Frequently asked questions
About your donation
About aid costs
What is ShelterBox?
ShelterBox is a charity that hand-delivers aid to families devastated by conflict or natural disaster, to give them safe shelter and the tools to rebuild communities.
Our global network of supporters, staff and volunteers make it possible to deliver aid to some of the most remote communities in the world.
What aid does ShelterBox provide?
We provide aid that is tailored to meets the needs of a community after a specific disaster.
The aid we supply comes in the form of ShelterBoxes and ShelterKits.
Our sturdy green ShelterBoxes contain family-sized tents specially designed to withstand the elements and provide people with temporary shelter until they are able to start the process of rebuilding a home.
Our ShelterKits contain all of the essential tools people need to start repairing and rebuilding homes straight away.
Our kits and boxes also contain the items that help transform shelter into a home - like cooking sets, solar lights and activity sets for children.
We also provide extra aid items, such as SchoolBoxes that contain everything needed to get lessons up and running after a disaster, depending on the situation. Explore our ShelterBox aid in depth.
Who funds ShelterBox?
ShelterBox is funded by public donations.
We rely on your support to help us hasten the day where no family goes without shelter when disaster strikes.
Who supports ShelterBox?
HRH The Duchess of Cornwall is ShelterBox’s President and Royal Patron.
ShelterBox is also supported by our global network of ShelterBox affiliates and a range of partners, including Rotary International.
How do you decide where to send aid?
When natural disasters and conflicts occur, our ShelterBox operations team make careful assessments to ensure that ShelterBox aid is right for the situation.
We will consider the type of disaster and the level of damage, as well as the needs of the community and their ability to recover, before selecting the right type of support. We are then able to quickly transport items from our positioned hubs around the world to exactly where it is needed.
How do you deliver aid?
We deliver aid to wherever it is needed, by any means possible. Our teams travel by foot, boat, helicopter or even tuk-tuk to get there. Whatever it takes.
How do you source your aid items?
Our items are specially sourced and designed to ensure that the families we support have exactly the aid they need. The aid is designed to withstand extreme conditions, from torrential rain to hurricane winds, and to last for a long time – until families are able to rebuild their homes.
For this reason, we are unable to accept donations of items.
Do you work with other aid organisations?
We often collaborate with other aid organisations, as well as with organisations within communities, to make sure that we are reaching all of the families in need of shelter.
How do you safeguard the families you help?
At ShelterBox, we are proud to have safeguarding policies in place designed to protect the families we help, our operational staff and our incredible response team volunteers who travel to disaster areas with us, and the local communities we work with.
About your donation
How can I donate to ShelterBox?
You can donate single or monthly payments to ShelterBox on our donate page.
Alternatively, you can donate by the following methods:
- Cheque: These can be made payable to The ShelterBox Trust and sent to Falcon House, Charles Street, Truro, TR12PH.
- Bank transfer: please contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or use our contact form with details about the donation.
Please provide your name, address, donation amount and date.
If on behalf of another person please also let us know their details and how it was raised.
- Telephone: +44 (0) 300 0300 500
- Via Just Giving
- PayPal: via the PayPal or Just Giving app
- Direct debit: These can be set up via our donate page or by telephone: +44 (0) 300 0300 500
Can I give donations for a specific location or disaster?
In order for us to prepare for future disasters by positioning aid around the world and to react quickly when disasters do take place, we are not usually able to accept time or location-specific donations.
By giving ShelterBox a general donation, you are helping us use your money to make the most difference to families in desperate need of shelter.
How much of my donation will directly help to provide shelter?
On average, 75% of every donation will go directly to providing shelter for families left without shelter in the aftermath of disaster. 25% is spent on governance costs and creating awareness of ShelterBox.
Can I Gift Aid my donation?
Gift Aid is a government initiative that enables us to increase your donation by 25% at no extra cost to you.
If you are a UK income and/or a Capital Gains tax payer, then you can Gift Aid your donation. This means 25% more safe and secure shelters and 25% more essential building tools just by opting to Gift Aid your donation.
About aid costs
Why do the costs of aid items change?
We buy our aid items from a range of suppliers from around the world, and these prices can change from time to time. Our contracts are reviewed each year to ensure we are getting the best value possible. For these reasons, the prices of the items can go up or down over time.
Delivering essential shelter aid into the hands of the vulnerable families who need it costs more than just the price of the individual items. We also need to pay for transport and other distribution costs involved in delivering aid around the world. To ensure the price of each aid item represents this full cost, we've added these additional amounts on to the individual aid items.
These costs are worked out annually based on the previous year and also change over time. We update the prices of our aid items once a year.
How much are the additional costs that are added to the aid pricing?
The cost of transport and other distribution costs represent around a third of the cost of the aid prices. The additional costs are based on the previous year’s costs and may change each year. As every disaster is different every response is different and so the costs are representative average costs.
If the cost of aid items change, why doesn't the cost of a ShelterBox change?
The price of a ShelterBox is a representative price based on the cost of a range of items that we often give to families in disaster situations.
The cost of the items vary from time to time, but we want to keep the ShelterBox cost the same for consistency. The average cost of a ShelterBox is £590 - but one type of ShelterBox does not fit all and the contents can vary depending on the needs of the families we are helping.
We work hard to understand how we can best help families in lots of different disaster situations and we send a combination of essential items to best suit their needs.
In some cases, our specialist emergency tents might be the best solution for families in one disaster-hit community. In others, heavy duty tarpaulins, ropes and nails might be what’s needed most. Some families might need mosquito nets to protect them from disease, whilst others might need blankets to keep them warm at night.
Some of these items will be delivered in a sturdy green ShelterBox, but in some cases, it’s more practical to send them separately.
How can I contact ShelterBox?
How can I raise money for ShelterBox?
Participating in an event for ShelterBox makes you part of the ShelterBox team – a team that is determined to see the day that no family is without shelter after disaster strikes.
How can I get involved with ShelterBox?
Volunteers are an integral part of the ShelterBox Team.
They not only help to pack and hand-deliver our aid to communities, but also help to raise awareness and funds for ShelterBox too.