Care: At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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. ‘Assisi Aid Projects’ is one such Member.
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”:
- Check the charity’s name.
- Ask for identification from anyone seeking a donation.
- Be careful of online requests for donations.
- No tax deduction doesn’t mean the charity is not a legitimate one, and
- Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.
1. A search on the ACNC Register for ‘Assisi Aid Projects’ gives, with the addition of ‘Inc’, a charity in the same name (Assisi).
2. There is nothing in Assisi’s material to suggest that they use either door-to-door or street collectors.
3. The web address begins with a closed padlock symbol, so the website is secure [the ACNC article above].
However, the security of your information is not mentioned on the first page of the giving process.
4. Assisi’s ABN record (via the ACNC Register) says that it is a public benevolent institution, but it doesn’t have deductible gift recipient status as an organisation.
You can get a deduction though for a donation to its fund, Assisi Aid Projects Relief Fund.
However, there is no mention of a tax deduction on the ‘Donate’ page.
5. The use of your donations
For the context, see ‘What we do’ in the main menu.
The audited account of how a charity uses donations is the Financial Report on the ACNC Register.
Assisi’s Financial Report 2019 is incomplete and incorrect as a report under the ACNC Act:
- The three financial statements are summaries, derived from the full financial report:
- It is the ‘full report’ that is meant to be lodged with the ACNC.
- There is no summary Statement of Changes in Equity, an ACNC requirement.
- The summary reports do not necessarily comply with the ACNC Act:
- There is no Directors’ Declaration, an ACNC requirement.
- The Independent Auditor’s Report is on the full report, not the summaries.
- If the included Notes to the Financial Statements are on the full report, then they are missing several Notes.
The reporting framework
Whether full or summary, directors have a choice between two kinds of reports, special purpose or general purpose. The requirements of the former are less onerous than the latter. From the audit report, we can see that the directors of Assisi at the time, decided on special purpose. The auditor, Cassandra Gravenall, for Crowe Melbourne, agreed with this decision.
With “1,200 registered supporters’, professional management, government grants, and working in two overseas countries, [Annual Information Statement 2019], the evidence is against Assisi being one of the exceptions. But that is the choice that the directors made.
If you are still willing to rely on the (summary) financial statements, here’s where Assisi’s resources went (with last year in the second column):
As you can see, there are no Notes for this information.
We don’t know the names of the people responsible for the 2019 reporting, but here are the current ‘responsible people’ [ACNC Register]:
Is it this Tanya Caulfield?
Tanya Crawford is not in the list on the website.
The directors are responsible to the members. The number of members is not disclosed.
This, from the Annual Report 2018/19 [ACNC Register] is how Assisi defines impact:
Assisi welcomes feedback.
We sent them a draft of this review. They received the email but chose not to respond.
- In their Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2019 they say that they answer ‘No’ to ‘Fundraising online:’. ↑
- 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?
- In their AIS 2019 they say that they produced the other kind. ↑
- Enhancing Not-for-Profit Annual and Financial Reporting, March 2013, accessed from their website March 2020. ↑