Questions and answers
How much is going to administration support costs?
Up to 10 cents in each dollar will go towards the real and necessary costs of our response. This helps us get emergency grants to people quickly and securely, prevent fraud, raise funds, collect and analyse information, and comply with the legal obligations of handling funds. Every agency has these costs, which are sometimes covered by government or corporate donors.
We are committed to keeping these costs as low as possible, and we’ve had many organisations providing their help for free, for which we’re grateful.
Our support costs so far have been 4 cents in the dollar for every dollar donated. Most of these support costs are incurred up front to meet immediate needs rapidly. Some costs will continue to be incurred as we distribute funds but these will be as low as possible.
When will you have distributed all the money?
Applications for our existing grants now close on 31 December 2020, to give people who haven’t come forward time to apply. The funds allocated to emerging needs will be used to help those in continued financial hardship. We’re working hard to disburse most of those funds by the end of the year, with some left for people in ongoing financial hardship in 2021, and what’s needed for the remaining two years of our recovery program.
Can you provide money for fences or business losses?
There are charity laws that define what we can do. We are a public benevolent institution, which means we must provide relief to people who are in hardship or financial distress. This is generally interpreted to mean we can help people who have personal losses such as homes they live in, but not people who lost investment properties and holiday homes.
It also means we can only support people; not businesses or animals or community infrastructure. There are many government and other agencies offering bushfire relief to businesses including farms, and we refer people to them.
Are you keeping the money for other disasters?
We used $5 million in FY19/20 to have our teams on the ground responding to bushfires and Australian disasters during that year. This allowed us to provide 24/7 support, including evacuations, relief centres, deploying our emergency teams, training and wellbeing.
All the remaining funds donated to our Disaster Relief and Recovery fund during FY19/20 support our response to the 2019/20 bushfires: including the immediate assistance and longer-term recovery programs we will deliver with communities.
We are now accepting donations in FY20/21 to support our emergency response teams this year.
How will you keep people informed?
We will provide updates on our website. This page will also be updated as we progress.