Q: Where has all your data come from?
A: The majority of the data on ChangePath.com.au has been sourced from the ACNC register, as well as by manually searching the website of each charity.
Q: Why do I get odd results in my search?
A: Data on what charities do is sourced from what that charities themselves provide to the ACNC. Unfortunately, many charities have a tendency to put themselves under rather odd or broad categories. For example, the RSPCA Victoria say that they do 'Emergency Relief' and that they work with communities overseas. Which they do, but only for animals. This has the odd consequence that the RSPCA tends to appear whenever people search for international aid agencies. We've made the conscious choice to not edit charity's self-assessed categories unless they're obviously wrong (a university that doesn't do education, for instance). Who are we to gainsay what a charity says it does? This is not ideal, obviously, and we are working on a better system.
Q: Why don't you provide a ratio of money spent on mission activities vs administration (also known as the 'overhead ratio')?
A: Two reasons. First, there is no standardised reporting of financial data in Australia that would make that possible. Secondly, the majority of serious charity-assessing organisations (including the highly respected Charity Navigator, GuideStar, and BBB Wise Giving Alliance) are actively discouraging using that metric for making decisions about whether a charity is worth donating to. For a full and eloquent summary of the reasons why, see this open letter: http://overheadmyth.com/
Q: What is the donations to revenue ratio? Is it better to be larger or smaller?
A: The donations to revenue ratio is exactly that - what proportion of the money that the charity receives comes from donations or other fundraising from us average joes? A good way to think about it is this - the higher the ratio (i.e. the closer to 100%), the more dependent on your money that charity is. That isn't necessarily a good thing! It could mean that their researchers win a lot of grants, or they sell goods and services as a business (not fundraising), or they get a lot of money from the government. Look at their annual report in more detail, find out where their money is coming from.
Bottom line: Charities with a high ratio 'need' your money more. That doesn't mean they deserve it more. Don't base your decisions solely on this ratio.
Q: Do you guarantee that your information is correct?
A: No. We will do our best to keep this information up to date, but we are not infallible. If you see an error, please fill in the Update Form.
Q: Some of the information about a charity is wrong - how do I let you know?
A: Thanks very much for wanting to help! You can either go to the charities page on the ChangePath website and click the 'Flag' button on the top right, or you can fill out the Update Form.
Q: My charity isn't listed! What do I do?
A: If your charity is registered with the ACNC (you can check at the ACNC website), fill in the New Charity Form, giving the ABN listed next to your charity in the ACNC lists. If your charity is NOT listed with the ACNC, we are not able to accept it at this time. Apologies.
Q: Can anyone submit an update?
A: Yes, but any information provided must be publicly available. All updates are at the discretion of ChangePath.