• Overseas disasters – setting up a tax-deductible appeal

    Collecting for an established DGR offers advantages as the existing fund will already have systems in place to handle funds and get assistance to the disaster victims quickly.

    However, if you decide you want to start a DGR to provide for overseas disaster relief, your options include setting up:

    • an overseas aid fund
    • a developed country disaster relief fund
    • a public ancillary fund.

    In response to large-scale disasters, the government may also specifically list funds that can receive tax-deductible donations from the public (see Listed by name in tax law).

    Overseas aid funds

    Overseas aid funds are established to provide relief for people in a country declared by the Minister for Foreign Affairs to be a developing country. These funds may provide money for disaster relief in countries where the aid organisation that owns the fund operates, or where its partner aid agencies operate.

    Overseas aid funds must meet the requirements of an approval process that is managed by AusAID.

    See also:

    Overseas aid funds

    Developed country disaster relief fund

    Developed country disaster relief funds are public funds established and maintained by a public benevolent institution solely for providing money for the relief of people in a developed country who are in distress as a result of a disaster recognised by a Treasury Minister as a disaster. Developed country disaster relief funds include funds that provide relief by way of assistance to re-establish a community.

    The Minister may recognise a disaster if satisfied that the disaster:

    • developed rapidly
    • resulted in  
      • the death, serious injury or other physical suffering of a large number of people, or
      • widespread damage to property or the natural environment.

    The Minister's recognition of a disaster must be announced publicly and must specify the day (or the first day) the disaster is taken to have occurred or commenced. We maintain a list of disasters that have met these requirements.

    This type of fund may provide money for a broad range of activities. This includes:

    • emergency shelter
    • health care
    • food supplies
    • trauma counselling
    • work on buildings, amenities, locations and infrastructure.

    See also:

    Developed country disaster relief funds

    Public ancillary funds

    Public ancillary funds are established for the purpose of providing money, property or benefits to DGRs or for the establishment of DGRs. Public ancillary funds must not carry on any other activities or make distributions to other public ancillary funds or to private ancillary funds.

    A public ancillary fund may provide assistance in relation to overseas disasters by providing funds to DGRs that are overseas aid funds or developed country disaster relief funds. Before distribution, the trustees should review the trust deed to ensure it allows for such distributions.

    See also:

    Public ancillary funds

    Last modified: 14 Oct 2015QC 46270