PeaceWise: charity review

This is a review[1] of PeaceWise, one of the 10 organisations that have been accredited with the CMA Standards Council[2].

From its entry in the Council’s ‘Give Confidently’ directory, it is likely a charity:

The Australian charities regulator, the ACNC, in their Factsheet: Making sure your donation gets to where it needs to, gives “some steps to consider to help make sure your donation is going where it is intended.”

  1. Check the organisation’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 are the answers for PeaceWise:

  1. There is a charity that has put PeaceWise on the charities Register as a name by which it is known by:

By the ABN we can confirm that Peacewise Ltd is the charity that is allowed to use the CMA Standards Council seal[3].

Because it has neither registered PeaceWise as a business name, nor changed its constitution to prohibit the payment of directors’ fees, PeaceWise Limited is still not permitted to trade without ‘Ltd’/’Limited’ on the end of its name.

2. NA

3. PeaceWise’s ‘Donate’ pagebegins with ‘https’ and…there is a closed padlock symbol next to the website’s URL in the address bar”. A secure way to give to PeaceWise. (The page has a ‘Comodo Secure’ icon, but there is no link.)

4. The ABN record says that no tax deduction is available for a donation to PeaceWise. PeaceWise is nevertheless a legitimate charity.

5.  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. Most donors think in terms of cash, so if that’s you, you might turn first to the Statement of Cash Flows. What you might now know though, is that you first should 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 the PeaceWise? Perhaps you intend to donate or are one of the donors who together gave $122K last year [Financial Report 2017]? Perhaps you are one of the suppliers who shared in the $415K of payments? [Financial Report 2017], or one of their 10 volunteers [AIS 2017][4]. If so, can you ring PeaceWise’s office and request that they prepare financial statements that answer the question or questions you have about the charity? I very much doubt it. You are therefore ‘potentially interested in the information provided in general purpose reports[5].

You are therefore in the wrong place – I only have access to the published accounts of PeaceWise, and the directors[6], with the agreement of the auditor, have again produced special purpose financial statements, a decision[7] that implies[8] that you don’t exist:

Quite apart from the very questionable application of the Accounting Standards, a special purpose report cannot, by definition, satisfy the CMA Standards Council’s Principle 8, ‘Transparency and Accountability’:

End of review[9].

 

 

  1. For the previous review, see here.
  2. It achieved this by meeting the Council’s ‘Principles and Standards of Responsible Stewardship’, and therefore is able to be promoted as a ‘high quality organisation’.
  3. The name on the ACNC Register is incorrect. It is ‘PeaceWise Ltd’, not ‘Peacewise Ltd’. From prior correspondence, I know that PeaceWise is very careful about its name.
  4. All this spread over operations throughout Australia and overseas in New Zealand [ACNC Register].
  5. From Objective of General Purpose Financial Reporting (SAC2), www.aasb.gov.au:
  6. The people shown here. Probably without the Secretary and the Minute Secretary though. After that adjustment, the this matches the ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:

  7. Last year they said they would review this decision, so if they did as they said they would, then this is a considered, not a careless, decision.
  8. They have again omitted to say why they have made this decision.
  9. I sent a draft of this review to the charity. This was their response: ‘Thank you for your email. We have noted your view of PeaceWise. Please, note that Geoff Bateman resigned from the PeaceWise Board. ‘

 

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