Care: At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a review in the series ‘Members of Missions Interlink’, Missions Interlink being the Australian Evangelical Alliance Inc‘s ‘network for global mission‘. We review these charities because their membership means that they must sign up to a set of standards, and this, at least on paper, makes them a better bet for your donations (or other involvement).
COVID-19 – no general statement
The charity regulator (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”:
- Check the charity’s name.
- Ask for identification from anyone seeking a donation.
- Be careful of online requests for donations.
- No tax deduction doesn’t mean the charity is not a legitimate one, and
- Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.
1. A search on the ACNC Register for ‘Tabor College of Higher Education’ gives no result. Using the name on the website, ‘Tabor’, gives seven charities, but only one that is registered and is a college: Tabor College Inc.(Tabor). And it has the same website as the one above.
2. There is nothing to indicate that Tabor uses either door-to-door or street collectors.
3. The web address begins with a closed padlock symbol, so the website is secure [the ACNC article above]. Westpac’s ‘Payway’ is used, so your credit card information should be secure.
4. Tabor’s ABN record says that it is entitled to receive tax-deductible gifts, both as an organisation and for a fund that it operates. The website information is consistent with this.
5. The use of your donations
For the context, see here.
Sharing the Gospel
Not to people who haven’t already heard it.
Financial Report 2019
The audited account of how a charity uses donations is the Financial Report on the ACNC Register.
Directors have a choice between two kinds of reports, special purpose or general purpose. The requirements of the former are less onerous than the latter. The directors of Tabor at the time (see below), decided on special purpose. The auditor, Emma Underwood, for LBH Accountants Pty Ltd, agreed with this decision.
With stakeholders separated from management (59 full time equivalent employees), campuses in two different states, hundreds of students all over Australia, and money from donors and government grants [Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2019], the evidence is against Tabor being one of the exceptions. But that is the choice that the directors made.
One of the implications of their choice is that you can ring Tabor’s office and request that they prepare financial statements that answer the question or questions you have about the charity. We strongly doubt that they will agree. And if they don’t then the accounts presented by the directors are not for you. In fact, they say (in the Notes to the Financial Statements) that you don’t exist:
There are some other questionable decisions made by these directors:
- The accounts were signed well after the pandemic began, yet there is not a single mention of it.
- The directors say that it is ‘not practical’ to estimate the useful life of either ‘land and buildings’ (sic) or ‘Stock of Library Books’. The most basic of enquiries would have told them that such estimations are common. The omission means that the $23K surplus they have reported for the year is materially overstated, so could this be the reason?
- Current assets are only 1.2 times current liabilities (thin working capital). The omission of the due date of the $2.6 million loan with Westpac is therefore material.
- There is a current tax assessment for $2.3 million yet there is no Contingent Liabilities Note.
- ‘Borrowing costs’ have not been accounted for correctly.
- There is no mention of a charity that Tabor appears to control, The Trustee for Tabor College Inc Trust.
- The Income Statement omits a section that has long been a legal requirement.
- The Income Statement has a separate section for ‘Extraordinary items’ even though this distinction has been long gone from the law.
- There are no comparative figures in the Statement of Changes in Equity.
Here are the directors responsible for this reporting (from the Directors’ Report, Financial Report 2019):
Is it this Rod Hook?
Is it this Roger Harris?
The ‘Board of Governors’ on the website is minus the first three, and plus Craig Need. The ACNC Register shows the same as the website.
The board is responsible to the members. Those on the board are the members, so no accountability here.
Where the money went
If you are still happy to consider a donation to Tabor, here’s how they consumed their resources (i.e. accrual figures, with last year in the second column):
If the only change they are seeking is student satisfaction, then here are the results.
Tabor doesn’t seek feedback (other than from students).
The introduction to the Mission Interlink standards (see above) includes this statement:
We sent Tabor a draft of this review. They received the email but chose not to respond.
End of review.
- See here for the previous review. ↑
- A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering:
- 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?
- The ACNC’s information (in its article above) is not correct for the Chrome browser; it does not have ‘https’. ↑
- Emma is not a registered auditor, and it is LBH Audit Pty Ltd, not LBH Accountants Pty Ltd that is registered. ↑
- Enhancing Not-for-Profit Annual and Financial Reporting, March 2013, accessed from their website March 2020. ↑
- The accounting profession says that you are therefore ‘potentially interested in the information provided in general purpose financial reports’, the other kind of report. [From Objective of General Purpose Financial Reporting (SAC2), www.aasb.gov.au]. ↑
- ‘When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett says this about sharing the Gospel: ‘A host of contextual issues determine the best manner and the appropriate time to present the gospel verbally, particularly in militant Muslim or Hindu settings. But without such a presentation, it is not possible for people to be personally transformed in all their relationships, which is what poverty alleviation is all about [Kindle Locations 1262-1264, Moody Publishers]. ↑