Frequently Asked Questions



What does “TEAR” stand for?

Established in 1971 by the Australian Evangelical Alliance, TEAR Australia was originally called The Evangelical Alliance Relief Fund. As we are now an independent organisation, the letters are no longer used as an acronym. Now in our 40th year, we use the byline “Transformation Empowerment Advocacy Relief” as a description of our work.

Does TEAR fund evangelism?

No. TEAR's policy is to finance the relief, development and advocacy activities of organisations who are motivated by their faith in Christ, and by their desire to demonstrate the depth of God's commitment to justice, to mercy, to the poor. We do not fund proselytizing activities, but we rejoice and celebrate when we know of people whose lives have been wonderfully and beautifully enriched by the embrace of God in Christ. But we will not support any attempt to misuse relief and development activities to manipulate people into the church. We believe such attempts lack integrity, result in poor development, and dishonour the One who is our motivation.

How much of my donation reaches the project?

Of TEAR Australia's overall expenses in the last audited financial year, 80% went to projects including support costs, 9% was spent on empowering people within Australia to respond to poverty and injustice, 7% covered administrative costs, and 4% was spent on fundraising. View our annual reports and financial statements. View our annual reports and financial statements.

How do I know the money gets there?

All projects are audited by independent local auditors and are regularly reviewed by TEAR project workers and finance staff. TEAR is also audited by Saward Dawson registered company auditors and is fully accredited by The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) which manages the Australian Government's overseas aid program. TEAR is a signatory to the ACFID (Australian Council for International Development) Code of Conduct, representing our commitment to ethical standards in governance, financial management and public accountability.

How is a project designed?

Project design and management is a joint activity of TEAR Australia and respective implementing partners. TEAR Australia also contributes to the project design process through a sharing of information and experience. Partner organisations work closely with communities to ensure that projects are built on the strengths of the people involved and help them meet their own needs.

How is a project selected?

Projects are selected on the basis of the following strategic objectives. They should:

  • focus on the poorest and most marginalised people;
  • give priority to the rights, interests, needs and capacities of the people they serve;
  • address both the symptoms and the causes of poverty and marginalisation;
  • produce tangible, lasting improvement in the lives of the people they serve;
  • strengthen skills within communities, civil society and government to address their own development priorities.

For more information, please see the 'Guidelines for Development and Relief Assistance'.

How are projects evaluated?

An evaluation process is built into the initial design of every project, and is regularly conducted during implementation of the program. Regular reflections and evaluation by the community and local staff members, technical evaluation by experts, and the observations of TEAR staff are used to keep the project on the path to achieving its goals. As projects reach their completion, or reach a new stage, often an external consultant is employed to facilitate the reflection and learning process.

The objectives of evaluations cover some or all of the following criteria:   

  • Impact
  • Effectiveness
  • Sustainability 
  • Relevance and 
  • Efficiency

Discover more

Receive our monthly email news 'TEAR Update', including development insights from our partners, advocacy ideas, and events.

About TEAR

TEAR Australia is a Christian development, relief and advocacy organisation responding to global poverty and injustice. More >

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