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Asian Aid Organisation Ltd: 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Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 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. ‘Asian Aid Organisation’ is one such Member.

COVID-19

Donors

The name in the ACFID membership list links to the website for ‘Asian Aid’. Here they seek donations from the public.

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.

Here’s the results for ‘Asian Aid’, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[1]

 1.  The ACNC Register shows, via the ABN record, that ‘Asian Aid’ is a registered business name of the registered charity Asian Aid Organisation Limited.

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2.  Asian Aid’s encourages fundraising events, but appears not to use door knockers or street collecting.

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3.  The web address begins with a closed padlock symbol, so the website is secure [the ACNC article above].

But there is no mention of the security of your information on at least the first page of the giving process.

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4.  Asian Aid’s ABN record says that it is entitled to receive tax-deductible gifts, both as an organisation (a Public Benevolent Institution), and for its Asian Aid Org Ltd Developing Countries Aid Fund.

The Fund is not mentioned on the website.

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5.  The use of your donations

As context, read here what Asian Aid does[2].

The audited account of how donations are used is the Financial Report 2019.  

Cash spent

This is the only information[3] given (in the Statement of Cash Flows, and with last year in the second column):

Resources consumed (i.e. accrual)

This, from the Statement of Profit or Loss and Other Comprehensive Income, is how the activities translated into expenses (with last year’s figures in the second column):

So, for the expenses that were the most direct to the beneficiaries, ‘Program funding expensed’, 72% of the total, Asian Aid gives no information. Not even the country to which it was sent.

There is nothing in the Financial Report 2019 on how Asian Aid ensures that (a) the money reaches the overseas organisation, and (b) is used for the purposes given.

These were the directors responsible for the accounts[4]:

John Hammond

Kaye Zyderveld

Alan Bates

David Heise

Norman Carlsen

David Swain

Justin Boyd

Colin Raymond[5]

 

Impact

Apart from some stories of individual beneficiaries in the 2019 Annual Report[6], nothing systematic on the charity’s impact was found.

Charity response

Asian Aid says that ‘it recognises the importance and value of listening and responding to questions, feedback and concerns.

I sent a draft of this review to the ‘Address for Service email’ on the ACNC Register on 23 March 2020. On 16 April 2020 I resent the draft, this time to the email given for feedback. At the date of publication, 24 April 2020, Asian Aid had not responded.

 

  1. 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?

  2. I would have asked it, but it’s a FAQ, so others must have:

  3. I do not believe that this minimal disclosure is consistent with the applicable Accounting Standard.

  4. The ACNC Register lists the current directors.

  5. The directors are responsible to the members. At year-end there were 164 members.

  6. Which has not been lodged on the ACNC Register.

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