How to say ‘no’ to requests for charitable donations

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There are 54,182 registered charities in Australia right now. That is one charity organisation for every 445 Australians. Those statistics are just within our own shores. That is a lot of potential requests for charitable donations!

Communities around the world rely on the great work that charity organisations do funded by charitable donations. At the same time, your personal budget for giving can only stretch so far.

How can you say ‘no’ to a good cause while still giving back?

Sources: Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission and Australian Bureau of Statistics homepage.

Create an annual strategy for charitable donations

The purpose of this article is help you manage your charitable donations budget. We encourage giving to worthwhile causes.

Charity and not-for-profit organisations play a fundamental role in the health and well-being of the communities they support. They need your support.

With more than 50,000 registered charities in Australia you need a strategy that aligns with your values, and fits in your budget.

Donating to whoever is asking often means losing track of how much you’re giving away. More importantly, it can distance you from being aware of the great work that charity organisations of your choosing, are doing.

By selecting one to three causes that you will donate to each year, you and the charity organisation will benefit because:

  • Lots of ad hoc small donations cost money: the cost of processing large volumes of small donations can absorb a good chunk of funds donated for goodwill.
  • You can help raise awareness: by researching where you will direct monetary donations each year, you will learn more about the organisation you are supporting. Educating yourself on the good work the charity is doing with your funds, will help you spread the word and raise awareness.
  • You’ll feel closer to the cause: I only elect one cause each year that I will donate money to, and then change where I donate funds every 1 July. Throughout the year, I follow their social media stories. I really enjoy knowing how my, and fellow donor funds are transforming lives.
  • You can say ‘no’ comfortably: with a clearly defined plan for charity donations each year, it is much easier to simply say ‘no, I already have my giving budget allocated this year,’ and walk away guilt-free.

5 ways to decline giving to a good cause

Here are five ways to politely decline giving  to a good cause once you have your annual budget and charitable donation strategy set.

  • Short and direct: “No. I am committed to the charities I’m currently donating to.”
  • Empathetic: “I love what your organisation is doing. Keep going. For now, I’ve already allocated my budget to [name of organisation].”
  • Future consideration: “I’d love to help but I have already committed to making a difference by donating my money to [name of organisation]. I’ll read up on [your organisation] and consider giving next year.”
  • Dedicated to another cause: “I’ve been gifting my money to [name of organisation] to make a difference in the lives of [recipients of charity organisation]. I love what their achieving with the money I’m donating and plan to keep supporting them.”
  • Supportive but ‘no’: “It’s great that you’re striving to make a difference. Keep going. I’ve got my charitable donations already sorted for this year.”

Related links:

To check an Australian charity organisation or not-for-profit is registered:

Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission > Find a charity

To research a global charity:

Give Well > Charities

Making sure your donation gets to where it needs to:

ACNC > Factsheet


  1. Barbara Rattigan

    How about the truth? I HAVE NO MONEY!
    I am in my eighties …. and am in danger of having to sell my home …
    And then what? Rent? How much longer am I going to live? I cannot spend any less money each month than I already do. I really do not, at
    my age, want to move! My house is 30 plus years old and in need of ….
    Paint, for one thing. No money for painting, and positively no money
    To donate to a cause ….. no matter how much I would like to. So …….
    Please …… stop flooding my mailbox with request after request .. for
    Donations ….. PLEASE!!!

  2. This article gives detail about charitable donations and this article shared so much information regarding the same… I enjoyed reading while going through this article and this is the best link for gaining all the information about it.

  3. Thanks a lot to you for sharing the true and insightful information regarding the charitable donation. Here, these kinds of ideas were much needed. I really appreciate that you have provided the data too, really appreciative and useful blog for us. Looking for more!!

  4. These are some great ideas about the say no to the charitable donations that you have discussed over here. I really loved it and thank you very much for sharing this with us. You have a great visualization and you have really presented this content in a really good manner.

  5. I just turned down a donation request in person and it was terrible! But what can I do when I have no job and no money?

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