Despite not signing up to the scheme, some Australian charities are appearing on the global BRIDGE listing which ostensibly aims to improve collaboration and sharing of information in the sector. As noted by Professor Myles McGregor Lowndes in this article, A-GAAP has been purposefully designed to be sector neutral - that is, limited difference in application between for-profits and not-for-profits. Coupled with the unique concept of special purpose financial reports, this makes comparison in an Australian context very difficult, and may put our charities at a disadvantage if not understood by international grantors.
Launched in February, the BRIDGE assigns a “numerical fingerprint” to philanthropic organisations across the globe. The website said these can be non-governmental organisations, programs, and projects or other entities in the social sector, including schools and churches. Funded by Google Inc., the William and Flora Hewlett Foundation, and the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the BRIDGE project has a lookup tool to find global charities. It claims that more than three million charities have signed on world wide.