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Bendigo Bank launches National Bushfire Appeal

4 January 2006 |Media centre

With serious bushfires in three States over recent days, Bendigo Bank today launched a National Bushfire Appeal.

The appeal will be conducted by the bank’s charitable arm, Community Enterprise Foundation, and will remain open for the entire bushfire season.

People will have two choices in making donations. They can:

  • Nominate a particular fire, in which case trustees will allocate the funds to help victims in that region, or …
  • Make a general donation, where the trustees will have the discretion to allocate funds on an as-needs basis to fire victims anywhere in Australia.

Foundation chairman Ian Mansbridge said Bendigo Bank would launch the appeal with a donation of $10,000.

Donations can be made at any of Bendigo Bank’s 326 branches or by credit card by phoning the bank on 1800 304 541 between 8am and 8pm AEDT.

Mr Mansbridge said victims of this week’s Stawell (Vic) and Junee (NSW) fires would be eligible for relief funding.

Donations of $2 or more are tax deductible and donors will be provided with a tax receipt through the Foundation.

Mr Mansbridge said the permanent nature of the appeal had big benefits.

“The main one is that trustees can swiftly respond to emergencies.

“There is often a desperate need for immediate relief funding for stock feed, emergency accommodation, food and clothing and yet funds from traditional appeals may take weeks to reach victims.

“Our aim is to have funds available at all times to distribute literally within hours if necessary.”

Mr Mansbridge said the National Bushfire Appeal would draw on Bendigo Bank’s past experience of supporting bushfire victims.

“Some years back the bank raised more than $700,000 for the families of five firefighters killed at Linton in Victoria. Last year we raised more than $140,000 for the Eyre Peninsula fires.

“We know Australians are generous in these times of need and we know they trust Bendigo Bank’s ability to work with local communities to make sure donations are wisely distributed.”

Community Enterprise Foundation is the charitable arm of Bendigo Bank and is administered by its trustee, Sandhurst Trustees Limited (a wholly owned subsidiary of Bendigo Bank). As it enjoys Deductible Gift Recipient status, the Foundation is able to accept tax-deductible donations from individuals, business and governments for distribution to both registered charities and charitable projects. Through leveraging the resources of the Bendigo Bank Group, the Foundation is able to keep administration costs to a minimum, meaning 95 per cent of money donated reaches recipients. 

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