Which chronic disease charity should I donate to?

Updated June 18, 2019. Subscribe now to stay informed.


In Australia, there is no escaping chronic disease. In fact, more than 11 million Australians reported having at least one chronic disease in 2014-15.* These types of diseases, such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, asthma, back pain, and mental health conditions, are the leading cause of death in Australia. Sadly, many of us have lost friends and relatives to these illnesses.

Which charity should you donate to if you want to help minimise the impact of chronic disease in Australia? The Good Cause Co. have evaluated some of our country's largest chronic disease charities to help answer this question**: Cancer Council Australia, National Breast Cancer Foundation, Leukaemia Foundation, McGrath Foundation, Peter MacCallum Cancer Foundation, Movember Foundation and National Heart Foundation of Australia.

Which charity should I donate to?

This year, all chronic disease charities we have evaluated get our “Donate” recommendation. This means we believe that they are likely to be trustworthy and effective. However, there is more they can do to demonstrate that donations will be spent wisely. 

With that in mind, we believe the best way to choose a chronic disease charity is to focus on the specific disease that means something to you. If there are multiple charities working in that field (as is the case with cancer), think about the type of work that you think is important: research, awareness or direct care?

  • Research - do you want to fund scientists and laboratories to develop ways to reduce the incidence and impact of the disease?

  • Awareness - do you want to help run campaigns that increase awareness of the disease and that inform the community of preventative measures?

  • Direct care - do you want to provide direct healthcare services and assistance to those affected by the disease?

Each approach has its pros and cons. Research has the potential to create the largest impact, but takes a long time and outcomes are uncertain. Awareness campaigns can create a broad scale meaningful impact. However, the campaign needs to be designed well and supported on an ongoing basis to work. Direct care creates the most immediate impact, but is relatively inefficient (it takes a lot of money to help one person).

Most charities will focus their work in one or two of these areas. We’ve created a table to show where each charity prioritises their work. We hope this will help you find a charity that creates the impact you want to see.

Chronic disease comparison.png


Still not sure which charity is right for you? Contact us and we will help guide you in the right direction.


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The Good Cause Co.’s “Should I Give To…” provides independent evaluations of Australia’s largest charities. Our reviews are comprehensive and consider both the trustworthiness and effectiveness of each charity. We update our recommendations annually to ensure we provide relevant advice. We do this to help you feel confident about giving.

*Source: https://www.aihw.gov.au/reports-statistics/health-conditions-disability-deaths/chronic-disease/overview

** Note: mental health charities are presented separately