This is a review in the series ‘Members of Missions Interlink’, Missions Interlink being ‘the Australian network for global mission’. ‘Refugee Connect Ltd’ is one such member, and an organisation that seeks donations online.
Both Members and Associates have to accept a set of standards, the introduction to which includes this statement:
I sent Refugee Connect a draft of this review on 16 May 2019. This resulted in a phone from them on 20 May, and then an email giving them links to some information that would help them, and a request to submit their comments by 24 May 2019. I did not hear from them again.
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.
- A search on the ACNC Register of charities gives a charity with that name (Refugee Connect).
- As a ‘Small’ charity, one would not expect Refugee Connect to use third party fundraisers. And there is nothing to suggest that they do.
- 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]. On the giving page it says, ‘Donations are processed through a secure payment processor’ but no basis for that claim is given.
- The Australian Business Register (linked from Refugee Connect’s ACNC Register record), says that the charity is entitled to receive tax deductible gifts. This matches what it says on the donations page.
- Objectives / Mission
From the Constitution (Governing document, ACNC Register):
How it says it uses donations
The audited account of how donations are used is the Financial Report 2018 on the ACNC Register. Although Refugee Connect is, by virtue of its size for reporting, not obliged to lodge one, it has chosen to do so.
Voluntary Reports do not need to comply with the ACNC Act. And this one doesn’t.
But this matters not, for if you are reading here to get financial information about the Refugee Connect, then you are in the wrong place: the directors have effectively said [Note 1 to the accounts] that you can ring the office and ask them to prepare a report to answer your questions.
- https://missionsinterlink.org.au/about/ ↑
- 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?
- The Report “is a special purpose financial report which has been prepared to fulfill the director’s responsibilities under the Collections Act 1966.” ↑