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Archived: Power to Change: 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Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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.

This is review in the series ‘Members of Missions Interlink. Missions Interlink is ‘the Australian network for global mission’ and a means for a Member to get income tax exemption when it might not otherwise be available[1].

Power to Change is an Associate of Missions Interlink, and an organisation that seeks donations from the public.

Both Members and Associates have to accept a set of standards, the introduction to which includes this statement:

I sent the charity a draft of this review. They did not respond.

The ACNC, in their article, Donating to Legitimate Charities, gives “some things to consider to help you make sure your donation is going where it is intended”:

  1. Check the charity’s name
  2. Ask for identification from anyone seeking a donation.
  3. Be careful of online requests for donations.
  4. No tax deduction doesn’t mean the charity is not a legitimate one, and
  5. Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations

Here’s the results for Power to Change[2], with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[3].

1. There is a registered[4] charity in that name.

  • However, the result of the search on Power to Change shows that Power to Change is not the only entity that uses that name. So does Foundation In Religious Education[5].

2. NA

3. The “web address begins with ‘https’ and there is a closed padlock symbol next to the web address in the address bar”, so the website is secure [the ACNC article above]. At the beginning of the page where you give the last four numbers of your bank account or credit card, you are told that the Commonwealth Bank’s BPoint is used, so your credit card information, entered on the following page, is safe.

4. There is no mention of a tax deduction anywhere, which fits with the lack of ‘Deductible gift recipient status’ on the Australian Business Register.

5.  Here’s what Power to Change say they are about:

The website expresses the priorities a little differently:

The money sought for doing their process is expressed as two destinations, ‘missionaries’ and ‘ministries’, and one method (bequests). There is a long list of missionaries[6] and 15 ministries.

For the missionaries, there is no link to these strategies. For the ministries, it is not always clear to which strategy you are contributing.

Nothing of the giving options match the ‘Global Aid’ strategy[7].

Other than those involved in ‘church movements’, the website does not have any information about the missionaries. But there does appear to be information on the ministries.

When it comes to the translation of this work into resources consumed[8], this is the only information given:

This classification is of no help in understanding the relative weight given to the strategies/ministries described above.

And there is no explanation, in the statements, of the destination of the ‘Personnel’ expenses (75% of the total).

There is no mention of foreign missionaries on the website.

As for the impact of your donation, there is no information.


Contact me if you need a more in-depth review.



  1. See here for last year’s review.
    • Focus on the nature of the charity’s work, its beneficiaries and the impact the charity is having in the community.
    • Is it clear what the charity is trying to achieve and how its activities work towards its objectives?
    • Would you like to spend your money, or time if volunteering, to support these objectives?
    • Is the charity being transparent about its activities?A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering:
  2. The ACNC implies, therefore, that it is a ‘legitimate’ charity. But this is not correct – as the ACNC itself points out, registration is voluntary.
  3. But explicable by the fact that Foundation In Religious Education, an unincorporated entity, is one of the four members of the ACNC Group that begins reporting from the 2018 year (due 30 June 2019). The other members are Global Aid Network Ltd, Power to Change, and Great Commission Foundation. Foundation in Religious Education is not a registered business name though. There is no explanation for the omission of the Foundation from the 2017 accounts. The Group does not report until the 2018 year (due 30 June 2019).
  4. Presumably the ‘around 150 full-time workers in four states’ (elsewhere ‘over 140 full-time workers across Australia’).
  5. Elsewhere on the website, there is a page ‘Global Aid Network’, where you are directed to a separate website. (The page calls ‘Global Aid Network’ a ‘partner’, but as we saw above, they are much more than this).
  6. The audited account of how the donations are used is the Financial Report 2017 on the ACNC Register. Within that there are two statements that give information on how the donations were used. Most donors think in terms of cash, so if that’s you, you might turn first to the Statement of Cash Flows. What you might not know though, is that you first should turn to the Notes to the accounts (Notes to the Financial Statements in this case) to check out the ‘Basis of preparation’. Here is the confirmation that the accounts are the appropriate type for a charity of the size, reach and complexity of Power to Change, general purpose financial statements.