This is review in the series ‘Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Members’. ACFID ‘is the peak body for Australian non-government organisations (NGOs) involved in international development and humanitarian action.’ It requires Members to adhere to a Code of Conduct.
On the website linked from the ACID membership listing they seek donations.
The ACNC, in their article, Donating to Legitimate Charities, gives “some things to consider to help you make sure your donation is going where it is intended”:
1.Check the charity’s name.
2.Ask for identification from anyone seeking a donation.
3.Be careful of online requests for donations.
4.No tax deduction doesn’t mean the charity is not a legitimate one, and
5.Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.
There is nothing in ACCI Relief’s material to suggest that they use either door-to-door or street collectors.
The web address begins with a closed padlock symbol, so the website is secure [the ACNC article above].
We are told that on the next page your credit card information is entered on a ‘secure page’, but there is no support for this claim, and you have already entered your personal information.
ACCI Relief’s ABN record (via the ACNC Register) says that a tax deduction is available for a donation both to it as an organisation and to two funds that it runs.
The information on the donation page is consistent with this.
Question 5 The use of your donations
For the context, see ‘Full Project List’ here.
The audited account of how a charity uses donations is the Financial Report on the ACNC Register.
ACCI Relief’s Financial Report 2021 shows that 84% of its expenses, $3.14 million, went on one item, Funds to International Programs.
There is (still) no explanation of Funds to International Programs. (Or any of the other expenses.) Given that this is where your donations went, it is quite reasonable to expect much more than this.
In fact, without this explanation, one could argue that the directors’ declaration that the statements ‘give a true and fair view’ [Statement by Members of the Committee, Financial Report 2021] is false.
The Financial Report does not disclose who agreed to the above Statement, but, from the ACNC Register, these are the Committee members now:
The directors are responsible to the members. The number of members is not disclosed so it is not possible to assess this accountability.
Commitment 8.3 of the ACFID Code of Conduct requires ACCI Relief to include in its annual report ‘A description of the most significant aid and development activities undertaken during the reporting period and their impact’. The ACFID gives this example:
“We drilled 20 wells which improved the lives of 1000 people in the region by providing access to clean drinking water. In turn, this lowered the incidence of water borne diseases by 50% and reduced the infant mortality rate by 75%.”
This matches the description of impact in the link in our heading above.
ACCI Relief have a webpage ‘Our Impact’. However, this has, like the annual report, activities.
The same Code of Conduct Commitment requires ACCI Relief to include ‘information about evaluations’ in its annual report.
The annual report has nothing that satisfies this commitment.
ACCI Relief welcomes feedback:
We sent them a draft of this review. They…did not respond.
- See here for our previous review. ↑
- A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering: ↑◦ Focus on the nature of the charity’s work, its beneficiaries and the impact the charity is having in the community.◦ Is it clear what the charity is trying to achieve and how its activities work towards its objectives?◦ Would you like to spend your money, or time if volunteering, to support these objectives?
◦ Is the charity being transparent about its activities? ↑
- ACCI Relief’s incorporating legislation requires that the full name be used. ↑
- Paragraph 112 (c) ↑
- We believe that the ACFID Code of Conduct supports you asking ACCI Relief for a report on the project or projects to which you have donated. ↑
- The board members shown on the website are as at December 2020, so don’t agree with the list here. ↑
- Which is not on the ACNC Register nor easy to find on the website ↑