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Goodseed Australia Incorporated: mini-charity review

Charity registration voluntarily revoked 31 January 2018.  The charity appears to no longer exist.

Mini charity review of Goodseed Australia Incorporated (GA) the Associate member of Missions Interlink, as an organisation that seeks donations online. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they…did not respond.

Is GA registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a NSW incorporated association (INC9885769).
      • Not an ‘Other Unincorporated Entity’ as it says on the ABN record.
      • Not to be confused with the WA incorporated association with the identical name (A1007443R).
      • Nor with the company Goodseed Pty Ltd.
    • GA operates, per the ACNC Register, in all states.  It also has an invitation to give on the internet.
      • It does not have the registration necessary, an ARBN, to operate interstate.
      • It does not have a fundraising licence in any of the seven states that have a licensing regime[1][i].
    • Its webpage uses the name Goodspeed. This is not registered.

What do they do?

  • There is no description of this on the webpage.
  • ‘…activities and outcomes’ in the Annual Information Statement 2016 (AIS 2016) describes the international organisation’s vision/mission, not GA’s activities.
  • From the webpage, it appears that GA sells tools and training to share the Gospel.

Do they share the Gospel?

  • No

What impact are they having?

  • There is no mention of impact, outcomes or results on the webpage. Or in the AIS 2016.

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

  • I cannot see where any of the donations received were sent to beneficiaries.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • The page after ‘Proceed to Checkout’ says ‘Secure Checkout’, but the security is not described.

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

  • …Missionary Staff Support’
  • ‘…Canada Building Fund’
  • ‘…Curriculum Development’
  • ‘…Teaching Program’
  • ‘…Media Equipment Fund’
  • ‘…Sponsored Outreach’
  • ‘…Staff Training Program’
  • ‘…General Fund’
  • ‘…USA Building Fund’

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes. (Four months after year end.)

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: Apart from the lack of activities and outcomes, yes.
  • Financial Report 2016: Yes – but only because they don’t have to lodge one.
    • Having lodged one voluntarily, there is no requirement for it to comply with the ACNC’s requirements. (And it doesn’t.)
    • 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.”
      • It is arguable that a financial report that lacks two of the four financial statements required by the accounting profession, deviates markedly from what is required for the other two, and has no directors’ declaration, is not ‘appropriate’.
      • The audit report, although written by a chartered accountant, and is therefore required to comply with the Auditing Standards, falls far short of those standards.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • After a surplus of 42% of income last year, this year’s surplus was still a relatively high 12%.
  • 36% of expenses went on travel, including for Goodseed International.
  • Working capital (current assets less current liabilities) is strongly positive.
  • GA is currently operating, per the ‘Balance Sheet’, without any property, plant or equipment.
  • There are no long-term liabilities.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He said that ‘the Statement of Income and Expenditure is true and fair (sic)…’. However, he contradicts this opinion by including, as an appendix, a ‘sample qualification’ for ‘Donations and fund raising activities’.
    • He also uses a long out-of-date format for his report, and does not mention the other statement GA includes.

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

  • Yes

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not mentioned on the website.
  • From ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:
    • Louise Bolt
    • Peter Bolt
    • Else Cousins
    • Ray Cousins
    • Raymond Cousins
      • I suspect ‘Ray’ and ‘Raymond’ are the same person.
    • John Cross
      • If you ‘search the (ACNC) register by responsible person’, you will find that, other than ‘John Cross’, these directors have no more than two other charity directorships.  There are 12 listed for ‘John Cross’.  If, after eliminating the ones that don’t belong to GA’s John Cross, more than a handful remain, it would be legitimate for you to question whether his ability to discharge his fiduciary responsibilities to that many charities is threatened.
    • Paul Humphries
      • Or is it ‘Humphreys’?
    • Phil Sprigg

To whom is GA accountable?

 

 

  1. The law in this area is not straightforward and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
  2. For one opinion on the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.
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