Which emergency services charity should I donate to?

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


In Australia, we're lucky enough to have access to high quality emergency assistance, no matter where we are. Whether you find yourself out in the ocean, in the middle of the desert, or at the top of a remote mountain range, there is an emergency service that will come to your aid if you're  in trouble.

However, providing these services is not easy or cheap. So, who should you donate to if you want to ensure that this quality of emergency service continues across Australia?

The Good Cause Co. has evaluated three of Australia’s largest emergency service charities to help answer this question: The Surf Life Saving Foundation, Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia and Careflight.

Which of these charities is the best?

The Surf Life Saving Foundation achieves our highest recommendation, “Donate with Confidence”. They work to “to save lives, create great Australians and build better communities". On all accounts we believe The Surf Life Saving Foundation are a trustworthy charity that demonstrates they are effective at achieving this mission.

What about the others?

Royal Flying Doctor Service of Australia and Careflight achieve our ‘Donate’ recommendation. This means they seem generally trustworthy, and can demonstrate they are mostly effective. However, they need to provide further information in order for us to recommend them with confidence.

Other considerations

When giving to any of these charities, keep in mind that donations typically do not directly fund emergency services. These charities receive substantial government contracts to deliver such services. Donations, rather, allow each charity to pursue other activities, like raising awareness, delivering training, or undertaking research.


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.