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As at 6 November 2023, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC) has been provided updated advice from the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) about donating money to charities that are seeking to deliver humanitarian relief in the current conflict in Gaza.

It is important that you only donate to organisations that can safely deliver relief and manage the risks of working in conflict zones.

The advice from DFAT is there to help you work out how best to do this. They are monitoring the current crisis closely and working in consultation with agencies delivering relief and the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) as they assess requirements to support relief efforts.

Given the complex and changing nature of the current conflict we are highlighting the DFAT advice. ACFID also provides advice on its website.

Generally, before you donate to a charity the ACNC recommends you:

  • Look for established, registered charities running verified appeals.
  • Check the Charity Register to see details about a charity’s main work and who runs it.
  • Don’t click on links in unsolicited emails and social media posts which may take you to a scam website. Instead, find a charity’s website in a search engine or on the Charity Register.
  • If you get a call claiming to be from a charity, say you’ll call back. Search the Charity Register and call back on the number shown there.

For charities that provide relief to humanitarian crises overseas, you can also check if they are a member of ACFID.

In emergencies overseas, ACFID members work with organisations who disburse funds in responsible, effective and transparent ways. ACFID members are signatories to a code of conduct, and during emergency appeals, ACFID checks members' emergency appeals websites to ensure they comply with transparency and accountability requirements. The code has an independent complaints mechanism should anyone believe that a member is breaching it.

Advice for charities seeking to provide humanitarian relief

For charities seeking to provide humanitarian assistance, including through other organisations, it is important to conduct due diligence, have proper processes in place to ensure your charitable funds are protected from misuse, are being used towards your charity’s charitable purpose and the people or entities you deal with are not designated under Australian sanctions law.

The ACNC provides further guidance to mitigate against the risk of having charitable funds misused for the purposes of terrorism financing.

This item was updated on 13 November 2023.