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Arrow Leadership Australia Limited: charity review

Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.  Use the ‘Search charity names’ box to see if there is a later review.  If the latest review has a message like this, you are welcome to make your case for an updated review via email to ted@businessbythebook.com.au.

This is a review[1] in the series ‘Organisations accredited by the CMA Standards Council’. The CMA Standards Council is ‘a ministry of Christian Ministry Advancement[2], with a missionto help build faith and trust in Christian organisations, be they churches, charities, schools or otherwise, to enable them to achieve more effective outcomes[3]. Arrow Leadership’ is one of these accredited organisations[4].

Like last year, ‘Arrow Leadership’ did not respond to a draft of this review[5].


‘Arrow Leadership’ is an organisation that seeks donations online. The charities’ regulator, 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 organisation’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.
  5. Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.

Here’s the results for ‘Arrow Leadership’, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[6].

1.  A search on the ACNC Register of charities for ‘Arrow Leadership’ brings up two charities with that phrase in their name:

The ‘Contact’ page on the website above shows that it is first one, Arrow Leadership Australia Limited (Arrow).

But the second one, up until 2019[7] – and therefore at the time of the Annual Information Statement 2018 (AIS 2018)– was part of the first one. Why no consolidated financial statements then?[8]

Although Arrow is permitted to trade without ‘Limited/Ltd’ at the end of its name, because it still hasn’t registered a business name, it isn’t legally allowed to trade without ‘Australia’. Doing so means that there are now two charities using the name ‘Arrow Leadership’:


2.   Nothing on the Register or the website indicates that Arrow uses door-to-door or street collectors.


3. Arrow’s ‘Give’ pagebegins with ‘https’ and…there is a closed padlock symbol next to the website’s URL in the address bar”. But there is no information about the security of your information on the ‘Donate’ page.


4. The ABN record says that no tax deduction is available for a donation to Arrow. The ‘Donate’ page does not mention tax. Arrow is nevertheless a legitimate charity.

Although there’s no spot to do it on the ‘Donate’ page, you can get a tax deduction, via another charity, if you donate to the Brian Coombs Sponsorship:


5.  The use of your donations

Objects / Mission




Sharing the Gospel[9]?

No (they train Christians).



Arrow operates in Australia, per the ACNC Register, in every State. And overseas, in Philippines [the Register].

The reason for the inclusion of Philippines could not be found. No grants or donations are made to overseas in 2018 [AIS 2018].


Giving options online

On the CMA Standards Council’s ‘Directory of Accredited Partners’, it says that the Arrow ‘Donate’ page allows you to select from at least three options:

The ‘Donate’ page, however, does not have a field to select the destination of your donation.


Donations revenue

The audited account of how donations are used is the Financial Report 2018 on the ACNC Register. Do you provide or give things to, receive things from, or have oversight of, or review, of Arrow? Perhaps you intend to donate or are one of the donors who together gave $564K last year [Financial Report 2018]? or one of their 47 staff [AIS 2018]. If so, can you ring Arrow’s office and request that they prepare financial statements that answer the question or questions you have about the charity? I very much doubt it. You are therefore ‘potentially interested in the information provided in general purpose reports[10].

You are therefore in the wrong place – I only have access to the published accounts of Arrow, and the directors, with the agreement of the auditor, have again said that you don’t exist:

So, the financial statements have not been drawn up to suit you.  Why, then, would you rely on them?

These are the people responsible for this decision[11]:

Anna Burke

John Beckett

Christopher Edwards

Diann Feldman

Liam Glover (an Arrow executive)

Keith Hanslow

Adam Lowe

Timothy Hawkes

The Board is responsible to the membership. When last disclosed (31 December 2018, Note 14), there were only eight members. Directors are required to be directors (‘Governing document’), so there is no accountability here.

The auditor is Peter Shields, for Saward Dawson.

Should you still choose to rely on the financial statements, here is where the $564K donations went[12]: ___________________________________________________

Cash spent

This is the only information about where the cash went on operating activities (with last year in the second column):



Resources consumed (i.e. accrual)

The accrual section of the Report is more helpful[14]:



  • Nothing systematic found.
  • Standard 5.6 of the CMA Standards Council standards (see above) requires that regular program evaluations must be performed. There is still no mention of these on the website – are they being performed?


Please contact me if you need a more in-depth review.





  1. See here for the previous review.
  2. Link added by me.
  3. Emphasis in original.
  4. It achieved this by meeting the Council’s ‘Principles and Standards of Responsible Stewardship’, and therefore is able to be promoted as a ‘high quality organisation
  5. Number 8 of the CMA Standards Council’s ‘Nine Principles of Ministry Accountability‘ is ‘The organisation must be transparent and accountable to its stakeholders’. One of the nine ‘Standards’ that ‘fall under’ that principle is about openness and responsiveness to feedback:Arrow do not invite feedback or complaints.
  6. 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? [A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering].
  7. https://www.arrowleadership.org.au/content/history/gjendk
  8. Granted, they are not explicitly required by the type of financial statements that have selected, but what about (a) a true and fair view, and (b) their proud status as a CMA Standards Council seal holder?
  9. ‘When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett says this about sharing the Gospel: ‘A host of contextual issues determine the best manner and the appropriate time to present the gospel verbally, particularly in militant Muslim or Hindu settings. But without such a presentation, it is not possible for people to be personally transformed in all their relationships, which is what poverty alleviation is all about [Kindle Locations 1262-1264, Moody Publishers].
  10. From Objective of General Purpose Financial Reporting (SAC2), www.aasb.gov.au http://tedsherwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/word-image-15.png
  11. Arrow continue to include, incorrectly, Amanda Otten, on the Register. She is not a Responsible Person, being the Secretary but not a director.
  12. The revenue also includes $557K of ‘Event registration and sponsorship income’. If this includes the money collected for the Annabel Charitable Foundation (see earlier), then this should not be included in revenue, and revenue is overstated.
  13. Although this level of disclosure may be compliant with the letter of the applicable Accounting Standard ( AASB 107), it is not consistent with either the intent of the Standard and paragraphs 14 and 19, or what is reasonable to expect from a major Christ-led charity that is reporting a true and fair view.
  14. It would be more helpful if the expenses were (1) presented in some logical order, (2) not a mixture of the two permissible classifications (for example, are there any employee expenses, depreciation, etc. in ‘Event and facilitation expenses’?), and (3) ‘Other expenses’ was explained.
  15. Unfortunately, the ACNC appears to have removed this article: