Spend It Well is an Australian charity and ACF sub fund that has built 9 schools in remote parts of East Timor in the last 10 years. Ninety per cent of East Timor’s infrastructure – including schools – was destroyed in the violence that followed its independence in 1999. As a result, many of the government schools are falling down or are little more than shacks with dirt floors and bamboo walls. The government has money to staff and run the schools, but not to construct the new buildings, which are so desperately needed.

Spend It Well employs a Timorese project manager who works closely with local builders to negotiate prices and to closely supervise the construction. This means we can deliver excellent quality buildings quickly and for a good price. Funding is used only for construction costs of the schools – none is spent on administrative costs (all overheads are separately funded). There is rarely running water or toilets at these schools and Spend It Well’s projects provide both, changing health as well as education outcomes.


Spend It Well directly funds short-term foreign aid projects to make an immediate practical difference to the lives of a local community. If you would like to support the work of Spend it Well please contact the Philanthropy & Impact Team via grants@communityfoundation.org.au.