A nonprofit organisation (NPO), not-for-profit organisation, or nonprofit institution, is an organisation traditionally dedicated to furthering a particular social or environmental cause by improving human and environmental well-being.
Thanks to the combination of strong community relationships and intimate local knowledge, these kinds of organisations play a vital role in building healthy communities by providing critical services that contribute to economic growth and stability.
There are approximately 56,000 non — profit organisations in Australia , but today, we want to share 10 of the most reputable:
“The purpose of life is not to be happy. It is to be useful, to be honorable, to be compassionate, to have it make some difference that you have lived and lived well.”
― Ralph Waldo Emerson
1. Act for Peace
Act for Peace’s work began in 1948 with the sending of food and other provisions to help refugees and internally displaced who had suffered during World War II. This small but significant gesture of charity has resonated deeply with thousands of Australians and has shown that we all have the ability to make a difference, no matter how small the gift.
Over the past 67 years, they have provided food, shelter, education, healthcare and training in more than 130 countries. They have supported long-term development projects that help communities tackle their own problems — whether that is giving girls a brighter future through education, helping farmers grow enough to eat or supporting refugees to return home safely after a conflict has ended.
Act for Peace supports partners to respond to emergencies and implement long-term humanitarian and development programs and advocacy initiatives responding to the needs of communities in protracted conflicts or disaster-affected regions.
They believe that when people all over the world work together, big positive changes really are possible!
2. Action On Poverty
Action on Poverty is a secular, independent, non-government organisation that focuses on evidence-based development to help communities break the poverty cycle for good.
They take a rights-based approach to poverty reduction. This means they work to address the underlying causes of poverty, not just its effects. This approach also ensures that the benefits of development are shared equally, especially among vulnerable groups such as women and ethnic minorities.
They truly believe that equipping local people with the skills they need to make a long-term change is the most effective way to alleviate poverty. They work with in-country partners who have the knowledge and experience needed to build relationships and deliver culturally-appropriate projects. They also mentor these organisations in key areas so they have a greater capacity to drive local development in the long-term.
3. CARE Australia
CARE Australia is a leading international aid organisation that works around the globe to save lives and defeat poverty. They know we cannot overcome poverty until all people have equal rights and opportunities.
CARE has been committed to helping the world’s most vulnerable people since the first CARE packages were sent to the survivors of World War II in 1945. They seek to end extreme poverty for all who experience it and provide assistance to those in poverty regardless of race, religion, or ethnicity.
They put women and girls at the heart of their work. Their access to equal opportunities represents a powerful and effective opportunity to end extreme poverty. When one woman escapes poverty, she will bring four others with her.
For those living in extreme poverty, they bring education and training, healthcare and clean water, nutritious food and new ways to earn an income. And in times of crisis, they deliver emergency relief.
In 2018 to 2019, CARE Australia directly helped 2.7 million people across 25 countries including in response to 14 emergencies.
Oxfam Australia was born out of a merger between two leading Australian international development agencies — Community Aid Abroad and the Australian Freedom from Hunger Campaign 67 years ago.
Oxfam Australia has been tackling poverty and empowering communities by helping people claim their basic human rights and by working with partners and communities to find practical and innovative ways for people to lift themselves out of poverty and thrive.
Inequality holds people back from taking control of their lives and escaping poverty. From unequal income, economic opportunities and access to basic services, to the unequal impacts of climate damage internationally, inequality causes poverty. They tackle inequality because poverty in the 21st century is less a problem of scarcity, rather the result of how resources, opportunities, and protections are distributed and wielded.
They provide support and relief to people and communities in developing countries to protect and rebuild their lives in times of crisis to find sustainable ways to build fair and independent lives. They also mobilise people to stand up and speak out, to influence those in power to ensure that people living in poverty have a say in the critical decisions that affect them, their families and communities.
“No worthwhile task is ever begun except by those with a vision. Visionaries however must be practical. We try to be practical by giving what we can and inducing others to do likewise.”
Father Gerard Kennedy Tucker
They believe that in a wealthy world, poverty is unjustifiable and preventable, that the present state of inequality and injustice must be challenged, and that with the right support, people can change their lives for the better.
5. Anglican Overseas AID
Anglican Overseas Aid is an overseas relief and development agency of the Anglican Church of Australia. For more than 30 years they have been working for a peaceful, just and sustainable world free from poverty.
They believe that everyone has an important part to play in making abundant life a reality for all people. That’s why they’re passionate about working with communities all over the world so they can lift themselves out to overcome poverty, injustice and disaster.
With projects in countries across Africa, the Middle East, Asia and the Pacific ranging across broad areas including women’s empowerment, child protection, disaster response, breast cancer diagnosis and treatment, maternal and child health, promoting the elimination of gender-based violence and more, Anglican Overseas Aid is a dynamic and effective faith-based organisation.
“The relief of poverty and suffering and the overcoming of injustice remain guiding principles of this impressive organisation. I warmly encourage you to consider supporting the vital work of Anglican Overseas Aid.”
6. Action AID Australia
Action AID Australia was founded 10 years ago when they launched a global campaign to make cities safer for women and responded to major emergencies in Vanuatu and Nepal supporting safe spaces for women and resourcing women’s leadership.
Over the past five years, they have firmly established themselves in Australia as a global women’s rights organisation, supporting women living in poverty and exclusion around the world. They have also begun campaigning in Australia and across the globe to address the structural causes of injustice and inequality, using an intersectional feminist lens.
Around the world, they have partnered with local women’s organisations, who know exactly what changes their communities’ need — and they support them to design and lead programs that will make those changes happen. From empowering women with the tools to campaign for safer cities, or building women’s capacity to respond to climate disasters,their programs support women living in poverty and exclusion, and their communities.
They have built a nation-wide community activist network who campaign to hold the Australian Government and corporations accountable for their impact on the rights of women living in exclusion around the globe.
7. ChildFund Australia
ChildFund Australia is an independent international development organisation that works to reduce poverty for children in many of the world’s most disadvantaged communities.
They partner to create community and systems change which enables vulnerable children and young people, in all their diversity, to assert and realise their rights.
With a global network of 11 organisations, the ChildFund Alliance assists almost 16 million children and families in over 60 countries.
ChildFund Australia works in partnership with children, their communities and local organisations to create lasting change, respond to humanitarian emergencies and promote children’s rights.
Their organisational aims are also aligned with the Global Goals: to end extreme poverty, fight inequality and injustice, and fix climate change. This also includes specific targets to reduce violence against children, which has been the cornerstone of ChildFund’s Free From Violence campaign.
Their programs give children and youth the confidence to share their opinions, and to participate in family and community decision-making on issues which affect them and they also prioritise the health, wellbeing and resilience of children, working in partnership with their families and communities to ensure that their basic human rights are safeguarded and upheld.
Every child should experience a childhood in which they are nurtured, protected and given access to opportunity.
8. Australian Conservation Foundation
The Australian Conservation Foundation is a national environmental organisation with a community of 700,000 people who speak out for the air we breathe, the water we drink, the places we live at, and the wildlife we love.
They push for bold solutions, because the problems we face are big and urgent and they use evidence-based advocacy, courage, creativity and common sense to make this country a better place.
As an advocacy organisation, they expose corruption and destruction and create real solutions for a better future. They champion our trees, communities, reefs and wildlife.
Together, we can make changes
Change only happens when people come together and demand it.
People with the desire to make a difference, united — that’s all it takes to change the world.
Big polluter lobby groups say we should plant trees. Instead, they campaign to stop logging companies from chopping them down.
They amplify the voices of those who would not otherwise be heard. Voices of critters, families, and future generations. People who love snorkeling the reef, seeing critters in the wild, and harvesting energy from their rooftops.
Join a community of people who show up, speak out, and act!
9. WWF Australia
The World Wide Fund for Nature is an international non-governmental organisation founded in 1961 that works in the field of wilderness preservation and the reduction of human impact on the environment.
Over the past 50 years, WWF has grown into the largest and most influential independent conservation organisation in the world. They have over five million supporters globally and they operate in more than 100 countries.
On June 29th 1978, WWF was established in Australia, with just three staff working out of an old factory in Sydney. The group called for urgent global action to stop vast numbers of wild animals being hunted out of existence and habitats from being destroyed.
WWF’s global mission is to stop the degradation of the planet’s natural environment and to build a future in which humans live in harmony with nature. WWF-Australia is part of the WWF International Network, the world’s leading, independent conservation organisation.
In Australia and throughout the oceanic region, they work with governments, businesses and communities so that people and nature can thrive within their fair share of the planet’s natural resources.
WWF’s mission is to halt the decline of threatened plants and animals and to support their recovery. They do this by addressing the threats that affect them using the best available science while working in partnership with communities, Indigenous groups, government and business.
They’re focussing on sustainable fisheries, resilient marine ecosystems and clean oceans. The health of our reefs and surrounding oceans means reducing threats to the sharks, rays, penguins, cetaceans and marine turtles that these animals call home.
Their drive is to promote a sustainable food system that will conserve nature and feed humanity. They’re looking to reduce waste and environmental impact that contributes to social and economic outcomes.
They’re tackling climate change by working directly with entrepreneurs, investors and business to support and promote innovative, low carbon and zero carbon solutions.
The world is changing fast. Our wildlife and wild places face unprecedented challenges. The result is people yearn more for nature and are connected with each other like never before. Working together is the answer. It is WWF-Australia’s goal to bring about this unified voice for nature.
10. Gould League
Gould League is an independent not-for-profit organisation celebrating 109 years of environmental and sustainability education. They help teachers to reinforce the impact of their science and sustainability curriculum, connect students with their natural world and empower the community with positive messages and practical actions to live more sustainably.
Originally set up to prevent bird egg collecting and to educate for the protection of Australian birds, the Gould League has made a significant impact on generations of Australians and their environmental attitudes.
Gould League blazed the trail for environmental education in Australia with their excursion programs, resources (like curriculum guides, books and posters), and interactive educational websites. As environmental attitudes shifted, they broadened their message from birds to a range of sustainability areas including water, biodiversity, energy and waste.
Over 1 million Australians have been Gould League members since they began. Kids, families and adults make up our 300 strong membership base at present, supporting our organisation’s legacy.
Supporting these organisations is a huge responsibility that we all have to help overcome inequality, injustice, violence, discrimination, and poverty. It’s the perfect opportunity to fight peacefully for what we truly believe in.
Our planet has all the resources for each one of us to live a happy and healthy life, we just need to be more conscious about our consumption levels and care more about other people who do not have the same opportunities as we have.
When we strive together, we succeed together!