Care: At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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.
I sent a draft of this review to the charity, asking them for corrections and comments for publication. This was their response:
Thank you for contacting us about the comments you have prepared concerning AusHEAL.
The issues you raised have been noted by the AusHEAL Board and we will review the situations you raised.
We are concerned that your comments are ultimately published to an audience of laypersons who have no detailed knowledge of the regulatory framework imposed on Australian charities, therefore we are concerned that some of your comments may convey incorrect impressions to readers.
We strive to make our reporting to the ACNC and other regulators as accurate as possible to maintain our compliance.
As we feel this review was unsolicited, we hope that you will give consideration to how it may be interpreted if published in its current form.
If you have any feedback to offer us directly, rather than in the form of a draft public communication, please let us know.
Reviewer response: In this review I merely answered the questions that the regulator suggests a donor ask AusHEAL. I then gave the charity the opportunity to suggest corrections and to make comments so that what has been written does not contribute to user misunderstanding.
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”:
- 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.
- Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.
1. A search on the name ‘AusHEAL’ on the ACNC Register of charities leads to a registered charity in that name.
2. There is nothing to indicate that AusHEAL uses street or door-to-door collectors.
3. The “web address begins with ‘https’”, but there is no “closed padlock symbol next to the web address in the address bar”, so the website is not fully secure [the first ACNC article above]. The donation page does not mention the security of your information. However, PayPal is used, and this is generally considered to be a safe way to send your donation.
4. The Australian Business Register (linked from AusHEAL’s ACNC Register record), says that the charity is not entitled to receive tax deductible gifts.
The donation page says otherwise; however, the contradiction is clearly explained on that page:
Global Development Group is a secular charity used by many Christ-centred charities, who do not have deductible gift recipient status, but who want to offer their donors a tax deduction and are prepared to do ‘good works’ without sharing the Gospel in word.
This is the only mention of non-tax-deductible donations:
The Annual Information Statement 2018 (AIS 2018) is overdue, but from the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2017:
Sharing the Gospel?
None of the public material mentions this.
AusHEAL operates in Australia, per the ACNC Register, only in Queensland. That’s where it has its office, and where it holds its only fundraising licence.
It operates overseas only in the Democratic Republic of Congo.
How the mission and activities translated into dollars spent
The AusHEAL’s size for reporting purposes, ‘Small’, means that a Financial Report is voluntary. And that if one is submitted, it need not comply with the ACNC Act. Which AusHEAL’s doesn’t.
AusHEAL has submitted the following in what is called the ‘Financial Report 2017’ on the ACNC Register:
- Detailed Profit and Loss Statement (but without Notes)
- Profit and Loss Statement (but without a comprehensive income section)
- Detailed Balance Sheet (but without Notes)
- Notes to the Financial Statements (but incomplete)
- Directors’ Declaration (but unsigned and undated)
- Compilation Report to AUSHEAL (but unsigned, and of questionable truth)
Because the directors said that ‘there are no users dependent on general purpose financial statements’ [Note 1, Financial Report 2017], the usefulness of the financial statements to you, somebody who is likely dependent on general purpose financial statements, is reduced.
With the above limitations in mind, here’s what consumed the donations of $83K (with last year in the second column):
Nothing systematic on outcomes or impact was found.
- The review was prompted by the fact that my wife and I recently put ourselves in their hands as volunteers in the Democratic Republic of Congo. A thoroughly satisfactory experience. ↑
- There is no explanation in the accounts for why, with revenue of $84K, $184K was held in the bank. ↑
- The letter was both unsigned and undated. ↑
- 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?
- Even though AusHEAL is a company, it met the requirements for it to be registered without ‘Ltd/Limited’; the ACNC Register entry, and the AIS 2017, incorrectly shows ‘AusHEAL’ as under ‘Other names charity is known by…’. ↑
- The ACNC Register says that the Financial Report 2018 and the Annual Information Statement 2018 were submitted on 5 April 2019, but neither are in the ‘Download’ column. And the ‘Next report due’ says 30 June 2019, indicating that the AIS 2018 is now overdue: ↑
- “Good living and social concern are important [to the cause of evangelism], but they are not uniquely Christian graces…I’ve met a lot of fine Hindus, Muslims and atheists. Just living the life is not going to bring someone to Christ. There is much more to it than that. We must help people, certainly, but we must also share with them why we are motivated to do so. We must stand against injustice, poverty and need, but we must at the same time point to the One who brings justice and who can meet the deepest need. Until they know our reasons, how can they come to know our Lord?” [Dan Armstrong, the Fifth Gospel: The Gospel According to You, Anzea Books, pp. 13-14. ↑
- AusHEAL has an online invitation to give; whether or not this requires a licence under each State’s legislation depends on the State’s interpretation of ‘fundraising’. ↑
- The AIS 2017 reports ‘COD’ as the country other than Australian in which it operates. ↑
- See here for the people who made this statement. One of three people who were to sign the statement, Paul Millican, even though his email address is still the ‘Address for Service email’, is no longer a ‘responsible person’. ↑
- According to the Australian Accounting Standards, what they are effectively saying by this statement is that the 27 volunteers (AIS 2017), and all their donors, are able to ring the AusHEAL office and command the preparation of accounts tailored to suit them. ↑
- The only other revenue was $790 for ‘Membership’, and $1100 for interest received. ↑