fbpx Skip to main content

Accountability and transparency is very important to CEF. When you choose to donate your hard earned money to CEF, we want you to know how it will be used, and assure you it will be used in the best way possible to achieve maximum impact and positive outcomes for rural and regional students and communities.

CEF national office holds DGR1 tax deductibility status. We are registered members of the Fundraising Institute of Australia (FIA) and undertake the required annual financial audit, conducted by Boyce Chartered Accountants.

We are a registered charity with the Australian Charities and Not-for-profits Commission (ACNC), as are the majority of our CEF local foundations.

Importantly, we have more than 430 volunteers across the country that assist in our work, and our Board members all participate on a voluntary basis, providing their knowledge, expertise and connections at no cost.



Our organisational values drive all that we do, and they inform how we use your generous donation – no matter how big or small –  to further the work of CEF to benefit rural and regional students and communities.

We believe in:
  • Equal access to education and training, irrespective of background, circumstances or location
  • Investment in and development of local communities via our volunteer committees and the students they support
  • Working closely with our volunteers, education partners, donors and sponsors to secure great outcomes for students and the communities they represent
  • Being here for the long term to continue to deliver financial support, resources, services and ideas for our students and communities
  • Providing leadership and engaging community as advocates for our youth and their education
  • Closing the gap between population percentage versus participation percentage our students
  • Raising the aspirations of youth in our communities

Country Education Foundation receives no government funding, we are purely a community driven organisation


There are often misconceptions about charities and administration costs. It is important to know that many charities cannot operate without paid staff and other operating expenses. These costs are not separate to our overall mission or the impact we make, in fact they are vital to what we do. For more information about charity operating costs and their importance, the ACNC, Australia’s governing body for charities, provided some excellent information, which you can view here.


One of the things we are most proud of  is that we outsource very little work. Our small, passionate team are multi-skilled, and have learnt many new skills to enable us to operate in this way.

90% of our data, research and systems work is done in-house. Most importantly, all the words, design, images and content you see or hear comes directly from one of our dedicated staff members, who is just as passionate about our mission as you are.

Below are the things we do spend money on – they make it possible to support our volunteers and students.
  • Staff salaries

  • Professional development

  • Electricity

  • Phone and internet

  • IT costs – these include website hosting, software packages and licences

  • Travel for donor and partnership meetings, both current and potential

  • Travel to visit and engage with CEF local foundations across regional Australia


CEF works diligently to manage operational costs each year. We raise funds for investment in the education of rural and regional students. The collective fundraising efforts see support distributed to students through our network of 44 local CEF foundations which are run by loyal community volunteers. CEF is committed to restricting organisational overheads cost to less that 20% of total funds raised annually.

  • Student Grants
    Direct financial support provided to students in the form of ‘non-cash’ grants. Grant money is provided to students in the way of reimbursement for goods or services purchased directly relating to study or paid on invoice direct to a supplier e.g. for a new laptop the student cannot afford to pay for upfront.
  • Advocacy + Community
    Costs associated with being involved in and promoting education equity for our rural and regional students
  • Student Resources + Support
    Funds directed to CEF developing student resources and support programs – the Scholarships Guide, University Survival Guide, Make it Possible Inspiration Hub and the CEF Alumni Program. This also includes the costs of maintaining relationships with education partners, supporting committees providing other resources for members of the CEF family, and staff time associated with student, scholarship and committee support.
  • Overheads
    Overhead costs of the CEF national office include administrative staffing, IT & other running costs essential to ensuring good governance and business operations can continue to support local CEF foundations, volunteers and students
  • Reserves
    Monies on hand to improve the long-term sustainability of the organisation

When you make a donation to CEF, you do this in one of three ways:


When you make a general donation to CEF national office, your money is used to ensure we can provide essential programs, support and resources to our local foundations, volunteers and students. It also means we can continue to raise the profile of CEF, expand our reach and advocate for education equality for country students.


When your select a specific local foundation to receive funds, your donation is paid direct to that foundation less 10% to assist with the various support activities of national office.

For example, if you donate $1000 to CEF of Orange & Districts, the foundation will receive $900 into their nominated bank account.


As an organisation, when you generously award a grant or enter into a partnership with CEF, the use of your funds will be negotiated and outlined in an agreement signed by both parties. It is important for CEF that such partnerships are mutually beneficial and enable us to work together toward great outcomes for rural and regional people.


Each year, we publish our annual review which provides a comprehensive overview of our achievements for for the financial year. It includes inspiring students stories and a condensed version of our audited financials.

You can see more of our past annual reviews and all of our comprehensive financial statements here.