This is review in the series ‘Members of Missions Interlink’, Missions Interlink being ‘the Australian network for global mission’.
‘Alphacrucis College Ltd’ is one such Member, 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:
This Member did not 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”:
- 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.
- Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.
Here’s the results for ‘Alphacrucis College Limited’, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?.
1. A search on the ACNC Register of charities gives a charity in that name (Alphacrucis).
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].
There is no mention on the first page of the giving process of the security of your information.
4. The Australian Business Register (linked from Alphacrucis’ ACNC Register record), says that the charity is entitled to receive tax deductible gifts. Likewise, for its fund, ‘Southern Cross College Building Fund’.
5. This is Alphacrucis’ mission: ‘Equipping Christian leaders to change the world.’
This is how they do it.
This is how that translates into giving options:
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. 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’.
Do you provide or give things to, receive things from, or have oversight of, or review, of Alphacrucis[vii]? Quite apart from perhaps being one the charity’s many students ($12.75 million ‘Gross student fees’, Financial Report 2017), perhaps you intend to donate or are one of the donors who gave $464K last year [Financial Report 2017]? Or you are one of the 167 employees (AIS 2017)? If so, can you ring Alphacrucis’ office and request that they prepare financial statements that answer the question or questions you have about the charity? I doubt it. You are therefore ‘potentially interested in the information provided in general purpose reports’.
You are therefore in the wrong place – I only have access to the published accounts of Alphacrucis, and the directors[ix], with the agreement of the auditor, have declared that you don’t exist:
The directors don’t say for whom they have prepared the statements, saying only that ‘These special purpose financial statements have been prepared to meet the reporting requirements of the Act.’ (But if they should be preparing general purpose financial statements, then those requirements have not been met.)
Last year, they made the same decision (but didn’t say why). The previous year, however, they said that you did exist, which led to the decision to produce general purpose financial statements:
It is difficult to see the directors could make such a different decision for what is essentially the same organisation this year.
Their policy on including organisations they control (consolidation) is also confusing: in 2015 they said they didn’t consolidate but gave no reason; in 2016 they said that they had not consolidated, said that this was a contravention of the Accounting Standards, but again gave no reason; and this year they ignore the question of consolidation completely.
If Alphacrucis is still in the running for your donation (or business), here’s what they said about how your donations were used:
- Cash: Payments to suppliers and employees $13,249,756
- This is 97% of the cash outflows for operating activities.
- Accrual (expenses), the four largest:
‘Employee benefits and contractor expenses’ $8.56 million (62% of expenses)
‘Property expense’ $1.03 million (7% of expenses).
‘Other expenses’ $778K (1%)
‘Travel and entertainment expense’ $751K (1%)
There is no further information on the major expense.
There is no information on the relationship between the expenses and the four giving options (above).
There is no information on the impact of the charity’s activities – the change created in the people they help.
Please contact me if you need a more in-depth review.
- https://missionsinterlink.org.au/about/ ↑
- See here for my last 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]. ↑
- From Objective of General Purpose Financial Reporting (SAC2), www.aasb.gov.au: ↑
- From Objective of General Purpose Financial Reporting (SAC2), www.aasb.gov.au ↑
- The people shown under ‘People’ here. ↑
- Jeffrey Tulk, Partner, Saward Dawson.