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This is a review of the charity Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students (AFES). It uses the information they have put on the charity regulator’s website (the ACNC Register) and the information on their own website. (We also sent them a draft of this review – see their response below.)
The AFES’ Register entry gives this under ‘Summary of activities’:
The company’s Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2019 [on the Register] says the same. The Financial Report 2019 shows that this description is incorrect: this is the activity of a separate charity controlled by AFES, Monash Evangelical Union House Trust.
There is no description of activities on the website. From the main menu we know that they hold events (‘NTE’) and run something for international students (‘Focus’).
The list of expenses for 2019 [Financial Report 2019] gives no further information on what AFES does – other than to pay $12+ million to employees to conduct its activities:
A charity’s activities should be chosen to advance the mission. This is AFES’s mission:
AFES do not say how the building of students groups produces mature believers (a theory of change).
As Christians, we are required to be good stewards of the resources God has provided us (e.g. 1 Corinthians 4:2). To do this, we need to have discernment (e.g. Proverbs 1:5). Therefore, unless we are giving just to make ourselves feel better, we should have an interest in seeing that the money we are giving is likely to be used both properly and effectively.
Everything that AFES is doing may be being done ‘properly’, but unless the money is producing the change in people that AFES intends (i.e., an impact), the money would be better used elsewhere. And the same applies if the impact is less than is being achieved by another charity.
AFES has nothing about impact on the website.
AFES did not respond to a draft of this review.
- And holds us accountable for their use (Luke 16:1-9). ↑
- See also Proverbs 14:15 and Prov 19:2. ↑
- The behaviour of its people, its use of money, and how it goes about its business. Here is our 2018 review that addresses some important things in this area. ↑
- The ACNC has previously – the Fact Sheet is no longer on the site – explained impact this way:“Every charity has a mission that is associated with producing a public benefit. As this mission is pursued, the changes produced in individuals and their communities can be referred to as the charity’s ‘impact.’ If you are donating to a charity, you may wish to make sure that your donation is creating the greatest impact possible.’There is no reason why this wouldn’t still be their view. ↑