This is review in the series ‘Members of Missions Interlink’, Missions Interlink being ‘the Australian network for global mission’ (and a means for a Member to get income tax exemption when it might not otherwise be available, with a consequent accountability regime).
Both Members and Associates have to accept a set of standards, the introduction to which includes this statement:
They 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.
1. A search on the ACNC Register of charities leads to a charity with an almost identical name, Genesis Counselling And Training Inc.(Genesis) (emphasis mine).
3. The “web address begins with ‘https’” but there is no “closed padlock symbol next to the web address in the address bar”, so the website is only partly secure [the first ACNC article above].
You cannot donate online so the question of the security of your credit card information is not relevant.
4. The Australian Business Register (linked from Genesis’ ACNC Register record), says that the charity is entitled to receive tax deductible gifts.
5. For what they do, see the ‘Summary of activities’ on the Overview page on the Register. In 2018, here’s what they did overseas (from the AIS 2018):
“UGANDA – 4 Primary schools with 1,500 village children consistently achieving higher results than Government schools. Secondary School has 500 students. Teacher Training College currently 550 attending – all have employment before graduation. 75 Community Development Groups with 3000 members learning income generation to educate their children in our schools. All groups are eligible to apply for Annual Grants.
KENYA – 10 projects doing well with total beneficiaries of 3,500. All children are in school receiving a cooked meal every school day of the year. A feeding programme for 300 malnourished children has been commenced on Saturdays for remote Maasai children. In another Maasai area, a perimeter fence is being erected to protect children and school buildings from wild animals.
INDONESIA – Training facilities are have been upgraded for tertiary students and pre-school activities running smoothly. Renovations are completed at the Mental Health Facility,
For more detail, see the Annual Report on the Register.
Noting that the figure comes from a Financial Report that has significant issues, 76% of the resources consumed in 2018 are described as ‘Counselling & Training Support’. The note supporting this amount has the name and country of every recipient of this money. The largest amount is only 11% of the total, so the risk is dispersed.
There are no results, outcomes or impact reported on the ACNC Register or the website.
Genesis do not say anywhere how they ensure that your donations are used for the intended purpose. The Annual Report describes some visits by Genesis staff; in those places one can have some confidence on the use of the money.
For more a more in-depth review, please contact me.
- https://missionsinterlink.org.au/about/ ↑
- See here for last year’s 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?