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Caroline Chisholm Society

Transparency
3/3 stars
 
This charity has a full current annual report on their website, as well as historic reports. It also has a full recent financial report available. Historic financial reports are accessible.

More information

Why this is important
Charities that put annual reports and financial reports online reliably are more transparent, helping donors to make more informed decisions.
Financial sustainability
3/3 stars
 
This charity has made 0 losses in the last 4 years. It has more assets than liabilities, and total assets cover more than 19 months of expenses.

More information

Why this is important
Some charities are more responsible with their money than others. If a charity has made continual losses over the last three years, it is probably not being well managed financially. Similarly, if it has more liabilities than assets, it is not in good financial shape.
Privacy
1/1 star
 
The charity has a privacy policy available.

More information

Why this is important
When you donate to a charity, you give them your personal information. Their privacy policy states what they will do with your information - for example selling it or exchanging it with other charities.
Like what you see? Then why not:

Basic information

Basic information
Other names: None
ABN: 42005066919
Website: caroline.org.au
Address: 1 Darebin Place Caroline Springs VIC
Year established: 1969
Charity size: Large
Donations are tax deductible: Yes
Religious Charity: No
States worked in
States operated in:
  • VIC
Staffing
Full-time staff: 11
Part-time staff: 9
Volunteers: 101 to 500

What the charity does

Primary purpose: Economic, social and community development
Groups
Groups worked with:
  • Children
  • Ethnic Groups
  • General Community in Australia
  • Men
  • Migrants, Refugees or Asylum Seekers
  • People at risk of homelessness
  • Unemployed Persons
  • Women
  • Youth
Types
Types of work conducted:
  • Economic social and community development
  • Emergency Relief
  • Mental health and crisis intervention
  • Social services

Financial information

Finances

Revenue and expenses:

  Revenue      Expenses
What is this and why is it important?
Data table

What is this?

This graph shows how much revenue (money in) and expenses (money out) the charity has had each year over the last few years. Charities have many sources of revenue, such as donations, government grants, and services they sell to the public. Similarly, expenses are everything that allows the charity to run, from paying staff to rent.

What should I be looking for?

First off, this graph gives a general indication of how big the charity is - charities range in size from tiny (budgets of less than $100,000) to enormous (budgets more than $100 million). You're also looking for variability - if the charity's revenue and expenses are jumping up and down from year to year, make sure there's a good reason for it.

Unlike companies, charities and not-for-profits aren't on a mission to make money. However, if they spend more than they receive, eventually they will go into too much debt and run into trouble. As a very general rule, you want revenue to be slightly above expenses. If expenses is reliably above revenue, the charity is losing money. If revenue is much larger than expenses, it means the charity might not be using its resources effectively. It isn't always that simple, however, and there's a lot of reasons a charity might not follow this pattern. They might be saving up for a big purchase or campaign, or they might have made a big one-off payment. If you're worried, always look at the annual and financial reports to understand why the charity is making the decisions it is.

Data table

2012 2013 2014 2015
Revenue$1,334,622$1,264,263$1,379,849$1,404,770
Expenses$1,213,244$1,226,920$1,329,875$1,392,873
 

Surplus/deficit:

  Surplus/Deficit   
What is this and why is it important?
Data table

What is this?

If a charity receives more money than it spends, that's a surplus (in business, it would be called profit). If it spends more than it receives, that's a deficit. This chart shows surpluses and deficits for the charity over the last few years.

What should I be looking for?

Unlike companies, charities and not-for-profits aren't on a mission to make money. However, if they spend more than they receive, eventually they will go into too much debt and run into trouble. As a very general rule, you want a charity to make a small surplus on average. A deficit means that charity lost money that year, which may indicate poor financial management or just a series of bad circumstances. If the charity always has a huge surplus, it means the charity might not be using its resources effectively. It isn't always that simple, however, and there's a lot of reasons a charity might not follow this pattern. They might be saving up for a big purchase or campaign, or they might have made a big one-off payment. If you're worried, always look at the annual and financial reports to understand why the charity is making the decisions it is.

Data table

2012 2013 2014 2015
Surplus/Deficit$121,378$37,343$49,974$11,897
 

Donations compared to other revenue:

  Other revenue      Donations
What is this and why is it important?
Data table

What is this?

This chart compares the amount the charity receives in donations (i.e. money given by the general public) compared to its overall revenue (i.e. the amount of money it receives in a year overall).

What should I be looking for?

Donations are an important source of revenue for some charities. Others rely more heavily on government funding, or on revenue from other sources. This is an indication of how much they need donors to accomplish their mission. Note that there is no 'good' or 'bad' amount of donations for a charity to have. It might be interesting to look at values over time - are they going up or down? A charity that gets less donations every year may be in trouble.

Data table

2012 2013 2014 2015
Donations$72,876$136,356$114,915$59,057
Other Revenue$1,261,746$1,127,907$1,264,934$1,345,713
Total Revenue$1,334,622$1,264,263$1,379,849$1,404,770
 

Assets and Liabilities 2014:

  Current      Total
What is this and why is it important?
Data table

What is this?

Assets are things that the charity owns that are worth something. This could be anything from a car to investments. Similarly, liabilities are debts or obligations that the charity owes to someone else, like a loan or an agreement to pay for something. Current assets are assets that are expected to be turned to cash within a year, like inventory. Again, current liabilities are similar - they're liabilities that will fall due during the next year.

What should I be looking for?

Firstly, in general a charity should have more assets than liabilities. If it doesn't, it implies that the charity might not be able to pay its debts, and you should look very closely at the charity's annual and financial reports to make sure they are taking steps to remedy this. Current assets should generally be above current liabilities - that means the charity can easily pay off the debts that are coming due soon. Beyond that, look for a large stockpile of assets. While a charity should have enough assets to keep it afloat in hard times (a 'buffer') if that stockpile gets too large the charity could be using that money more effectively. As always, if you have concerns check the annual and financial reports.

Data table

Assets Liabilities
Current$455,531$255,137
Total$2,139,973$283,095
 

Financial Table

Charity Financial Year ends in June

2012 2013 2014 2015
Revenue$1,334,622$1,264,263$1,379,849$1,404,770
- Of which donations$72,876$136,356$114,915$59,057
Expenses$1,213,244$1,226,920$1,329,875$1,392,873
Surplus/Deficit$121,378$37,343$49,974$11,897
Current Assets $455,531
Current Liabilities $255,137
Total Assets $2,139,973
Total Liabilities $283,095

Detailed scoring

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Transparency details

What the Transparency score measures

In the transparency score, we try to assess how open the charity is about what it does. Ideally, charities should release both information about what they've been doing (annual reports) and how they've spent their money (financial reports). The more detailed the financial reports, the better.

Scoring table

Criteria Result Score
Current annual report Available 1/1
An annual report for the last year (or so) can be found on the charity's website. Annual reports generally detail what that charity has done for the last 12 months.
Historic annual reports Available 1/1
Annual reports for previous years can be found on the charity's website. Annual reports generally detail what that charity has done for the last 12 months.
Financial report Full finances 3/3
A full financial report for the charity's last financial year can be found on the website. This is the most comprehensive form of financial report, with substantial detail about exactly what the charity has done over the last year with its funds.
Historic financial reports Available 2/2
Financial reports for previous years are available on the charity's website. This is helpful for looking at how the charity has performed historically.
Total score 7/7
Stars 3/3
Financial details

What the Financial score measures

The financial score aims to give an indication of how well the charity is going financially. Charities are not like businesses - they do not need to make profits or give dividends. However, it is important that the finances of a charity are managed well, otherwise the charity may run out of money and go bankrupt. These financial measures, while crude, give a sense of how well the charity is taking care of its money.

Scoring table

Criteria Result Score
Losses in past 4 years02/2
The charity has made less than two losses over the last four years, i.e. in the majority of years it has earned more than it has spent. This is a sign of generally good financial management, though you should always look at the details.
Assets greater than liabilitiesYes2/2
The charity has more assets than liabilities, i.e. it has enough money and other things of value to pay off all its debts and obligations. This is a very crude sign of financial health - most charities should pass this test.
Asset cover of expenses19 months1/1
This gives a sense of how long the charity could survive if donations or other revenue dried up temporarily. It's often sensible for charities to have a healthy buffer, as their revenues can be very volatile. However, you also don't want a charity to be hoarding cash, rather than spending it on good causes. How much money a charity should have stored for a rainy day depends on their sector, their financial plan, and a number of other factors. Check their financial report for more information.
Total score 5/5
Stars 3/3
Privacy details

What the Privacy score measures

When you donate to a charity, you often give them a lot of your personal information, such as your address, phone number, email, and even your banking details. Charities have been known to buy, sell, or transfer this information from charity to charity. If they want to do this, they need to state it in their privacy policy. If they don't have a privacy policy, there's no way for you to know what they do with your information.

Scoring table

Criteria Result Score
Privacy statementAvailable 1/1
The charity has a privacy statement available, which should outline what they can and can't do with your data. Don't forget to check it to see whether they can buy or sell your personal details!
Total score 1/1
Stars 1/1

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image/svg+xml 7/7 stars ChangePathRating

Caroline Chisholm Society

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