Frequently Asked Questions

I am doing an Assignment on St Vincent de Paul Society, Can You Help?

Yes, we often have students asking us for information about the Society. Most of the answers can be found either by searching our website or visiting our National Website. If however you are unable to find what your looking for, you are welcome to email us at

Who Does The Society Help?
Vinnies offers a hand up to all people in need. We do this by respecting their dignity, sharing our hope, and encouraging individuals and families to take control of their own destiny.
The St Vincent de Paul Society Queensland helps all people in need through a number of ways, offering a hand up to make life changing decisions. The type of support delivered differs from region to region, but our members and volunteers remain central to the good works undertaken by the Society. They are the driving force that connects people in need to our support services and programs.
If you are in need of assistance please contact our helpline on 1800 846 643 or click here to find out what services are available in your area
How Many People Are Involved In the Society?

The St Vincent de Paul Society is an international organisation operating in 149 countries and has over 950,000 members worldwide. The Society has a presence on every continent in the world with the exception of Antarctica. In Queensland we are celebrating 125 years of service

How is the St Vincent de Paul Society staffed?

The Society’s work is carried out by members and volunteers and is supported by a small number of professional staff.

Is the St Vincent de Paul Society a part of the Catholic Church?

The Society is a lay Catholic organisation and does not receive any direct funding from the Catholic Church. The Society enjoys a close relationship with the Catholic Church and is assisted through parishes and schools.

Does the Society only help Catholics?

No, the Society dose not discriminate anyone base on their religious belief. While the Society has a primarily Catholic membership and is based on Catholic spiritual principles, we provide assistance to whoever seeks it, without judgement or prejudice.

Members and Volunteers - What's the difference?

The Society recognises that the level of involvement members and volunteers can commit to will vary depending on their personal circumstances such as; study, work, and family commitments. For this reason, the Society holds three forms of membership: Conference members committed to living the Society mission and serving those in need and attending regular conference meetings.​

  1. Associate members committed to living the Society mission and serving those in need but do not attend conference meetings.
  2. Volunteer members Support the mission of the Society through acts of voluntary service in any of the Society’s works (programs).
What does the word Conference mean?

A Conference is a group of members who come together to fulfill the Mission of the Society in accordance with the Rule. A Conference may be established within any community, such as a parish, town, suburb, school, university, workplace, ethnic or social group.

What happens to goods donated to Vinnies Shops?

Vinnies shops resource local conference activities, providing clothing or furniture free of charge to struggling families or individuals identified through the home visitation process. Goods donated at Vinnies shops assist this process but remaining stock is also sold to the public at reasonable prices thus generating revenue which helps fund the Society’s work within the community.

Funding - Where does the money come from?

The Society raises money from its members, through Parish poor boxes, proceeds from items sold at Vinnies shops, donations from the public, fundraising events and some government funding.

How do I donate to the St Vincent de Paul Society?

You can donate to the Society by using the online donation facility provided on this website click here or by calling the 13 18 12. Donations of $2 and more to the Society are tax deductible. Donations of clothing, furniture and household goods can also be made at your local Vinnies shop. This donation will go towards assisting people in your local area.

If I donate money does it actually go to those who need it?

When you donate to a specific Special Work we ensure that it goes directly to where you want it. The Society prides itself on ensuring all funds donated are used specifically for what they are intended. We have the lowest administration fees of any other Australian charity because of our huge volunteer base.

Is the Society government funded?

The core work of the Society is carried out by members and volunteers and does not receive government funding ie home visitation and Vinnies shops. These services are funded through donations, fundraising activities and enterprises run by the Society. However some of the St Vincent de Paul Society’s Special Works do receive government funding ie aged care facilities, housing and homeless services, supported employment for people with disabilities. The Society does not receive any direct funding from the Catholic Church.