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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Donations and tax deductibility

'Matching Grants' and 'Multiplying Gifts' - what does it mean?

Have you heard about “matching grants”, or how every dollar you give can be multiplied five times by a special grant from the Australian Government? Sounds great! But how does it work?

Tearfund is one of many agencies who receive funding from DFAT to supplement the development work they channel overseas and thus is part of the same program that other agencies may mention – so either agency gets the same benefit of your donation.

It is a bit confusing to explain how the program works since it is not what many people think when they hear about matching funds, and thus Tearfund has opted not to mention this in our fundraising. If an agency is part of the ANCP program with DFAT – one requirement is that the selected projects that are funded cannot be fully funded by DFAT. The agency (such as Tearfund) must make a contribution, often around 20% of the total project funded. The agency contribution of approximately 20% can give the impression that if someone donates to the organisation the government will match the donation. In practice it is the opposite. This is sometimes explained in more detail in the fine print on an agencies' website.

As you can see, it is a bit complicated and thus Tearfund has opted to not publicise it as matching funds since many people would interpret it that their donation is leading to a multiplicative increase in funding from DFAT when in fact the donor is helping to match the already determined (before your donation is made) DFAT funding requirement.

Is my donation tax-deductible?

Yes. Each donation of $2 or more is a tax-deductible donation. ABN 85 085 413 832. Donate to Tearfund.

How much of my donation reaches the project?

Since our beginnings in the early 1970's Tearfund has had a commitment to maintaining a low cost administration. To understand how this commitment continues to this day, and to view our latest figures, see:

How do I know the money gets there?

All projects are audited by accountants and reviewed by Tearfund project workers. Tearfund is also audited by registered company auditors and is fully accredited with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). Tearfund is a signatory to the ACFID (Australian Council for International Development) Code of Conduct, representing our commitment to ethical standards in governance, financial management and public accountability. See: Accreditations.

What is the most cost effective way to donate?

Direct bank transfers incur no additional fees for Tearfund Australia. See the Donate section for full details on how to transfer a donation directly into Tearfund’s bank account, or email [email protected].

Can I donate items such as clothing, books, medical supplies?

Tearfund is not able to facilitate the storage or transport of such items for our partners and projects. All such items for community development programs are purchased in the local communities.


How is a project designed?

Tearfund Australia’s partner organisations are responsible for the design of the program or project. Although it is not the task of Tearfund staff to assume responsibility for the design process, they do negotiate adjustments and revisions to project design with partners, prior to submitting funding applications. In this way, Tearfund’s International Program Team seeks to add value to the design process and provide assistance to our partners in thinking through the issues involved. See: Working in Partnership and Project Guidelines.

How is a project selected?

Projects are selected on the basis of the following strategic objectives. They should:

  • focus on the poorest and most marginalised people;
  • give priority to the rights, interests, needs and capacities of the people they serve;
  • address both the symptoms and the causes of poverty and marginalisation;
  • produce tangible, lasting improvement in the lives of the people they serve;
  • strengthen skills within communities, civil society and government to address their own development priorities.

How are projects evaluated?

An evaluation process is built into the initial design of every project, and is regularly conducted during implementation of the program. Regular reflections and evaluation by the community and local staff members, technical evaluation by experts, and the observations of Tearfund staff are used to keep the project on the path to achieving its goals. As projects reach their completion, or reach a new stage, often an external consultant is employed to facilitate the reflection and learning process.

Does Tearfund fund proselytising?

No. Tearfund’s policy is to finance the relief, development and advocacy activities of organisations who are motivated by their faith in Christ, and by their desire to demonstrate the depth of God’s commitment to justice, to mercy, and to the poor. We do not fund proselytising activities, but we rejoice and celebrate when we know of people whose lives have been wonderfully and beautifully enriched by the embrace of God in Christ. But we will not support any attempt to misuse relief and development activities to manipulate people into the church. We believe such attempts lack integrity, result in poor development, and dishonour the One who is our motivation.

Communication and other questions

How can I adjust the communications I receive from Tearfund?

You can update your communications preferences by speaking with one of the team at Tearfund Australia on 1800 244 986 or [email protected]

How can I update my contact or giving details?

Please contact Tearfund Australia on 1800 244 986 or [email protected]. If you are updating your credit card details, for security purposes please phone rather than email. Please note that updating details is not currently available online.

I am interested in working with Tearfund - how can I find out more?

Please see our Work with Tearfund section for details and current opportunities.

Are all Tearfund Projects listed on the website?

Featured partners appear in our Stories, and for more information about a specific project, please call 1800 244 986 or email [email protected].

Can I use and share your resources at church?

Tearfund produces a range of resources for individuals, churches and small groups to use. Most are free to distribute among your community. View our Resources.

Can I book a Tearfund speaker to visit my event?

Please contact your state office to discuss options on how to present the work of Tearfund in your church or event.

Tear Staff Row