal care and protection services.
    The RSPCA runs 40 shelters and employs around 1,000 staff. It costs more than $80 million each year to deliver all of our services which help improve the lives of Australian animals. Most of this money comes from public donations and fundraising initiatives, as well as business partnerships, grants and RSPCA patrons.

    •  

      Hosts bbqs and cupcake drives with killed animals in order to raise money to protect other animals. This illogicality is called speciesism - similar to racism, sexism, etc.

  • +2 votes
    Suggested Be Uplifted

    Be uplifted website

    This is a Queensland based charity that assists women (and their families) who are affected by breast cancer. Founded by 2 women who went through a battle with cancer, this charity provides not also financial but emotional support. Due to the dedication of the people who work/volunteer with this organisation, their donation:running expenses ratio is extremely low. Therefore more money is going to those people they are assisting than to run the organization. Eg. Vision Australia uses 40% of donations for running costs.

    Whilst there are many charities that do great work, I've found that this one is one of the more beneficial ones.

  •  

    Great initiative!

  • +1 vote
    Suggested The Fred Hollows Foundation

    The Fred Hollows Foundation
    https://www.hollows.org/au/home

    Since its humble beginnings in Fred and Gabi’s kitchen [in 1992], the Foundation now works in more than 25 countries and has restored sight to over two million people.

    Of the 32.4 million people in the world who are blind, many don't have to be. Eye diseases like cataract, trachoma and diabetic retinopathy lead to permanent blindness when often, the conditions are treatable or preventable.

    Many people stay needlessly blind because they live in poverty. In developing countries, blindness denies people education, independence and the ability to work – things which can break the poverty cycle.

    •  

      Great charity - they can make a huge difference to someone's life with not much money - for example with just $25 for cataract surgery they can restore someones sight.

    •  

      Plus one for Fred hollows - it's where we donate at Christmas- all in my husband's name for a bigger tax deduction. It's amazing what they do.

  • +1 vote

    Merry Christmas, Scotty and the Ozbargain team!

  • +1 vote
    Suggested Compassion

    https://www.compassion.com.au/

    Church based charity that are focused on helping children.

  •  

    Excellent stuff! Merry Christmas 🎄

  • +1 vote
    Suggested Wikimedia Foundation

    Wikimedia Foundation
    Dear readers, We'll get right to it: This week we ask you to help Wikipedia. To protect our independence, we'll never run ads. We're sustained by donations averaging about $15. Only a tiny portion of our readers give. If everyone reading this right now gave $3, our fundraiser would be done within an hour. That's right, the price of a cup of coffee is all we need. We're a small non-profit with costs of a top website: servers, staff and programs. We believe everyone should have access to free knowledge, without restriction or limitation. If Wikipedia is useful to you, please take one minute to keep our work going another year. Thank you.

    :P

    and also it would be cool if OzBargain was shown on their benefactors page! https://wikimediafoundation.org/wiki/Benefactors

    • +4 votes

      They are a NPO but not a charity.

      • +2 votes

        True but I feel that their cause is worth donating.

    • +1 vote

      hopefully this will get rid of that annoying banner

  •  
    • $10 from me. Thanks. Great initiative.
    •  

      Tagging along.

  •  

    Love your work guys x

  •  

    Great initiative

  • +2 votes
    Suggested Homeless Run (The White Coats)

    Homeless Run

    They help out homeless individuals in Sydney offering them Food, clothing every day. Their work is highly valued in the community yet rely on donations to continue their work.

    Here is their facebook page for anyone interested:
    https://www.facebook.com/Homeless-run-1518035228466538/timel...

  • +8 votes
    Suggested beyondblue

    Beyond Blue

    https://www.beyondblue.org.au/

    3 million Australians are living with depression or anxiety
    beyondblue provides information and support to help everyone in Australia achieve their best possible mental health, whatever their age and wherever they live.

    Our vision
    All people in Australia achieve their best possible mental health.

    Our values
    Collaboration. Respect. Enthusiasm.

    Our mission
    We promote good mental health. We create change to protect everyone’s mental health and improve the lives of individuals, families and communities affected by depression, anxiety and suicide.

    All the mentioned (and many not-yet-mentioned) charities all go to worthy causes, it is quite a tough choice to make about which to vote for. I don't know if there are more events that happened this year compared to previous, or simply that we are just being more aware of what is happening around the world. Nonetheless, having been hearing experiences of the people with depression via close friends, this (the mental health area) is striking me the most at the moment.

    Regardless how the vote results will turn out, good on you everyone, and good on you OZBargain.

    (Also maybe consider making a small donation directly to the charities yourself. The ones that you wanted to vote for, but couldn't due to vote limit. At times I convince myself, if I donate the money that I use to buy the softdrink/junk food snack that I'm carrying, I'd have done myself a favour and helped others too =) )

    (bit early, nonetheless) Merry Christmas, and Happy New Year everyone =)

    • +4 votes

      Beyond Blue is a great charity and the work they do is incredible. They have saved countless lives and gotten people back on track.

      I will gladly support them with +1 and will consider making a personal donation too :)

      Just makes me think about how tough some people have it around Christmas time.

      Its good to see mental illness coming up in the media more and people not being afraid/embarrassed/ashamed of getting help.

      There's always hope and if you surround yourself with friends & family, then you have the best chance :)

      Merry Christmas all Ozbargainers and thanks for this great initiative.

    • +3 votes

      We lost someone in the family to suicide last year, and three other young men I know from Queensland in the past 10 years and it's heartbreaking to know that people feel like there is no other choice. Mental illness is a killer and the work of Beyond Blue and similar organisations can help the most vulnerable in our community. I was torn with my vote as I would have liked to have also opted for MSF as I admire those who give up an easier pathway to often very good money to help others.

      This annual donation is a beautiful act.

  • +1 vote
    Suggested Royal Flying Doctor

    Lived in rural town for few years, really can't thank RFDS enough for their effort & service. They literally are the lifesavers of the rural citizen in emergency situation. I always made annual donation to them, hopefully OzB could do the same too

    https://www.flyingdoctor.org.au/
    The Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia (RFDS) is one of the largest and most comprehensive aeromedical organisations in the world. Using the latest in aviation, medical and communications technology, we deliver extensive primary health care and 24-hour emergency service to those who live, work and travel throughout Australia.

  •  

    So many great charities, so hard to choose just one.

  • +9 votes
    Suggested Against Malaria Foundation

    Against Malaria Foundation (AMF): https://www.againstmalaria.com/

    AMF provides funding for long-lasting insecticide-treated bed nets (for protection against malaria) in developing countries. 70% of those that die of Malaria are children under the age of 5. The disease is contracted through mosquito bites and this can be significantly prevented by putting insecticide laced bed nets up while sleeping. AMF saves more lives than any other charity we know of, it solves a simple problem that is seriously neglected. The charity is extremely transparent, efficient and effective so you know you are getting your dollar's worth.

    AMF has been ranked as one of the most effective charities in the world (in terms of improvement in human lives per dollar of funds) for which there is good evidence and data. You can find it, for example, as the number 1 ranked charity by the highly-reputed charity evaluator, GiveWell (http://www.givewell.org/charities/top-charities). It is also among the top-rated charities recommended by Giving What We Can (https://www.givingwhatwecan.org/top-charities/) and The Life You Can Save (http://www.thelifeyoucansave.org/Where-to-Donate).

    Many of us (if not all) in the OzBargain community are passionate about ensuring that our dollars go as far as possible. I believe there is a strong case for ensuring that we do the same when it comes to our philanthropy.

    It has been estimated by GiveWell that the cost per child life saved through AMF-funded bed net distribution is about $2,838. You can see all the data and considerations that arose in GiveWell’s evaluation of AMF (as well as their other recommended charities) on their website.

    GiveWell recommends AMF because of its:
    - Focus on a program with excellent evidence of effectiveness and cost-effectiveness.
    - Strong processes for ensuring that nets reach their intended recipients and monitoring whether they are used over the long-term.
    - Standout transparency and commitment to self-evaluation.
    - Room for more funding – they believe AMF will be able to use additional funds to deliver additional nets.

    •  

      It's important to donate rationally!

    • +1 vote

      Whilst choosing is extremely difficult, I'd second the use of websites like givewell.org that actually analyze and look for the charities that will return most value. Value being something that we probably all believe at ozbargain.

    •  

      I think getting the most bang per charity buck is definitely in line with the OzBargain spirit!

    •  

      Thank you for recommending AMF. GiveWell is definitely a worthwhile site that I use and I value how they base their evaluations on charities are based on hard facts and statistics.

  •  

    Lots of worthwhile charities. Thanks for giving back OB crew.

  •  

    They are all good, I couldn't choose just one.

  • +1 vote

    Nice one OzB. I remember MSF stopped taking money after the tsunami because they had collected all they needed to support their organization on the ground. Thought that was a very responsible move at the time.

  •  

    Voted Médecins Sans Frontières this time round

  •  
    Suggested Alzheimer's Australia

    I'd like to suggest Alzheimer's Australia. Nothing worse than losing a loved one before you've even really lost them.

    •  

      Great cause - even though not personally affected by it.

  •  

    Thanks for running this and donating every year Scotty. I voted for Fred Hollows.

  •  

    Voted SIDS & Kids, but any of those were worthy of a vote.

  •  

    Alzheimer's or Vision Australia, just can't choose…..

  •  

    Great idea :) Now to decide who to vote for…