Entente Foundation: mini-charity review

Mini-charity review of Entente Foundation (EF), an organisation founded by Vanessa Hall (‘the Trust Lady‘ and Chair of the CMA Standards Council), and that invites the public to donate to it. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • They did not reply to my invitation to comment, sent on 21 March 2017.

Is it registered?

  • Yes, as a charity.
  • EF is a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
  • There’s also a private company with the name ‘Entente’, Entente Pty Limited.
    • This is the company that, per her LinkedIn profile, Vanessa has worked for since 2000.
    • A Google search on the company name leads to the website www.entente.com.au. This is headed ‘entente – international movement of trust’.
      • This is a movement led by Vanessa.
  • The same profile says that this movement ‘has both a for-profit and a charity’, so presumably these are Entente Pty Ltd and EF.
  • EF is registered as a fundraiser in the only state in which it says it operates, its home state, NSW. (Presumably it has been advised that its internet request for donations doesn’t qualify as ‘fundraising’ in any of the other six states that have a licensing regime. Not a position taken by all experts.)

What does EF do?

  • There’s a short description plus links to their programs, below the slider here.
  • The company’s single Object in its constitution is to
    • promote the prevention and control of human behavior that is harmful or abusive to human beings specifically emotional abuse, physical abuse, sexual abuse and substance abuse…[1]

Do they share the Gospel?

  • EF does not claim to be a Christ-centred organisation, either on its website or in its constitution.

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing systematic found.
    • Some indicators of a better functioning community after EF’s intervention are given at the end of this video.
    • They planned for an Annual Report for each year, but the last one is for two years ago.

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

  • The expenses are not classified to allow this calculation.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Not to EF itself, but to the fund that it runs, Building and Restoring Trust Gift Fund.
    • Its purpose is ‘the prevention or the control of behaviour that is harmful or abusive to human beings.’
      • This is the current description of what your money will be used for:
        • We desperately need funds to assist us in researching and developing programs and materials to help those who are broken and have forgotten how to trust. 

Is their online giving secure?

  • PayPal is used, so yes.

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

  • None

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (six months after their year-end).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • Annual Information Statement 2016 (AIS 2016): Yes
  • Financial Report 2016: Yes. (Being a ‘Small’ charity, the report that was submitted was done so voluntarily.)
    • Given the strong connection with the company Entente Pty Limited (see above), a related parties Note should have been included.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • The equity was reduced from $32K to $7K by a loss of $25K.
  • 95% of the expenses are in unexplained item ‘Other expenses’.
  • They operated this year without any non-current assets (office equipment etc).

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion[2].

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete?

  • Not quite
    • They are long overdue in selecting an ‘Entity Subtype’.
    • ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank. EF has a website, and shows a phone number there.
      • I am waiting on the ACNC to tell me what in the ‘Charity Details’ section is compulsory.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • The three ladies here.
  • And on the ACNC Register:
    • Dianne Beer
    • Vanessa Hall
      • Although not shown on this profile, Vanessa is the Chair of the ‘Standards Panel’ (or is it the ‘CMA Standards Council’?), a committee of Christian Ministry Advancement Ltd, an organisation that believes that
        • Christian organisations should be the standard-setters in terms of impeccable corporate behaviour.
          • The Panel’s mission is to ‘help build faith and trust in Christian organisations’, including by allowing organisations who are compliant with a set of standards, formed by the Council, to display the Council’s seal of approval.
    • Glenda Nixon
    • Glenda Nixon
      • I’d be surprised if this was not a duplicate.

To whom is EF accountable?

  • EF is also accountable to the ACNC.
  • And, as a company, to ASIC.

 

 

  1. Three of the activities listed under this object refer to ‘the Principal Object’. This is defined as ‘the Object in Clause 0, but there is no ‘Clause 0’.
  2. To take the right amount of comfort from a ‘clean opinion’, please read here and here.

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