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From Seed to Trees: mini-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Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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.

Mini charity review of From Seed to Trees (FST) as an organisation that invites you to donate to it.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, on 14 February, they did not respond.

Is FST registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
    • But the ‘Ltd’ at the end has been accidentally omitted.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
      • It does not appear to have the provisions in its constitution necessary for it to omit, as it does on its website, ‘Ltd/Limited’ from the end of its name.
    • It does not have a fundraising licence in its home state, Queensland[1].

What does FST do?

  • This is the only information on the website:
    • This work [no work is previously described] is bound up in one purpose, which is “Going, Sowing and Growing”. This is done through obedience to the Word of God by reaching, touching and changing these nations according to the Great Commission. Our one aim is to disciple, mentor and by reaching out through practical involvement.
  • The Annual Information Statement 2016 (AIS 2016) is more helpful:
    • ‘It works beside universities students and gives training in leadership. its members takes (sic) seminars on becoming good leaders…
    • And if plans came to pass:
      • Changes planned it has been (sic) going to these places in the one place (sic). In another country it will provide teaching and mentoring in different locations as it is better suited to this.
  • They invite people to go on ‘mission’ trips. The connection with the above activities is not clear.
  • The ACNC Register says that FST operates in Belarus, Moldova (Republic), and Romania.

Do they share the Gospel?

  • From the above, no. But a brochure for a trip suggests that they do.

What impact are they having?

  • No information found.
    • The AIS 2016 included this under ‘activities and outcomes’:
      • The outcomes are positive as it has been successful in seeing the growth (sic) taking place and developing good leaders the future (sic).

What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?

  • ‘Other expenses/payments’ were 28% of the total. (The other 72% was for ‘Grants…outside Australia’.)

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA – online giving is not offered.

What choices do you have in how your donation is used?

  • None shown on the website.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (seven months after year end, nine days before the deadline).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: Yes
  • Financial Report 2016: Yes
    • Although FST didn’t, because of its small size, have to submit a Financial Report, their Associate membership of Missions Interlink requires them to “have available for [their] members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor.”  So just ask.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • The equity appears to consist entirely of the $2K surplus.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • If an audit was performed the result has not been made public.

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete?

  • No
    • They are long overdue in selecting a charity subtype.
    • ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not shown on the website, but
  • Shown under Responsible Persons on the ACNC Register:

To whom is FST accountable?

 

 

  1. The law in this area is not straightforward – is an internet invitation ‘fundraising’ for instance? – and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
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