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International China Concern (Australia) Ltd: mini charity review for donors

Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 International China Concern (Australia) Ltd (ICC) as an organisation that seeks donations. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

Is ICC registered?

  • As a charity, yes
  • Other registrations:
    • As a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
    • Licensed to fundraise in its home state, but not in the other five in which it says it operates.
      • 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.

What do they do?

  • ICC has no website, and the page for Australia on the international site doesn’t say what they do. The description of activities in the AIS 2015 is not specifically about Australia:
    • Working with children with disability and those who have been abandoned to provide health, safety and a community home
  • But the ‘Principal Activities’ section of the Directors (sic) Report does talk about Australia:
    • The principal activity of the company during the financial year was to raise funds from Australian based supporters to both continue and grow the work of International China Concern in its China projects by working to provide holistic care, support services, therapy, education, medical care and vocational training

Do they share the Gospel?

  • No, ICC itself doesn’t. But hopefully those working in the orphanages are faithful to the first of ICC’s ‘Core Values’, ‘Evangelism’:
    • In the birthing of ICC [the international organisation], GOD did not create an orphanage work with a secondary evangelistic purpose. HE created an evangelistic mission whose primary people group are the poor and needy, disabled and orphaned. We seek to take advantage of every Spirit-led opportunity to share with those who do not yet know Christ as their Saviour.

What impact are they making?

  • Nothing systematic found. (Many of the hits from a search of the international website will no doubt lead to anecdotal evidence.)

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

  • 83%. Donations made account for only 17% of expenses.
    • The AIS 2015 says that they sent 47% overseas, but that includes $270K ‘Administration costs’.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No, not to ICC.
    • But they accept donations to ‘Project J282 with Global Development Group….’ (GDG). There is no description of this project, but here it is on GDG’s site.
      • GDG is not a Christian organisation, and there is an Australian government tax concession involved, so presumably International China Concern has to compromise on its ‘Evangelism’ value (see above) in this work.

Is their online giving secure?

  • Credit card information is requested without mention of security.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes.
    • But if you are considering a large donation, I would ask for more up-to-date financial information – the accounts are for a year end that is now fourteen months ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: Except for the absence of outcomes, yes.
  • Financial Report 2015: Except for the ACNC not being mentioned, and if going concern really wasn’t an issue, then yes.

What was the financial situation shown by that Report?

  • There was a deficit this year.
  • 55% of your donations went to paying employees (up from 42% last year).
  • Working capital – the excess of current (short-term) assets over current (short-term) liabilities – is low. And is positive largely because of $23K of unspecified ‘Other receivables’.
  • There is negative equity (that is, liabilities exceed assets), so the longer term structure is also not sound.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion. To take the right amount of comfort for this finding, please read here and here.
    • The going concern assumption is not mentioned.

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

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

  • The donation page initially suggests that all donations go to ‘the general fund’ or ‘Where most needed’. However, further down you are given an opportunity to select from 16 ‘Donor designations’ (including ‘Where Most Needed’).

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Comparing the names on the Australian page of the website with those on the ACNC Register, it is
    • Janet Conroy, Rex Hills, and David Gotts and
    • either Ross Davie, Geoff Hall, and Liz Scheu or Justin Anemaat, Ian Sigsworth, and Claire Watson.
  • Whoever it is, they answer to the members of the company.

To whom is ICC accountable?

  • Apart from the ACNC, it is a Member of Missions Interlink.
    • For one opinion on the strength of this accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

Are they responsive to feedback?

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

 

 

  1. Although the web address has a mistake (‘china’, not ‘chin’), and the Responsible Persons may not be up-to-date (see below).
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