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Kids Outreach International Limited: 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Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 Kids Outreach International Limited (KO) as an organisation that seeks donations online[1]. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

(To see the situation last year, read this review.)

Are they responsive to feedback?

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

Is KO registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
      • As it doesn’t have the necessary provisions in its constitution, it is not entitled to omit ‘Limited/Ltd’ when it uses its company name.
    • Business names:
      • ‘Love for Kids’ is registered, but ‘Love for Kids Russia’ is used.
      • ‘Step Up to the Mission’: website not working.
      • Another name is used, ‘Step Up Against Slavery’, but it is not registered.
    • KO doesn’t have a licence to fundraise in any of the four states that, according to the ACNC Register, it operates. Nor in the other three that have a licensing regime[2].

What do they do?

  • These projects.
  • What they said they did in 2015 (via their AIS 2015):
    • 1. Facilitated teams of volunteers from Australia, New Zealand and USA to live in Russian summer camps to provide cultural exchange, life-skills education and broadening the horizons of the Russian children and their carers/camp counselors. 2. Assisted in the construction and refurbishment of family homes for orphans who might otherwise be homeless. This a joint project with local families in eastern Russia. 3. Organized, funded, and participated in a seminar on youth welfare for academics and post-graduate students from universities in the St Petersburg region. Focus was on youth engagement and the issue of sex-trafficking.
      • But this is identical to what they said they did in 2014.

Do they share the Gospel?

  • It appears from a search of ‘gospel’ on the website that individuals on the trips overseas do.

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing found on the website.

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

  • If we define ‘direct’ as ‘Specified Projects’ plus ‘Outreach Project’ (both unexplained in the accounts), then it cost $188K to deliver $61K.
    • ‘Employment Expenses’ were 52% of total expenses.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • No online giving offered.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (lodged five and a half months after their year-end).
    • 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 10 months ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: Not quite. No outcomes given.
  • Financial Report 2015: No
    • Like in 2014
      • Two of the four required financial statements are missing.
      • There is no declaration by the directors.
      • The disclosure is not consistent with the type of statements – general purpose – claimed.
        • Including no mention of related parties (the Finnish ‘sister organisation’? Canberra churches? Other organisations at their address?).

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • They increased the surplus as a percentage of income from negative 6% to positive 3%.
  • At $22K, the ‘Trade and other payables’ seem high relative to turnover. (The composition cannot be checked because Note 8 is missing.)
  • Equity is only 2.4 times last year’s deficit.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He concluded from his review – not an audit – that ‘nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the annual financial report…does not present fairly in all material respects the financial position…and…financial performance…This provides a lower level of comfort than a ‘clean’ opinion[3].
    • But see the comments under ‘Financial Report 2015’, above.

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

  • Not quite. ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank.

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

  • The two that are mentioned on the website are sponsorship of somebody going to Russia, and going yourself.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not shown on the website, but the ACNC Register lists them under ‘Responsible Persons’.

To whom are KO accountable?

  • The Missions Interlink ‘Accredited Member’ logo is at the bottom here. Membership confirmed.
    • Missions Interlink is an organisation that has standards with which KO must comply, but, as a comparison of this review with the review last year shows, it appears that at least the reporting standards can be treated with impunity.
  • KO is also accountable to the ACNC.

 

 

  1. Also via www.stepupagainstslavery.org and www.Givenow.com.au.
  2. The law in this area is not straightforward and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
  3. To take the right amount of comfort from a ‘clean opinion’, please read here and here.
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