About the fire fund

What is Fire Fund?

Minderoo Foundation established Fire Fund with an AU$70 million commitment to support response, recovery and resilience streams of work. Fire Fund has allocated:

  • Response – AU$10 million to identify and mobilise volunteers to support clean up and recovery efforts.
  • Recovery – AU$10 million to provide direct, on-the-ground support for affected communities as they rebuild, with a focus on crucial grassroots projects identified by community members.
  • Resilience – AU$50 million to expedite and scale best practice solutions in wildfire and disaster mitigation and resilience to create a globally relevant blueprint.

How much money are you trying to raise?

Fire Fund is calling on people and organisations around the world to donate and accelerate our capacity to deliver to communities. Fire Fund is seeking to raise matching funds for our Response and Recovery and AU$450 million for resilience building.

Where are the funds being distributed?

Funds are being distributed:

  • Response – primarily on travel and accommodation expenses for specialised volunteers, including firefighters, medics, tradespeople, mental health workers and ground clean up personnel, to provide support in areas most seriously impacted.
  • Recovery – to communities in states most seriously impacted by bushfires (South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria). Fire Fund has visited a number of communities to assess needs, including: Kangaroo Island and Woodside in South Australia; Armidale, Wytaliba, Tenterfield, Torrington, Drake, Moruya, Mogo, Malua Bay and Merimbula in New South Wales; and Mallacoota and Bairnsdale in Victoria.
  • Resilience – to build long term resilience by convening leading experts to develop a globally relevant national blueprint for wildfire and disaster resilience. With the support of leading international non-profit environmental organisation Conservation International, these efforts are drawing on existing research and expertise in Australia and overseas to accelerate innovation and develop new approaches to mitigate bushfires.

Our website, firefund.org, is updated regularly on the progress of our efforts.

Who is eligible for funds?

Based on community consultation, Fire Fund will consider where help is most needed and what projects or infrastructure are urgently required. Fire Fund is committed to providing and expediting practical support at the grassroots level so immediate needs are met in a timely manner. Fire Fund is committed to working alongside government to complement its role.

We are collaborating with and assisting the many local, regional, national and international organisations that are providing relief to determine where the funds are distributed. We are working in collaboration with many of these organisations already.

The Resilience project will be impact driven and evidence based. There is exciting new technology at our fingertips, and we will harness this to place at-risk habitats and communities on a different trajectory. We will work with specialised partners after a rigorous due diligence process to ensure Fire Fund has lasting, systemic impact on national environmental policy settings.

Are you consulting with affected communities?

The Fire Fund team is on the ground and regularly speaking to and working with affected communities.

We have met with people who lost their homes, livestock, infrastructure and businesses and listened to their stories. Our approach is to listen to what people have suffered and respond based on their needs. We are delivering what people need now and in the medium and the longer term to rebuild lives and re-establish their communities for a stronger, more resilient Australia.

Why should I donate to Fire Fund?

There are many organisations doing fantastic work in providing emergency relief. Our immediate focus is on helping communities recover and rebuild. Minderoo Foundation has delivered for communities before in our response to the Black Saturday fires, the 2011 Queensland Floods and the 2016 Yarloop Fire in regional Western Australia. We move swiftly and practically to get projects moving in a timely manner that will allow communities to not just survive but thrive again.

There have been so many fundraising scams, how do I know what is legitimate?

Unfortunately, Minderoo Foundation Chairman Andrew Forrest and his family have had their images used in scams. To avoid scams, we suggest that you conduct due diligence on the organisations to which you wish to donate.

The Australian Charities and Not-for-profit Commission (ACNC) lists registered charities on its website. Minderoo Foundation is registered with the ACNC here.

If you believe you donated to a scam you should:

  • Contact your bank to report the transaction immediately;
  • Report the scam to the website on which it is hosted; and
  • Lodge a report with Scamwatch and consider other options to get help.

The ACCC has a dedicated phone number for the public to report bushfire related scams. People can call 1300 795 995 to report these scams.

Making a donation

Are the donations to the Fire Fund tax-deductible?

The below is general in nature, does not take account of your individual circumstances and does not constitute tax advice. You should consult your own professional tax adviser regarding the tax consequences of making a donation in light of your individual circumstances.

If you make a donation through this site you will be issued with a receipt from The Minderoo Foundation Pty Ltd as trustee for The Minderoo Foundation Trust which is a Deductible Gift Recipient under Australian tax law. Donations above AU$2 may be eligible as a tax deduction under Australian tax laws.

If you are donating from outside Australia, you may not be able to claim a tax deduction in your jurisdiction using the receipt we issue you. We are actively working on a way to have receipts issued which may allow donors to claim a tax deduction in certain jurisdictions outside Australia and we will update this site when further information is available.

Are there any administration fees taken out of my donation?

Minderoo Foundation is meeting all expenses associated with raising and processing donations.

Is there a maximum or minimum amount that I can donate?

Donations can be made through this site for amounts up to AU$10,000. If you would like to donate an amount larger than AU$10,000 please contact us at help@firefund.org and we will be in touch to arrange direct payment.

Can I donate if I live overseas?

Yes. However, if you are donating from outside Australia, you may not be able to claim a tax deduction in your jurisdiction using the receipt we issue you. We are actively working on a way to have receipts issued which may allow donors to claim a tax deduction in certain jurisdictions outside Australia and we will update this site when further information is available.

What is your ABN # and registered name of your organisation?

The Minderoo Foundation Pty Ltd as trustee for The Minderoo Foundation Trust (ABN 24 819 440 618) (Minderoo Foundation) is specifically listed in the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997 (Cth) as a Deductable Gift Recipient (DGR) organisation and is endorsed as an income tax exempt charity and entitled to GST concessions.

How can I ensure you don’t pass on my details to other organisations?

Please see our Privacy Policy for details on how we treat your personal information.

For how long will Fire Fund take donations?

Our experience helping communities after other disasters such as the Black Saturday fires and 2011 Queensland floods tells us that the rebuilding process takes years not months. We will continue to collect donations for as long as generous people continue to give.

How can I stay updated on what is happening with the money I have donated?

Firefund.org will provide regular updates about how funds are being used to support bushfire affected communities. As part of the donation process you can subscribe to receive updates from firefund.org. We are also sharing updates through our social media pages on Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram,

Volunteering your time

Is there a minimum time commitment for volunteers?

The time commitments, skill sets needed and areas to be deployed for volunteers will vary based on individual projects and community needs. After registering your interest on firefund.org we will communicate these details to volunteers.

From previous experience working in natural disaster zones, we know that rebuilding communities can take a long time.

What skills and experience do I need?

There will be a diverse range of skills required and we are working to identify these based on community-led feedback. Once we understand the skills required on the ground, we will work to match skills against requirements. We will also be doing a call-out with future social media posts and other communications.

Can I claim expenses while I am travelling?

Minderoo Foundation, alongside our partners, will cover travel and accommodation expenses for volunteers. Arrangements regarding additional expenses (e.g. meals and transport) will be made on a case by case basis.

Is there an age restriction on volunteering?

Yes. We will only accept applications from volunteers aged 18 years and older.

When will I be deployed?

Details will be communicated to volunteers directly as it will depend what skills are required, where they are required and what recovery efforts are being undertaken. While it is important to provide some immediate relief to these communities, the rebuilding process will take time. We want to make sure there is a steady stream of the right support at the right time for the many months ahead.

Can I request the location that I volunteer my time?

No. Volunteers will be asked to deploy to those communities in which their skills are in greatest demand. Minderoo Foundation will be sending teams of volunteers to a number of communities across Victoria, New South Wales and South Australia and it is critical for us to ensure our response remains nimble and flexible.