OzBargain 2012 EoFY Charity Donations - Vote for Worthy Charities!

Update — poll has finished! Thanks to everyone who has voted. The donation will be distributed to

  1. Cancer Council — $5,000
  2. Beyond Blue — $3,000
  3. RSPCA — $2,000

I will need to figure out the ways to make contribution this week and will update everyone on the process. —scotty


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How much is OzBargain going to contribute to the charity organisations this financial year?

A: $10,000 will be donated to the organisations that get the most votes from our community members.

Q: Does the most voted charity get all the donations?

A: We will be donating to the top 3 charities (although scotty still holds the right to override the decision, as per original post). It would be rounded to the closes $1,000 depending on the votes they get.

Q: Ops! I found out about this OzBargain Donation thingy too late. Can I suggest more charities?

A: Once poll has been setup, adding more poll options can be a bit "tricky". scotty will see what he can do with the database. Feel free to leave more suggestions in the comments. If we really cannot add more options, feel free to suggest them in our next round (hopefully before Christmas).


Original Post

This will be a new project for this month, June, the month of end-of-financial-year craziness. Just in case you have not noticed, OzBargain has been running as a "for profit" business since mid-2010. Banner ads shown on this website has been able to keep OzBargain self-sufficient, and enables me to hire 2 other full time staffs to help me developing new features and managing the community here.

The next step for us would be channelling some of that profit back to the "community". I did talk about the possibility of free T-shirts and other merchandise give aways earlier this year. However that project was somehow stalled at the moment. Long story — but something along the line of crashed hard drive containing the design, busyness in life, lots of code to develop and general laziness. But hopefully we'll get back to that one day :)

However since it is the End of Financial Year, let's extend the "community" a bit further. Why don't we set aside some money to donate to worthy charities chosen by the OzBargain community?!

I already have some rough figures in mind to donate (more about that later after I run through w/ accountant). But which charities/non-profit org should we donate to? The usual Salvo, Vinnies, WorldVision etc? Or maybe someone wants to suggest something else? Feel free to comment and suggest.

So here are the rules:

  • We are open for suggestion/discussions/debates until next Saturday, 9 June. Use this forum topic for it.
  • Feel free to suggest charitable organisations in the top-level comments (not replying anyone).
    • It would be great if you can provide a link to the charity.
    • It must be Australian or benefiting Australians (we are OzBargain after all).
    • It must be a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR), so we can make tax deductible donations.
  • Vote and discuss! I will turn this post into a poll from 10 June to 16 June. People can vote on charities. Feel free to use comments to come up with general consensus on which top charities OzBargain should donate to.
  • Poll will close on 16 June, and we'll use the votes to make our donation decisions. I do have to put a condition here — I still have the right to make the final choice, just in case all you guys vote for some weirdo charities that I just cannot agree with :)

Here is an example on how you can suggest a charity:

  • I suggest beyondblue. Depression is a lethal disease that many are not aware of, nor know where and how to seek help.

Okay. That's how I envision that it would work. It might turn into a complete disaster when I come back online on Saturday morning :P If everything goes well, we might be able to run this every year or every 6 months.


Current List

In alphabetical order. You will be able to vote for these from 10 June.

Poll Options expired

  • 14
    Australian Lutheran World Service
  • 265
    Beyond Blue
  • 479
    Cancer Council
  • 14
    CARE Australia
  • 124
    Flying Doctors
  • 18
    Headspace
  • 27
    Heart Foundation
  • 186
    RSPCA -- Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
  • 16
    Southern Cross Kids Camp
  • 97
    The Fred Hollows Foundation
  • 57
    UNICEF
  • 40
    WSPA -- World Society for the Protection of Animals

closed Comments

  • +15 votes

    TLDR; Kiva.org

    OK, let me just preface that giving to any charity is great and really it's a matter of personal preference. Beyondblue is great.

    When giving to a big charity, it's difficult to really interpret how the money has changed the world. The popularity in the model of sponsoring children in poverty is great as you can stay in touch and see the child grow up and thrive all in part because of your donation.

    While OzBargainers do support the big companies like HN and Dick Smith, it's really great to get onboard of the smaller guys. So why not support projects where people or businesses need capitol to achieve their dreams. Cue Kiva.org. Loans eventually will be paid off but you can then throw it into another project. You can follow their progress through the site. What would be awesome is to find a venture to fund where they can then offer their product back to the OzBargain community. Not sure what item that would be, handcrafts, baskets, video games, etc.

    Other than that, so many other causes. The aftermath of Haiti's deadly earthquake is still being felt and not getting the relief it should be. Cue JP HRO. Lots to read on the website but basically there are loads of displaced people including children basically living in tent cities. One of JPHRO's programs is to move them to more sustainable housing where they can sustain living by themselves. If you can find it, watch Anthony Boudain's No Reservations (One of my favorite shows) Haiti episode. Here's a clip

    EDIT: Also, Kiva has teams so you could form a OzBargain team where individuals can contribute. e.g. Team Australia

    • +1 vote

      I think Kiva is a good idea although it really has to be a Deductible Gift Recipient so any contribution can be tax deductible (otherwise I might have money left to pay for my tax :)

    • +7 votes

      It's just a suggestion but why not split the 10000 between the top three charities based on how many votes they get. That way more charities will get money.
      E.g.
      IF
      Charity 1 = x no. of votes
      Charity 2 = y no. of votes
      Charity 3 = z no. of votes
      THEN
      Donation to charity 1 = ((x)/(x+y+z)) * 10000
      Donation to charity 2 = ((y)/(x+y+z)) * 10000
      Donation to charity 3 = ((z)/(x+y+z)) * 10000

      •  

        I agree, that way my (voted) charity will get money as well.

      • -1 vote

        lets not over complicate things. Ozbargain could have split the amount to all the charities but then would that be more effective or concentrate the lump sum on one particular one

      •  

        Let's not go over the top here. Keep it as simple as possible in round figures.

        The poll was only set up to serve as a general indication. The final decision is with Scotty and in the end the distribution of votes may not represent the distribution of funds in any way for all we know.

        • +3 votes

          Yes it would be a round figure, but I'll take the vote count into consideration. So it won't be $4387.12 but more like $5k + $3k + $2k from the current vote distribution.

        •  

          Good job scotty >:) Beyondblue, RSPCA and UNICEF were my fav from that list and i'm happy to see half of the donation going to 2 of favourite. Hope you keep it up every year.

  • +9 votes

    Royal flying doctors: http://www.flyingdoctor.net/

  • +29 votes

    RSPCA. I care more for animals than people. I've been burned :S

    • +7 votes

      Agree, I'd vote for an animal rescue charity like WSPA or Animals Asia or even sponsoring a kennel at a lost dogs home. I'm sceptical of the large charities you'd be very familiar with, I know first hand where a lot of the money is going and it's not towards helping people, let's put it that way.

      • +2 votes

        So agreed. I looked through the WSPA financial statement which are very open about what they are spending money on, and they seemed to spend a good portion on actually helping animals and less on administration.

        • +1 vote

          I agree completely that animals/habitat conservation should be a priority. However, it's unfair the bad press humanitarian aid organisations get for 'administration costs'. Everybody working for those organisations genuinely want to help people. They're not in it for the money. While a large proportion of funds may be eaten up in admin costs, this is often largely unavoidable. Also, WorldVision won the PwC Transparency Prize last year I believe…

      • +2 votes

        Really, because the largest charities like MSF, Red Cross, Fred Hollows etc are all very transparent about their operating costs, and the vast majority of money does indeed go towards helping people. This is a widespread attitude amongst people, and obviously the onus is on everyone to investigate where money they donate goes, however it's simply incorrect to say the vast majority of large charities waste most of the money they get. It's a really unfortunate attitude that I personally suspect is used more as a crutch to stop people donating than any kind of real diligence. The annual reports etc are widely available and very clear.

    •  

      eyesights or health services…
      imagine you suddenly cant see anything, or are about to lose your sights, or you're too old but you don't have family or children to be with… absolute terrible feelings arent they?

    • +6 votes

      Voted for rspca too. Animals are so innocent and straightforward. You don't see much of that in humanity :p

  • +7 votes

    I second daveaus with The Royal Flying Doctors. An amazing service for our communities in the bush.

    • +1 vote

      I also had a thought Ronald Mc Donald house. My brother had to take his daughter there to have a procedure done and they had to stay overnight. My brother couldn't sleep so he went for a walk threw the hospital, he got so emotional and thought how lucky he is. He met a father who had been staying over 12 months due to his son born with his insides out then extra complications set in.
      How Lucky are We!!
      PS - DON'T DONATE TO RED CROSS THEY TAKE OVER 70% OF DONATED MONEY. EXAMPLE VICTORIAN BUSHFIRES. Have a great one

      • +4 votes

        PS - DON'T DONATE TO RED CROSS THEY TAKE OVER 70%

        Do you have a source for this? Because it's not immediately obvious when you look at their financial statement:
        http://www.redcross.org.au/files/Financials_2011.pdf

        Also, I find it odd that you're complaining about the Royal Flying Doctors taking the same 70% in a post further down the page.

  • +4 votes

    Do Not give $$$$ to Flying Dr's they take quite enough. I agree give it to BeyondBlue. We had a funraiser for kids and said to flying drs we would give them a donation. They wanted 70% of all money raised so I never asked them again. If people are depressed and need someone out of the family to talk to they can call or goto beyond blue. Cheers :)

  • +1 vote

    I was watching a TV show late at night sometime in the last year and it was about the Flying Doctors (I have no idea what the show was called so I have no way at all at providing a link to it) and they do "home deliveries" of SHOPPING, hardly medical support (of cause some of the items could be medical related but that wasn't mentioned, it was about food and anything that they had brought and needed delivered)). I am not personally (not that it would be using the scheme above) giving money to a charity where some of it goes just to make shopping deliveries! So I DON'T think it should be the Flying Doctors either.

    •  

      didn't see the report but i assume it was from ACA or some such. To the best of my knowledge, they fly where needed and deliver medical assistance. They also do their best to coordinate their flights with postal and delivery services. Nothing wrong with that, it's efficient and logical.

      •  

        No it was a doco on channel 7 late at night.

        "They also do their best to coordinate their flights with postal and delivery services", so if there is no medical need to go there they never get their mail/shopping or they fly there anyway to do home shopping deliveries (if the later then it just shopping deliveries)? And this WASN'T them going with mail contractors this was THEMSELVES DOING THE HOME SHOPPING DELIVERIES.

        I couldn't find it on their website but I know what I saw and heard (I did that check/search before I posted the above).

        •  

          I think you're confused. if there's no medical need, the postal services would deliver the post. if they're going there anyway, may as well take the post with them. so what if they also took home shopping deliveries with them? I didn't suggest they hitched a ride with the mail contractors…

        •  

          I was NOT CONFUSED; did you see the show? They clearly stated what they were doing (making shopping deliveries).

  • +1 vote

    cancer council, heart foundation and UNICEF (australian portal) are some good charities.

    I third the beyondblue. Depression hits many and can turn out horrible if no actions are taken such as obesity, alcoholism and even suicide. BeyondBlue can really help in preventing these things.

  • +9 votes

    I suggest headspace. They do a lot of great work with young people suffering depression and anxiety, including operating clinical centres all around the country.

    http://www.headspace.org.au/

  • +1 vote

    It must be Australian or benefiting Australians (we are OzBargain after all).

    Since the original post already mentions World Vision, I assume this means that it's ok to support overseas projects as long since the organisation has an Australian presence (worldvision.com.au)?

    There is also CARE Australia:

    "CARE Australia is an Australian charity and international humanitarian aid organisation fighting
    global poverty, with a special focus on empowering women and girls to bring lasting change to
    their communities."

    There are lots of good causes that OzBargain could contribute to- all the suggestions so far have merit, and I wouldn't object to any of them. I do like the idea of long term support of projects though, like those done by World Vision. It would be cool to look back in a few years time and say "Hey! OzBargain's contribution helped this community have access to clean water" or "Look, our sponsored kid is now a teenager!"

  •  

    I suggest KIVA or BeyondBlue

  • +3 votes

    Another suggestion that's a bit more Australian: Fred Hollows Foundation (http://www.hollows.org.au/)

    Fred Hollows was named Australian of the year in 1990, and the foundation continues to do good work restoring eyesight to the needy, and improving indigenous health in Australia.

    • +1 vote

      The Fred Hollows Foundation is a worthy organisation to support. Cataracts often target older people (through no fault of their own) and gradually limits their visibility until one day they can't see a thing. Having no sight condemns you to a life of poverty (especially in 3rd world nations). A simple and inexpensive procedure reverses the effects of the cataract and restores the person's sight.

      •  

        I just thought for a minute that some day I'll be old and might need a cataract,
        easy selfish decision really ;-)

  •  

    Thanks for all the suggestions so far. Looks like these are all large national non-profit organisations. Any good local community projects? I guess the requirement of being a DGR might have put some good projects off.

    neil made a good suggestion on Kiva and possibility of OzBargain founded community-projects. I'll need to talk to my accountant on what can be done about it — however won't be ready for this financial year unfortunately.

  • +2 votes

    Home shelters and refuge from home abuse places are great local community charities. You could give to one in Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide and Perth.

  •  

    Another Australian based oversea aid organisation is Australian Lutheran World Service (http://www.alws.org.au/).

    Not sure if it is suitable for this due to its religious affiliations, but if people look past that it is still an organisation with low overheads who benefit a lot of people in need.

  •  

    A lesser known but effective charity is Southern Cross Kids' Camps, http://www.sckc.org.au/ and they are wholly Aussie. The media have been reporting high incidents of child abuse (between 2009-2010, 37,500 of 48,000 reported cases to DHS were children))and not enough is being done to fix this. The children who attend the camps are in the welfare system one way or another. The organisation is all about little kids who have been abused and abandoned and really could do with any donation. They are essentially run by volunteers who all want to see the lives of these kids changed for the better. The case workers of these children and their families have seen some amazing improvements of these kids after their stay ant the SCKC camps.

  • +15 votes

    Not much suggestion & discussion here? Maybe I've done something wrong to attract the awareness of this event… Or most people are just too busy hunting down EoFY bargains? :)

    OzBargain will be contributing $10,000 at the end of this financial year to charity organisations that the community has voted for. I will be adding polls tomorrow night & let it run for a week.

    Stay tuned.

    • +9 votes

      i dont think many people realise that this is going on, as you would have to dig a bit to reach this. Maybe have this on the front page sidebar for more attention?

    • +12 votes

      Make it a deal. "Free $10,000 to charity".

    • +7 votes

      posting on the main page was great (sim. to what wikipedia does). thnx for bringing this to our attention scotty :)

    • +8 votes

      Didnt know about it til the noticce on front page.

    •  

      A great initive Scotty, and its great you have opened it to the community to vote.
      For feedback, I followed the link from the homepage, wiki style.

  • +1 vote

    Congratulations Scotty - great work.

  • +3 votes

    So will the top voted charity get all $10,000 or will it be something like the top 3 charities will be given X amount of dollars proportional to how many votes they get?

    •  

      I believe that only the top voted charity will get the whole 10k, although I reckon the top 3 should get a lump sum each, proportional to the number of votes.

    • +4 votes

      Actually I am thinking of splitting the amount to the top 3 charities. Maybe something like $7000, $2000 and $1000 — these are all worthwhile causes.

      Hopefully we can do this more often — twice a year at least so more money can flow to organisations helping the communities and needies.

  • +2 votes

    Which one takes the least in fees for their execs?

    •  

      Originally I was hoping the community can do the research for me in the first week when I posted this :) I know some charity organisations, despite being non-profit, pay their executives a large salary. Some charities also have large overhead doing things like marketing (Oxfam has an affiliate program for websites, for example).

      Well maybe with their skills they do deserve it (or they can earn more in commercial firms), but it does leave you some sour taste thinking only a small portion of your contribution actually goes into the people you intend to help.

      •  

        Or you can think of it this way.

        The more money spent on adverting campaigns, the more money is raised. Even if a portion of your donation is used to contribute to a particular charity's advertising budget instead of going straight to the needy, the $50 (example) you originally donated may in fact turn out to be more like $60 in the end helping the needy. This is because through the help of your donation more money was raised (even after overheads are taken into account.)

        Also, larger overheads is not necessarily a bad thing. This may indicate the charity is carrying out more comprehensive research and program development. This leads to the money being spent more wisely in areas where it is most needed and development programs are run more efficiently and effectively.

        •  

          i agree with you to a point, but those charity muggers on the street probably claim the same thing. Except 10$ of that $50 donated only goes to charity

        •  

          I guess you have some facts and figures to back up your claims? I actually believe that what you say can be true in certain cases, but I really need someone to cough up some REAL facts and figures—not the endless garbage propogated in the media and by WOM.

          I agree though, some charities are just pure immoral when it comes to admin and fundraising policy. Sometimes there is huge waste.

          You can't always expect everyone to work for nothing. It's also providing employment for those "muggers" in the street. I even asked one of them a few months ago, "Are you being payed for this?". His honest answer—"Yes".

          There has been so much negative talk on this forum about wastage, mismanagement, corruption, admin costs, exec fees, only 10% going to the cause, etc, etc, and at the same time putting charities all in the same basket. But still no proof has been put forward to back up those claims!!

          Of course it happens—as in any other industry—but it's generally the exception, not the rule. It's not that hard to do your own research on the net to see which charities have the most favourable reputations.

        •  

          Another way to look at it is see how the business world works.

          Businesses have to spend money to make money (eg. advertise on TV and radio). There is no reason why charities (with the right policies) can't do the same thing and achieve value for money outcomes.

    • +2 votes

      Why such hate for high fees for their execs? I get it on face value, but if you actually think about it, you want to be able to attract people that are great leaders/CEOs/CFOs, publicists, strategists, etc etc. All of these people are highly qualified (economists, lawyers, businessmen) in other professions, and earn a high salary. Makes sense for a charity to invest in great leadership to achieve great results, even if this costs money. Be real, you can't expect everyone to work for free…

  • +5 votes

    I voted for RSPCA but seems like Cancer Council are miles ahead aren't they?

  • +2 votes

    Beyond Blue would receive my vote for sure. I'm not going to take up space here but it's a cause that I very much believe in.

  • +5 votes

    Had absolutely no clue this was going on (like most forum threads) until it was linked on the front page. Would've been great if more people knew about it earlier to suggest/discuss organizations to donate to. Either way, this is still a great initiative!

  • +8 votes

    I voted for Fred Hollows. They give great joy to people.

    Great idea, Scotty. This really turns Ozbargain into so much more than a price discussing community.

  • +2 votes

    Cancer gets more than its fair share of cash for research. And while its a horrible thing to happen to anyone, my vote goes to Beyond Blue.

    •  

      Agree, I'm putting my vote towards a smaller charity that would more actively use the funds, not line the pocket of some exec, or be added to some multi-million dollar investment account.

    • +8 votes

      BEYOND BLUE?!?!?

      In October 2011, gay rights activists called for Jeff Kennett to resign as chairman of the charity following his comments that children have better mental health if raised in heterosexual marriages.[1] Beyondblue staff, supporters and the gay and lesbian community have also reportedly been angry for years due to beyondblue's lack of programs addressing the high rates of suicide among young gays and lesbians.[2]

      Kennett also received criticism after he used Beyondblue's column in the Herald Sun to oppose mandatory gambling limits, despite the fact that beyondblue's own research shows a clear link between gambling addiction and depression. Kennett refuses to give his chief executive prior warning of the content of Beyondblue's weekly column.[2]

      The Sydney Morning Herald also reported that a former beyondblue staff member claims the organisation is in major turmoil, with large sums of money being spent on ineffective programs, morale at rock bottom and an exodus of disillusioned staff. Her claims came less than a week after beyondblue chief executive, Dawn O'Neil, resigned without explanation after just eight months in the role.[1]

      •  

        I agree, I think depression is a worthwhile cause but that level of controversy really puts me off. Even ignoring the problematic views of Jeff Kennett, the suggestion of financial mismanagement clinches it for me.

      • -1 vote

        "former employee" ~ potentially has an axe to grind = grain of salt.

  •  

    How is this going to work, does the "winner" get the entire donation or is it pro rata according to votes?

  • +1 vote

    Can I suggest a new player this being "Sea Shepard" and of course the Steve Irwan vessel for Anti-whaling

    • +1 vote

      +1 for Sea Shepherd. These guys are all volunteers and out of any charity you donate to, a whole lot will go directly into resources for protecting our oceans (dimishing blue fin tuna etc. all are issues alongside whales and seals etc).

  • +5 votes

    I'm thinking the we should give some money to the Syria appeal. $10, 000 can buy them a lot of arms, which they can use to get rid of the murderous Assad regime quickly before any more children are killed.

    I know that it's an unorthodox idea, but just think about it.

    • +7 votes

      Animals are at the mercy of humans. And sadly, some humans are straight up evil, neglectful and cruel. The animals get my vote, they need help too! I am 1000000% at peace with my morals. Unfortunately we can only vote for one!

      • -1 vote

        Whilst it may be true that animals are at the mercy of humans, and I agree that we should be nice and caring to animals, the welfare of humans should be paramount.

        Also, most disadvantaged people are also at the mercy of humans, just as animals are.

        • +5 votes

          In a lot of cases people can speak out, help themselves. Some people helped by charities are disadvantaged somewhat by choice, for example by the decision to take drugs. I find it challenging to support that, when my passion lies elsewhere.

          We will never agree, but I guess that's the beauty of it, why some people are fighting for one cause, and others for another. But to imply that others are "morally reprehensible" for their choice is wrong.

  • -1 vote

    how many people are getting behind Dry July?
    http://www.dryjuly.com/

    •  

      Sorry once the poll has been set up it's a bit tricky to change the options. Maybe you can suggest that next June? :)

      •  

        i voted for cancer council.
        i would probably still vote for cc against dry July, just wondering if anyone this July will be giving up the drink and raising money for it :D

        great idea scotty, this is a great initiative

  • +1 vote

    Fantastic gesture Scotty! And of course we can help by "availing" ourselves of the ads guys.

    Our picks that we help thoughout the year are Starlight - http://www.starlight.org.au and JDRF(Juvenile Diabetes) - http://www.jdrf.org.au/

  • +6 votes

    I went with Beyond Blue. Their services went a long way towards saving my life. :)

  • -3 votes

    Post removed. Have voted for Beyond Blue.

  •  

    On second thoughts I've decided to remove this post as it's not in the spirit of what OzB is trying to do. All the best.

  • +3 votes

    I would like to suggest a charity that isn't on the list - Save the Children Australia and in particular their West Africa Food Crisis appeal.

    Great gesture by giving back to the community!

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