- How can I get bushfire assistance from Vinnies?
The best way to reach us is to call 13 18 12. We’ll put you onto your nearest Vinnies volunteers or staff. We are present in many communities across the country.
- How will Vinnies use my donation?
All funds raised via the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal are used to support people and communities impacted by the bushfires. So far, your generous donations have provided:
- emergency financial assistance
- essential items such as food and clothing
- crisis accommodation when homes are destroyed or damaged or when people are evacuated, and
- emotional support to help get people back on their feet.
As we move from immediate disaster relief into the recovery and rebuilding phase, your donations will be used to help individuals deal with the long-term impact of the fires. Your funds will be used to help communities rebuild, focusing on projects with a community-wide benefit such as restoring community halls and other shared facilities. You will also be helping farms and local businesses get back on their feet.
- Is the Vinnies website secure?
Yes. The Vinnies website is a secure platform for making donations using a credit card or PayPal.
You can also donate over the phone on 13 18 12.
- Are administrative fees taken out of my donation?
No. Vinnies does not take any administrative fees from disaster appeal donations. Vinnies uses other income streams and funds to assist in covering our costs when responding to emergencies such as the recent bushfire crisis.
The contributions of our thousands of volunteers are also critical in helping to keep costs down.
- Will I get a donation receipt?
Yes – if you give us your mailing address while donating online or over the phone, we will mail you a tax-deductible donation receipt. Otherwise, we can email you a digital receipt.
- Is my donation tax deductible?
Yes. Vinnies operates in every state and territory. Each of these organisations is endorsed by the Australian Taxation Office as a deductible gift recipient. This means that donations of $2 and over are tax-deductible. Each Vinnies organisation can issue a tax-deductible receipt. Remember to save your receipt for tax time. The Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission regulates Australia’s charities.
- Why can’t donated funds be spent immediately?
Many of the donations made by the public were distributed immediately and within weeks of the bushfires. Vinnies has already distributed millions of dollars’ worth of assistance. However, the process of assessing people and establishing their needs does take time.
While we understand the community’s expectations that funds are distributed as quickly as possible, it is also very important to ensure that we plan for people’s needs in the months following a crisis where many of the needs are critical. It is crucial that we have funds remaining to help these families and communities to recover and rebuild once they are ready to do so.
- Does my money actually go to the people affected by the fires?
Yes. All funds donated to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal are used to support people affected by bushfires in Queensland, NSW, the ACT, Victoria and SA. Mostly this is in the form of direct cash transfers to their bank accounts. They are then in a position to arrange for repairs, temporary accommodation, or other necessities during the bushfire crisis.
- Are you using Vinnies Bushfire Appeal funds for other emergencies?
No. Every dollar donated to the Vinnies Bushfire Appeal is being spent on the summer 2019-20 bushfire crisis, here in Australia (specifically, in Queensland, NSW, the ACT, Victoria and SA). We are not saving your donations for future emergencies or any other good works.
- Can I drop my clothes/blankets/furniture/mattress off for you to send to people affected by the fires?
The best way to support people affected by the bushfires is to make a financial donation.
Transporting material goods to emergency zones comes at a cost. Wherever possible, purchasing items locally in an affected area is a much better option, as it supports the local economy and small businesses.
- How much assistance have you provided to bushfire communities so far?
We are providing regular updates on this webpage.