Which charity is the best at helping rural communities?

This analysis reflects our 2018 recommendations. Subscribe now for updates.


Hailed as “the worst drought in our lifetime”, farmers across the country have been battling to keep livestock and crops alive. The country is eager to help.

But how?

The easiest way is to help is to give money to a rural charity. However, choosing one to give to is harder than it sounds. Rural charities vary significantly in quality. Some are clearly demonstrate they are using donations effectively to improve the lives of rural communities. Others have a lot to be desired. In fact, the Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission is currently “working” with several rural charities following concerns about these charities raised by the public.*

Who should you give to?

To help you make a decision about which rural charity to give to, we have evaluated the following large rural charities:

Who is the best?

We recommend that you donate with confidence to Foundation for Rural and Regional Renewal. This charity demonstrates they are a high performing and effective organisation. They describe their strategic objectives, highlight the problems they are tackling, summarise how they intervene, share their results, and present evaluations of their programs. They also show they are trustworthy; they are transparent with their finances and describe their board and executive team in detail.

Who should you avoid?

We recommend you do not donate to Aussie Helpers. The main reason for this is that they have not been able to demonstrate that they effectively use donations for the cause. In the last reported financial year, only 8% of donations went to farmers. A large proportion of their donations have ended up sitting as cash in the bank. Adding to that, they do not present a clear strategy for how funds will be used, and do not report clearly on what activities have been delivered in the past.

Stay tuned for more

The Good Cause Co.’s “Should I Give To…” provides completely independent evaluations of Australia’s largest charities. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn to be the first to find out which charities you should support.