The IRD should be taking a keen interest in the books of not only KidsCan and their related charities, but the entire fund raising sector.
Government will move with glacial speed on regulating this can of worms, but one would hope that if charitable trust status is being abused, the tax man will swoop very quickly.
I would love to hear answers that demonstrate that what looks odd and is difficult to understand is simple and above board. For that clarification we need the Rick et al to step up and deal with the questions. The lack of a prompt and detailed response and suggestions by the charity that it's all a bit more complex than we the public could understand is concerning. Especially so when these type of operations rely on a strong reputation to garner support and donations.
Equally important is the broader issue. The charity under scrutiny is one of many thousands that operate without sufficient regulation and oversight. It's an opportunity for the unscrupulous to take advantage. We're seen the results of that in a number of sectors in recent years. No more.
The financial report of Invitation Only Events states expenses of $62,000 paid to the Doug Howlett Foundation Charitable Trust in 2008.
There is no mention of that income in the financial report of the DHFCT for the same year. Where'd it go?
Perhaps an officer of one or both of those companies could step forward - Julie - Carl - Rick?
Russell: are we now contemplating undeclared related party transactions in an under-regulated sector?
Sound familiar anyone?
"still my intention to try to answer on PA the main questions that have been raised here in due course."
That does sound a little less than committed to a prompt and comprehensive response you promised yesterday.
KidsCan does good stuff, the dial simply needs to be turned from the business itself to the beneficiaries. You and the exec team need to front very solidly on this before the public goodwill that exists is eroded by the glare of media attention. Do the right thing.
1) What criteria does KidsCan use to decide how much of total revenue/donations is disbursed to the actual charity programmes?
2) Was the 19% from 2008 a target ratio or was it all that was left after "operating expenses"
3) What has the ratio of revenue/donations to disbursements been in your previous years?
4) Do you benchmark your revenue/disbursement ratio against other charity businesses?
5) Is your model more efficient than other charity businesses?
6) The KidsCan website offers many ways of donating eg provide gloves and thermals to a child for $25. How much of the $25 actually goes to the clothing?
7) A number of the donation options allow a donor to choose the number of children they'd like to support, such as in 6) above. If I selected 3 children (ie a $75 donation) do three kids actually receive the gloves and thermals?
8) If only a proportion of the money donated via an option like 6) actually goes to a child, is the website then deceptive?
9) How do you set your plan and budget for spending on operating expenses each year?
10) Who does the board of KidsCan feel more accountable to: the beneficiaries or the donors?
I'm glad KidsCan provides the support it does to needy children. However it's not done in a transparent fashion via the website and donors can rightly feel let down, when the scale of operational spending is highlighted. The business appears to have itself as the major beneficiary, which I am sure is not the purpose for which it was established.
I don't know how KidsCan stacks up against other charity businesses, but that's not the real issue. Give more to the kids.
So is it function or fashion, folks?
Function I can and do live with - thanks god for the hoodie on a cold/wet/snowy day. Fashion, style, personal statement - I don't think so.
Hoodies obscure the face and there aren't many other garments that share that purpose. So I'm thinking that if you want to hide the face, you don't want to be seen. A perfect fit for teenage angst, then.
As for the rest of you, if hoodie up is your costume, then you're either emulating something that's never going to be part of your culture or you're up to something you shouldn't be.
My grandfather at 92 years old, determined to chainsaw an inconvenient branch from a tree.
My brother and I, sixty years his junior, attempting to convince a Hokitika born, WW2 veteran who had made a career designing dams, bridges and railways that it was a little dangerous for a man of his advanced years to perch on a ladder, revving said chainsaw.
The branch, well cut, falls onto the snarling chainsaw, which then opens a nice 8 inch gash on Grandad's forearm.
Our horror and guilt; his stoic bravery; masses of stitches and the wonder of the body's healing power.
He lived another 7 years, the finest man I have ever known.
I was a big fan of Carlaw Park as an option, but this Herald graphic
persuaded me that the space for a stadium simply doesn't exist on that site.
Look at the size of the Carlaw Park area and the surrounding buildings and Domain (SE corner of graphic). Compare that to the area the waterfront stadium will occupy. Bit of a squeeze really.
Stadium Australia is not a great example for Auckland to follow: with a debt of A$140m it's just been sold to its bankers (ANZ) for A$10m...