I want to set up a charity to raise money for people overseas. Where do I start?

If you want to do charitable work or raise funds to help people living overseas, you should carefully consider your options to make sure that your aid is targeted to where it’s most needed.

What are your options?

As a starting point you will need to decide whether you can work with an existing charity or whether you need to set up your own.  The option that is best for you will depend on factors such as:

  • The purpose of the charity;
  • The manner in which you want to assist people overseas;
  • Your budget;
  • How quickly you want to start making a difference; and
  • Who you want to involve in the charity.

Working with an existing charity

It’s important to consider the range of existing charities and aid programs that are already operating in the region you are interested in supporting.  You may be able to work constructively with, or ‘under the umbrella’ of, these entities.

An existing charity may be prepared to expand their services or work with you on a specific project, meaning that you can potentially still exercise some control over how the funds you raise or contribute are used.

You can formalise the arrangement by a written agreement so that the project, relationship and roles of each party are clearly defined. You may even be able to set up a ‘sub-fund‘ within the existing charity so that your fundraising efforts are only used for a certain purpose and quarantined from the charity’s general funds.

This option has the benefit of being low-cost and relatively quick and simple to establish, meaning that you can focus your time, effort and money toward your chosen program.

Establish your own Public Ancillary Fund

A Public Ancillary Fund is a special type of trust through which you can receive tax-deductible donations.  The trust does not undertake any charitable work itself but rather acts as a ‘conduit’ to distribute funds to existing registered Australian charities.

This structure allows you to exercise more control over your fundraising activities and to be more flexible in how your funds are used.  You may support one particular cause or project one year, and turn your focus to another project the next year.  The cost of establishing this option is mid-range and requires a lot more input from you in terms of ongoing administration and reporting.

Establish your own Overseas Aid Fund

This is a particular type of charity that can receive tax-deductible donations from the public in Australia to undertake charitable work overseas.

The process to become registered as an Overseas Aid Fund is very lengthy (sometimes up to 2 years) and there are very strict criteria that the Fund must meet before it will be eligible.

The charity needs to demonstrate a track record of providing overseas aid, including strong local partnerships and a history of successful projects. These Funds require a high level of ongoing cost, administration and reporting.

For more information or help getting your charity off the ground, call us on 1300 654 590.  For more information about our Not-for-Profit services click here.

Our Great Lawyer Guarantee

We want to be part of your team over the long term. We'll achieve this by sticking closely to the following principles:

  • We'll listen carefully to understand what you want to achieve. Then we'll thoroughly explain our advice and step you through the documents. You can be sure you'll know the full consequences.
  • Our lawyers work as a team, so someone will always be available to answer your questions, or point you in the right direction. You will also benefit from a range of perspectives and experience.
  • One of our key goals is to pass on as much knowledge as we can, so you can make your own informed decisions. We want to make you truly independent.
  • We only do what we're good at. You can be confident that we know what we're doing and won't pass on the cost of our learning.
  • For advice and documents, we provide a fixed or capped quote so you don’t take price risk. If you're in a dispute, we'll map out the process and costs so you know what to expect.
  • We're not in this game for our egos. We're in it for a front row seat to witness your success.

We measure our success on how efficiently we have facilitated your objectives, enhanced your relationships, and reduced the level of stress for all involved.

If we sound like people you can work with, call us now on 1300 654 590 and speak directly with a great lawyer.

Call 1300 654 590 and speak with a lawyer today

You'll be put straight through to a great lawyer who will guide you to the right solution.

Social media and family law

Social media and family law

It may be tempting to take Kanye West as your model and use social media to both attack your ex-spouse and vent about your hurt, disappointment, and hatred for all that is happening to you during a family law dispute but be warned in Australia this type of conduct has very real implications for family law cases. 

read more