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Transform Aid International Ltd: mini-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Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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.

Mini-charity review of Transform Aid International Ltd (TAI), an organisation that is a member of Missions Interlink. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

For the previous review, see here[1].

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • I sent them a draft of this review. Unlike last year, when they responded the same day (but not later to my explanations), they did not respond.

Is TAI registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • TAI is a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
    • It does not have the provisions in its constitution to permit it to omit ‘Ltd’/’Limited’ at the end of its name. Therefore, since it has not registered a business name other than Behind the Barcode, it should be using its full name with the public. So not Transform Aid or even Transform Aid International, as it does on its website.
    • TAI operates, per the ACNC Register, all over Australia, and in many countries overseas.
      • However, as its website, and annual report, are for the group of charities, not just TAI, and the states and countries are identical to those listed on the Register by Baptist World Aid Australia Ltd, is the Register correct?

What do they do?

  • The primary object in the constitution says that TAI was formed ‘to act as the affiliated aid and development agency of ABM [Australian Baptist Ministries] [clause 1.7 (a)].
  • This has been broadened on the website to include other Australian denominations:
    • Transform Aid is a space for churches, denominations and agencies to come together to end poverty through community development work and advocacy with Christian Partners in Asia, Africa and the Pacific. We also mobilise supporters in Australia via high quality education, advocacy and marketing resources.

Do they share the Gospel?[2]

  • There is insufficient information available to tell.

What impact are they having?

  • No information found.

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

  • There is insufficient disclosure about TAI in the consolidated financial statements lodged to answer this question.

Do they pay their board members?

  • The constitution does not prohibit such payments.
  • Whether they were made is not disclosed, and there is insufficient depth of disclosure in the expenses to check.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Not for a donation to TAI itself, but to its fund, Transform Aid International Overseas Aid Fund.
    • The only mention of this fund on the website is in the ATO’s approval letter that they have uploaded.

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (lodged just under six months after their year-end, the same time as the last two years.
    • 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 over six months ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2017: No. It reads like an AIS on the group, not just TAI. For instance, the financial information is from the consolidated financial statements.
  • Financial Report 2017: Yes. The ACNC allows a consolidated report to be lodged by the controlling company.

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • The revenue is 40% of the group’s revenue. Neither its nature nor how it is raised is disclosed. All giving on the subsidiary’s website goes to its subsidiary.
  • The assets are almost 100% of the group’s assets.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

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

  • No
    • The business name is missing.
    • Does TAI operate in exactly the same places as its subsidiary?
    • Website is still blank. (The ACNC says that this information is not compulsory.)

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

  • NA.

Where were your (net) donations sent?

  • This is not disclosed.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

To whom is TAI accountable?

  • TAI implies accountability to the five organisations named in the website footer:
    • Australian Baptist Ministries is included because TAI is one of their ministries, and therefore overseen by them.
    • ACFID membership confirmed. There is a Code of Conduct with which they must comply.
    • Although the link from Australian Aid logo doesn’t show it, TAI has full accreditation with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade to receive aid grants.
    • Integral. Here are the standards with which they must comply.
    • church agencies network. The link goes to TAI’s website, but there are only some principles that they have agreed to follow, no accountability.
  • There are three accountability relationships not mentioned.

 

 

  1. This review did not make sufficient distinction between TAI and its subsidiary (see further on in the current review).
  2. Good living and social concern are important [to the cause of evangelism], but they are not uniquely Christian graces…I’ve met a lot of fine Hindus, Muslims and atheists. Just living the life is not going to bring someone to Christ. There is much more to it than that. We must help people, certainly, but we must also share with them why we are motivated to do so. We must stand against injustice, poverty and need, but we must at the same time point to the One who brings justice and who can meet the deepest need. Until they know our reasons, how can they come to know our Lord? [Dan Armstrong, the Fifth Gospel: The Gospel According to You, Anzea Books, pp. 13-14.
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