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Archived: Arrow Leadership: 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Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 of the organisation that has a website in the name Arrow Leadership[1].

Arrow Leadership has an online invitation to give. Its tagline is ‘Led more by Jesus. Lead more like Jesus. Lead more to Jesus’, so it’s most likely a charity.

The Australian charities regulator, the ACNC, in their Factsheet: Making sure your donation gets to where it needs to, gives “some steps to consider to help 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 are the answers for Arrow Leadership:

  1. There is no charity of that name mentioned on the register of charities[2]:

One expects that Arrow Leadership is the first one, Arrow Leadership Australia Limited, trading under an abbreviation of its name. A search for ‘ABN’ on its site confirms this.

But although it 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’[3].

The second charity above with ‘Arrow Leadership’ in its name, The Trustee for Arrow Leadership – International Development, is a charity controlled by Arrow Leadership Australia Limited. It was established in October 2017, but there is no mention of the fund in the Financial Report for the year ended 31 December 2017. And there is no explanation of the fund on the website even though donations are requested:

2. NA

3. Arrow Leadership’s ‘Donate’ page – not the other pages – ‘begins with ‘https’ and…there is a closed padlock symbol next to the website’s URL in the address bar” on that page. Although security is not mentioned on the page, this should be a secure way to give to Arrow Leadership.

4. The ABN record says that no tax deduction is available for a donation to Arrow Leadership. This is contradicted on the website, where it says that you can get a tax deduction for a donation to a fund that is presumably part of Arrow Leadership, The Brian Coombs Sponsorship Fund. The reconciliation is that Arrow Leadership is collecting for a third party, The Annabel Charitable Foundation Ltd, and presumably the money comes back to Arrow Leadership[4]:

5.   The audited account of how the donations are used is the Financial Report 2017 on the ACNC Register. Within that there are two statements that give information on how the donations were used. Most donors think in terms of cash, so if that’s you, you might turn first to the Statement of Cash Flows. What you might now know though, is that you first should turn to the Notes to the accounts (Notes to the Financial Statements in this case) to check out the ‘Basis of preparation’.

Do you provide or give things to, receive things from, or have oversight of, or review, either or both of the Arrow Leadership charities? Perhaps you intend to donate or are one of the donors who together gave $649K last year [Financial Report 2017]? Perhaps you are one of the 580 in the Arrow Community [Annual Review 2017, 15], or one of their 40 volunteers [AIS 2017]. Perhaps you are one of the ‘suppliers and employees’ who shared in $1.10 m of cash payments?[5] If so, can you ring Arrow Leadership’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[6].

You are therefore in the wrong place – I only have access to the published accounts of Arrow Leadership, and the directors[7] under the ‘Basis of preparation’, say that you don’t exist[8]. End of review[9].


  1. For the previous review, see here.
  2. This is not a good start for an organisation that is accredited with the CMA Standards Council. Arrow is a Foundation Partner. At the announcement of the Foundation Partners, Steve Kerr, the Executive Director of CMASC, said “Foundation Partner status is tangible recognition and reward for their efforts – these are high quality organisations.”
  3. https://asic.gov.au/for-business/your-business/small-business/compliance-for-small-business/small-business-knowing-your-legal-requirements-business-names/
  4. It is arguable that their representations are contrary to Standard 9.1 of the CMA Standards Council’s standards.
  5. Annual Report 2017, from the website.
  6. From Objective of General Purpose Financial Reporting (SAC2), www.aasb.gov.au:
    • Mina Ames
    • John Beckett
    • Christopher Edwards
    • Diann Feldman
    • Liam Glover (an Arrow executive)
    • Keith Hanslow
    • Timothy Hawkes
    • Adam Lowe
    • Timothy Morris-Smith
    • There are 167 charities with an Adam Lowe as a board member, and 16 with a Christopher Edwards. But the register only covers charities, not all not-for-profits, and of course doesn’t include for-profit organisations. Therefore, if after eliminating the charities for which Arrow’s Adam Lowe is not a director, and likewise for Christopher Edwards, you are left with the total being more than a handful, it would be legitimate for you to question whether their ability to discharge their fiduciary responsibilities is threatened.The people shown here, and on the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’):
  7. The opening statement in the Notes to the Financial Statements:
  8. I sent a draft of this review to Arrow Leadership. They…did not respond.