How we are supported

How We Manage Our Revenue

The Surf Life Saving Foundation operates multiple and diverse programs through both Philanthropic and Commercial activities to secure support for the Movement.

Total Revenues combined with Grants secured for Surf Life Saving Entities totalled $37,791,592. Philanthropic activities represented 25.2%, Events 1.0%, Grants 3.7% and Commercial activities 69.2% and other income received of 0.8%, making up our total income.

When I donate money to SLS, what does it get spent on?

For every $1 donation we receive, over 70c goes directly back to Surf Life Saving services with a further 13c going to public awareness and community safety activities and communications. The remaining 14% covers our cost of doing business.

What is our cost of doing business?

Our cost of doing business comprises expenditure for the purposes of fundraising (9.4%) and Admin & IT (4.6%). These combined amounts total 14.0% of our Philanthropic and Grant revenues.


Fundraising Events & ‘Other’

The Surf Life Saving Foundation increases awareness of the movement through a variety of channels including our own Events and ‘other’ support secured as the preferred charity for events around Australia. This contributed 1.0% of our total revenues.

Distributions and Surpluses
These funds are directly allocated to Surf Life Saving entities and total 82.7% of our Fundraising Events revenues.

Investment in the Future
To deliver our aim of contributing to the financial security and viability of the SLS movement, these funds are allocated to community safety and awareness programs (3.5%) and revenue generation programs for SLS entities (9.2%) which total 12.7% of our total Fundraising Events revenues.

Cost of doing business
Direct fundraising costs include expenditure used for the purposes of fundraising (1.6%) and Admin & IT (3.0%) which totals 4.6% of our Philanthropic net revenues.


Why does the Foundation fundraise?

Surf Life Saving is an intrinsic part of the fabric of Australia and recognised as the largest volunteer movement of its kind in the country. We have 312 Surf Life Saving Clubs and our volunteer surf lifesavers give their time to keep the beach and community safe. We are approximately 30% funded by the Government however the remainder we raise through donations, sponsorship and commercial activities. As an example it costs on average $81,000 per annum to put a patrol on the beach and fundraising helps us do that.

In the last financial year alone, less than 2% of all of our donations were received unprompted (i.e. without asking for it). It costs money to ask for money and sadly, if we do not ask, we do not get.

How do I know if someone is a genuine Surf Life Saving fundraiser?

Surf Life Saving takes measures to ensure that people fundraising on our behalf are easily identifiable. Our fundraisers will be wearing:

  • A Surf Life Saving branded ID badge, identifying them as an authorised paid contractor
  • A Surf Life Saving lanyard
  • This branded Red uniform shirt saying OFFICIAL FUNDRAISER – Surf Life Saving



Does Surf Life Saving use third party providers to help with fundraising?

Yes, in an endeavour to extend our reach to a broad community segment and ensure we keep our surf lifesavers doing what they do best – keeping the beach and community safe, we sometimes engage the services of professional fundraisers to work on our behalf.

Further information can be found by downloading the Foundation Annual Review at http://www.slsfoundation.com.au/annual-reports.aspx.

Please click here to hear from the CEO of the Fundraising Institute of Australia (FIA), in relation to recent media surrounding the charity sector.

Commercial Activities (Lotteries and Trade Promotions)

The Surf Life Saving Foundation operated 23 lotteries in 2014/15 selling thousands of tickets to our valued supporters who went into draws to win prizes ranging from house and land packages, to cars and cash. Our Trade Promotion Programs, which offer collectible pins and cash prizes, were also operated in multiple states in Australia.

Distribution & Surpluses
These funds are directly allocated to Surf Life Saving entities and total 14.9% of our commercial revenues.

Investment in the Future
To deliver our aim of contributing to the financial security and viability of the SLS movement, these funds are allocated to building advocacy and creating an ongoing supporter base through data acquisition (16.3%), community safety and awareness programs (20%) and revenue generation programs for SLS entities (0.4%) totalling 36.6% of our commercial revenues.

Cost of Doing Business
As the commercial component of our business, our investment in prizes is significant to successfully operate a program of this nature. 26% of funds are allocated to Lottery and Trade Promotion prizes to support our ever-growing Commercial activities. The remaining expenditure is used for Admin, IT & Fundraising activity equalling 22.6% which makes a total of 48.6% of commercial revenues.