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Archived: Transform4Life: 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Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 being ‘the Australian network for global mission[1].

Transform4Life’ is one such Member[2], and an organisation that allows donations online.

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


‘Transform4Life’ chose not to respond to a draft of this review.

’The charities’ 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”:

  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.
  5. Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.

Here’s the results for ‘Transform4Life’[3], with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[4].

1.  A search on the ACNC Register of charities reveals a charity in that name – almost. ‘Almost’ because there is ‘Inc’ at the end of the name (meaning that ‘Transform4Life’ is an incorporated association, not an unincorporated one as is implied by the name on the website). For Transform4Life Inc to use the name this way, they should have it registered, and they (still) don’t. (Nor do they have ‘T4L’ registered. And wouldn’t be able to register it as it is held by another entity.)

2. NA

3. The website is not secure.

4. The Australian Business Register (linked from Transform4Life Inc’s ACNC Register record), says that the charity is entitled to receive tax deductible gifts.

5. This is Transform4Life’s mission:

Your giving is not able to be directed to one or other of these areas.


Transform4Life Inc provide no information on their 2018 activities and outcomes.

The audited account of how the donations are used is the Financial Report 2018 on the ACNC Register. Within that there are two statements that give information on how the donations were used. But you should first turn to the Notes to the accounts (Notes to the Financial Statements in this case) to check out the ‘Basis of preparation’ (or similar).

For Transform4Life Inc, this tells us that they think that they are not a reporting entity. Whether or not this reasonable, the conclusion they draw from this isn’t. They say that it means that they don’t have to ‘apply accounting concepts or standards in the preparation and presentation of these statements’. Even though this is accepted by the auditor, Brian Bay, it is not true.

However, because Transform4Life Inc use cash accounting, there should be little effect on their calculation of where the donations went:

There is no further information on the major items here, including any assurance that the money sent overseas (one or more of five countries) was used for the purpose for which it was given.

No information is given on the impact of the charity’s activities.


Please contact me if you need a more in-depth review.



  1. https://missionsinterlink.org.au/about/
  2. http://tedsherwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/word-image-21.png
  3. See here for last year’s review.
  4. 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].