Frequently asked questions

Q: Who is Caritas Australia?

Caritas Australia is the international aid and development agency of the Catholic Church in Australia, working in Africa, Asia, Latin America, the Pacific and in First Australian communities. We are part of the international Caritas Internationalis network, the second-largest humanitarian network in the world, which supports emergency aid and grassroots programs in over 200 countries and territories.

 

Q: What does ‘Caritas’ mean?

Caritas is a Latin word meaning love and compassion.

 

Q: What does the Caritas logo symbolise?

The international symbol of Caritas is a flaming cross, symbolising Christ’s burning love for his people.

 

Q: How much of my money goes to those in need?

We strive to keep our administration and fundraising costs as low as possible so that the maximum amount of funds can go to those in need. In 2019/2020 financial year, we had a fundraising ratio of 12.0% (as percentage of total income) and an administration ratio of 4.4% (as percentage of total income).

Our financial statements are externally audited (to the same standards which apply to Australian companies) and are available with our annual reports here.

 

Q: Does Caritas Australia help only Catholic people?

No. We respond to the immediate and long-term development needs of communities, particularly the most vulnerable, regardless of ethnicity, political beliefs, gender or religion. We work in a wide range of contexts, both religious and non-religious, across Australia, Asia, Africa, the Pacific and the Middle East. 

As we work alongside communities in partnership, in some situations we may partner with local faith-based groups and encourage their participation in the development process.  

 

Q: What is Project Compassion?

Project Compassion is our annual fundraising, awareness and education appeal, held during Lent, the six-week period before Easter. Learn more here

 

Q: When did Caritas Australia start?

Caritas Australia began in 1964 as the Catholic Overseas Relief Committee (CORC). Learn more here

 

Q: Is Caritas Australia a signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct?

Yes, Caritas Australia is a signatory to the ACFID Code of Conduct. ACFID is the Australian Council for International Development and is the coordinating body for non-government overseas aid and international development organisations in Australia. Learn more about how we adhere to the Code of Conduct here

 

Q: How do I give feedback or make a complaint about Caritas Australia?

We are committed to accountability and we encourage our supporters, program participants, partners, and other internal and external stakeholders, whether in Australia or abroad, to share their feedback with us, including any complaints or concerns. 

Ask a question, give feedback or make a complaint here. We will respond to you as soon as possible. 

 

Q: Does Caritas Australia receive funding from the Australian Government?

Yes. As an accredited agency, Caritas Australia receives government funding. In order to do this, we must undergo a rigorous accreditation process. Learn more about the accreditation process here

 

Q: I'd like to work for Caritas Australia. What should I do?

Learn more about current opportunities here

 

Q: Does Caritas Australia have volunteer opportunities?

Yes. We appreciate and love having volunteers on board. Learn more here.  

 

Q: Does Caritas Australia send Australian volunteers overseas?

In times of crisis we employ qualified people to assist local agencies with aid and rehabilitation. We are not a volunteer agency. For more information on volunteering overseas, head to Palms 
Australia. 

 

Q: Does Caritas Australia have an education team?

Yes. Our team of Social and Ecological Justice Animators are available to assist schools, education offices, universities, parishes and community groups. Our Animators speak to groups and run workshops and seminars about issues surrounding aid and development. We also produce a range of resources for parishes, teachers and students. Learn more here

 

Q: Why doesn’t Caritas Australia send 100% of donations overseas to people in need?

In order to deliver efficient, transparent and effective programs to those in need we need to maintain robust financial and administrative systems. By investing a small proportion in fundraising, we can ensure long-term stability in our funding streams work with communities long-term. We keep these costs down as much as we can. When a small fraction of your donation goes to administration, it’s not taking away from the work that we do – it’s supporting it – by helping us build a better organisation and deliver better outcomes for the communities we work with.

 

Q: How are donations to an emergency appeal spent?

Funds raised are used to support emergency response activities across affected countries in the region. If any funds remain after a crisis, they are kept in the Emergency Appeal Fund so that we can respond to ongoing needs and future crises in the region.

 

Q: Are my gifts to Caritas Australia tax-deductible?

Yes. Donations of $2 and over are tax-deductible.