Heart for Kids Australia Ltd: charity review

This is a charity review of Heart for Kids Australia Ltd (HFK), an organisation that is an Associate member of Missions Interlink and which has an online invitation to donate.

For the previous review, see here.

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • At the bottom of the ‘About’ and ‘Leadership’ pages (and therefore far from prominent on the website), there is an invitation to ask questions, give feedback, and make a complaint:
    • If you have any questions, feedback or complaint regarding our service or this website you may contact us via the contact form.
  • Accountability is not mentioned on the website. Transparency is though:

  • I sent them a draft of this review. They responded by email. Some changes have been made and a comment by them has been inserted as a result.

Is HFK registered?

  • Yes, as a charity.
  • HFK is a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
    • It does not have the provisions in its constitution to omit ‘Ltd/Limited’ at the end of its name.
    • Therefore, because it does not have Heart for Kids registered as a business name, it should be using its full name with the public. Not as on its website and Facebook.
  • There’s more to HFK than is disclosed on the ACNC Register.
    • First, another charity, Chinaheart International Incorporated (CI), shares two of the three directors of HFK, and an office. One controls the other, but which way it is doesn’t matter: CI’s web address on the ACNC Register leads to HFK’s website, and they write as if they were one organization; e.g. on that website they say

  • Here’s their explanation of the connection between the three charities:
    • Heart For Kids was born out of ChinaHeart International. When the work grew to serve children in other countries we felt a new umbrella orgainsation would serve the ministry better and give a clear direction as to who we are. The work previously done under the name of ChinaHeart and the ChinaHeart International Aid Fund is now done under the one name of Heart For Kids.
        • Why then are they reporting separately? (HFK has yet to take advantage of the ACNC’s group reporting concessions.)
  • HFK is also connected with a business, LST Group (a business name belonging to The Trustee for the David Ryan Trust).
  • HFK holds a fundraising licence in its home state. The absence of a licence in the other states that have a licensing regime for registered charities is only an issue if one or more of those states regard raising money online as ‘fundraising’.

What does HFK do?

  • See here.
  • Or the succinct version, from the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2017:
    • Operating centres for fostering & training, leading volunteer teams to orphanages, scholarships help ensure children do not leave school due to financial causes.

Do they share the Gospel?

  • No

What impact are they having?

  • No information found.

What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?

  • This chart is under a heading ‘What reaches the children’:

  • It didn’t turn out this way this year: grants made were only 76% of the expenses.

Do they pay their directors?

  • This is not prohibited by the constitution.
  • There is insufficient financial disclosure to check.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Yes

Is their online giving secure?

  • eWay and PayPal are used, so yes.

Where were the (net) donations sent?

  • The distribution of the grants between the three countries is shown here.
  • And within each country, here.
    • These two charts are not part of audited accounts, and are not for the financial year, but updated quarterly.

What choices do you have in how your donation is used?

  • It’s a bit confusing, but it’s all on this page.
  • Which of the three charities is receiving the donation in each case is not disclosed.
    • Ministry comment: ‘We don’t receive gifts in the name of [CI].’
      • This is not what CI’s AIS 2017 says – it shows a figure for ‘Donations and bequests’.
      • CI Aid Fund also received ‘Donations and bequests’ in the 2017 year.
      • Both charities said ‘No’ to the question ‘Will the charity change or introduce any activities in the 2018 period’ in their AIS 2017, suggested that there was no intention of not continuing to receive donations and bequests.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (seven months after their year-end, a week before the deadline, the same time as last year).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2017 (HFK only): Not quite
    • Why ‘Don’t Know’ for the NDIS questions?
    • Why no ‘online’ under fundraising?
  • Financial Report 2017 (HFK only): Yes
    • HFK is $12K under the threshold for reporting, and, despite the commitment to transparency (see above), chose not to submit a Report voluntarily.
    • However, their Associate membership of Missions Interlink requires them to “have available for [their] members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor.”  So just ask.
    • Unfortunately for transparency, even if HFK start reporting as a group, so long as each of the charities remains ‘Small’, then a report still won’t be required.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • NA
  • But from the AIS 2017 – remembering that this is a report for only one of the three charities –
    • $238K income, almost entirely from donations.
    • The one part-time employee cost $5K.
    • ‘Grants and donations made for use outside Australia’ totaled $115K.
    • The ‘bottom line’ was a surplus of $81K.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • An audit should have been performed, but despite the commitment to transparency, there is no record of one on the website.

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete?

  • Yes

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • The ‘Leadership Team & Board’ is shown on the website, but it doesn’t definitely identify who is on the board[1].
  • From ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:

To whom is HFK accountable?

  • This graphic appears in the website footer:

  • HFK is an Associate member of Missions Interlink, an organization that has an accountability regime.
    • For one opinion on the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.
  • The other logo is the ACNC’s ‘charity tick’. HFK is accountable to the ACNC.
    • The tick means that HFK is registered as a charity, its AIS is not overdue, and the ACNC has not taken any compliance action against it.
      • But no more than this.
      • The accountability provided by the ACNC is generally at a high-level, and mostly not particularly timely.
  • As a company, HFK is still accountable for some things to ASIC.

 

 

  1. On the ‘leadership’ page on the website, HFK use, illegally, the Commonwealth Coat of Arms and the ACNC logo, to represent the governance of HFK.

Global Frontier Missions: charity review

This is a charity review of Global Frontier Missions (GFM), an organisation that is an Associate member of Missions Interlink, and, if the situation last year holds[1], solicits donations online. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

You can read the previous review here.

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • The webpage for Australia was not available to check for feedback and complaint invitations, or comments on accountability and transparency.
  • I sent them a draft of this review. Like last year, they…did not respond.

Is GFM registered?

  • Yes, as a charity.
  • An association, but not incorporated.
    • This means that GFM cannot enter contracts in its own name.
  • In its Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2017, GFM says that it doesn’t intend to fundraise ‘in the next reporting period’. This explains the continued absence of a fundraising licence in New South Wales (per the ACNC Register, the only state in which GFM operates).

What does GFM do?

  • From ‘activities’ in the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2017:
    • We run an internship in India once a year. This involves training to nationals. We take a maximum of 4 students to India where we teach nationals in church principles. We also travel to rural areas to learn from the locals and about the local work in the church.

Do they share the Gospel[2]?

  • It is not required by its constitution:
    • Training and Mobilising (sic) the church while meeting felt needs in the community to share the Good News of Jesus Christ.
  • There is insufficient information available to say whether they do.

What impact are they having?

  • No information found.

What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?

  • There is insufficient information available to say.

Do they pay their board members?

  • It is not prohibited by its constitution.
  • There is insufficient information available to say.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • The webpage was not available.

Where were the (net) donations sent?

  • NA – donations were spent on the one employee (AIS 2017) and ‘Other expenses/payments’, and not, and apart from $32 (not $32K), on ‘Grants and donations made for use outside Australia’ (AIS 2017).

What choices do you have in how your donation is used?

  • The webpage was not available.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes – but a month late, which made it eight months after their year-end.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2017: Yes
  • Financial Report 2017: Yes
    • GFM didn’t, because of its small size, have to submit a Financial Report. And it chose not to submit one voluntarily.
    • But their Associate membership of Missions Interlink requires them to “have available for [their] members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor.”  So just ask.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • NA

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • NA.
    • There is no requirement for an audit in the constitution.

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete/correct?

  • No
    • There still no ‘Entity Subtype’.
    • Is there really only one ‘responsible person’?
    • ‘Phone’ is still blank (but is not compulsory).

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • The constitution requires a minimum of three members, but there’s only one on the ACNC Register:

To whom is GFM accountable?

  • As a charity, to the ACNC.
  • To Missions Interlink via its Associate membership.
    • For one opinion on the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

 

 

  1. The website linked from the Missions Interlink gave a ‘This page isn’t working’ message.
  2. Good living and social concern are important [to the cause of evangelism], but they are not uniquely Christian graces…I’ve met a lot of fine Hindus, Muslims and atheists. Just living the life is not going to bring someone to Christ. There is much more to it than that. We must help people, certainly, but we must also share with them why we are motivated to do so. We must stand against injustice, poverty and need, but we must at the same time point to the One who brings justice and who can meet the deepest need. Until they know our reasons, how can they come to know our Lord?” [Dan Armstrong, the Fifth Gospel: The Gospel According to You, Anzea Books, pp. 13-14.

Youth With A Mission Sunshine Coast Inc: charity review

This is a charity review of Youth With A Mission Sunshine Coast Inc (YSC), an organisation that has an online donation facility, and that is a member of Missions Interlink. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

For the previous review, see here.

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • There is no invitation to give feedback, or to submit a complaint, on the website.
  • Neither accountability nor transparency are not mentioned on the website.
  • When sent a draft of this review, they…did not respond. (Last year, two and a half months after publication, John Faull, one of the Committee members, responded with “Looks good!  Thanks.”

Is YSC registered?

  • As a charity, yes[1].
  • YSC is a Queensland incorporated association (IA28315).
  • They hold one business name, 30 Days International, that they are not using, but are still trading under two names, YWAM Waves and YWAM Sunshine Coast, that are not registered.
  • YSC doesn’t actively seek donations on its website, and in the Annual Information Statement (AIS )2017 said that it didn’t plan to fundraise ‘in the next reporting period’, so this explains its lack of a fundraising licence in Queensland[2].

What do they do?

Do they share the Gospel?[3]

  • Yes, in the ‘Outreach’ component of their ‘DTS’, and in some of their ministries.

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing found.

What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?

  • Some of the expenses are unreadable, others barely so, so no reliable comment can be made.

Do they pay their directors?

  • Some of the expenses are unreadable, others barely so, so no reliable comment can be made.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No.

Is their online giving secure?

  • See the Security Policy at the bottom of the giving page.
    • There is a 2% charge.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes. But because YSC has the wrong ‘Financial Year End’ on the ACNC Register (30 June instead of 30 April), the reports were lodged eight months after their year-end.)
  • If you are considering a large donation, I’d suggest you reconsider. If you still want to after that, I would ask for readable, compliant, and up-to-date financial information (the accounts are for a year end that is now over 12 months ago).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2017: Like last year, no.
    • ‘Other names…’ is blank.
    • The wrong type of financial statements is specified.
    • No outcomes are reported.
    • The website is not, as they imply, the source of an annual report.
    • The association number is missing.
  • Financial Report 2017: Like last year, no.
    • Again, despite having been audited by a chartered accountant, Peter Rule,
      • Two financial statements are missing.
      • The two statements that are included are both incorrect.
      • There is no responsible persons’ declaration.
      • The auditor’s letter accompanying his report is included.
    • Many of the figures are too faint to be reliably read.
    • The absence of any Notes last year has been improved only marginally – now there is one small portion of a policy note.
    • A second letter that is normally private has been, without explanation, included in the Report.

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • Given the deficiencies of the Report, including the limited audit that was performed (see below), it would be unwise to rely on this Report as a description of the financial state of YSC.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • Once again, the auditor, Peter Rule, chartered accountant, of Complete Business Strategies Pty Ltd, has issued a qualified opinion.
    • Read here to see what this means compared to a ‘clean’ opinion.
    • This is Peter’s explanation of his qualification:
      • As is common for organisations of this type, it is not practicable for the Association to maintain an effective system of internal controls over receipts and payments until their initial entry in the accounting records.’
        • This is a huge deficiency in YSC’s practices. What it means is that, for 100% of everything that was given to or earnt by YSC, and for 100% of everything that was spent by YSC, the organisation has no checks to ensure that its transactions were reflected in the accounting records.
      • Why is it not possible for YSC to implement the necessary internal controls?  Other charities can.
      • Why are the directors happy to let this continue?
    • With this size gap in the audit procedures, and the deficiencies described under ‘Financial Report 2017’ (see above), YSC got off lightly – a refusal to issue an opinion seems more appropriate.
    • Peter is only qualified to do this audit because of the ACNC’s transitional provisions for reporting by incorporated associations:  the Queensland regulator doesn’t require the audit of YSC to be performed by a registered company auditor.

If a charity, is their information on the ACNC Register complete/correct?

  • ‘Other Name(s)’ is missing the two names they use and the business name.
  • The year end is still shown as 30 June when it should be 30 April.
  • The description for ‘Annual Report’ does not lead to an annual report.
  • ‘Phone’, ‘Email’, and ‘Website’ are blank (but are not compulsory).

What choices do you have in how your donation is used?

  • None.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • They are not shown on the website.
  • The ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’) says that there are three directors:
    • Patricia Hensser
    • Brian Hunsburger
    • Faull John-Daniel (should be the other way around?)
  • The constitution only requires three members for the committee.
  • The committee is accountable to the members of the association. The number of members is not publicly available.

To whom are YSC accountable?

  • As a charity, to the ACNC.
  • And to the regulator of Queensland incorporated associations.
  • Although they don’t mention it on the website, they are members of Missions Interlink.
    • For one opinion on the strength of this accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

 

 

  1. Sometimes the name they use is slightly different: Youth With A Mission (Sunshine Coast) Inc.
  2. None last year in the other states with a licensing regime, so I assume that this has not changed this year.
  3. Good living and social concern are important [to the cause of evangelism], but they are not uniquely Christian graces…I’ve met a lot of fine Hindus, Muslims and atheists. Just living the life is not going to bring someone to Christ. There is much more to it than that. We must help people, certainly, but we must also share with them why we are motivated to do so. We must stand against injustice, poverty and need, but we must at the same time point to the One who brings justice and who can meet the deepest need. Until they know our reasons, how can they come to know our Lord?” [Dan Armstrong, the Fifth Gospel: The Gospel According to You, Anzea Books, pp. 13-14.

From Seed to Trees: charity review

This is a charity review of From Seed to Trees (FST), an organisation that gives information online on how to give to it and is an ‘Associate Organisation’ of Missions Interlink.

For the previous review, see here.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • There is no invitation on the website to give feedback or to make a complaint. Nor is there any mention of accountability.
  • I sent them a draft of this review. Like last year, they…did not respond.

Is FST registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
    • But the ‘Ltd’ at the end has been accidentally omitted.
  • FST is a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
    • Not, as it says in the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2017, an incorporated association.
    • It does not appear to have the provisions in its constitution necessary for it to omit ‘Ltd/Limited’ from the end of its name. So, as it does not have From Seed to Trees (or any other name) registered, the use of this name publicly (as on the website) is questionable.
  • FST said, in the AIS 2017, that it planned to fundraise in Queensland. It still doesn’t have a licence there (it is not exempt)[1].

What does FST do?

  • There’s a little here, but better is the 2017 ‘May FSST Newsletter’ (assuming this is still the current range of activities).
  • It is not clear how where what is reporting in the AIS 2017 fits in:
    • developing the principles of good leadership. Training of others as leaders. Giving education in religious development, and
    • We are involved with young leaders who help other students who come from other countries. The leadership develops good relationships (sic) and are able to help with their studies.
  • They invite people to go on ‘mission’ trips.
  • And perhaps the planned changes mentioned in the AIS 2017 have come to pass:
    • Changes planned One of the great (sic) needs to be addressed is bribery. How it effects the country financially but also has a big impact on the way people live. This is a difficult issue and we are still learning.
  • The ACNC Register says that FST operates in Belarus, Moldova (Republic), and Romania.

Do they share the Gospel[2]?

  • Yes

What impact are they having?

  • No information found.

What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?

  • ‘Other expenses/payments’ were 41% of the total (up from 28%). (The other 59% was for ‘Grants…outside Australia’.) The dollar figures are very small though.

Do they pay their directors?

  • There is no prohibition in the constitution.
  • But no financial information has been published to check for a payment.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA – online giving is not offered.

What choices do you have in how your donation is used?

  • None shown on the website.

Where were the (net) donations sent?

  • No financial statements have been published.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (seven months after year end, a week before the deadline and the same time as last year).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2017: Not quite – FST is not an incorporated association.
  • Financial Report 2017: Yes
    • Although FST didn’t, because of its small size, have to submit a Financial Report, their Associate membership of Missions Interlink requires them to “have available for [their] members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor.”  So just ask.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • The equity appears to consist entirely of the $2K surplus.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • If an audit was performed the result has not been made public.

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete/correct?

  • Not quite – there’s still a message ‘Charity to select subtype’.
  • ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank (but neither are compulsory).
    • There’s a phone number, another email address (and a postal address), here.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not shown on the website, but
  • Shown under ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:

To whom is FST accountable?

  • As a charity, to the ACNC.
  • And, as a company, still for some things to ASIC.
  • To Missions Interlink, because it’s an Associate member.

 

 

  1. It is possible that one of more of the other states that have a licensing regime for registered charities would hold that FST’s online encouragement to the public to donate would mean that a licence was required.
  2. Good living and social concern are important [to the cause of evangelism], but they are not uniquely Christian graces…I’ve met a lot of fine Hindus, Muslims and atheists. Just living the life is not going to bring someone to Christ. There is much more to it than that. We must help people, certainly, but we must also share with them why we are motivated to do so. We must stand against injustice, poverty and need, but we must at the same time point to the One who brings justice and who can meet the deepest need. Until they know our reasons, how can they come to know our Lord?” [Dan Armstrong, the Fifth Gospel: The Gospel According to You, Anzea Books, pp. 13-14.

Emmanuel Relief & Rehabilitation International: charity review

This is a charity review of Emmanuel Relief & Rehabilitation International (ERR) an organisation that is exempt from Australian income tax via its membership of Missions Interlink. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

For the previous review, see here.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • There is no website, so no invitation to give feedback or submit a complaint. And nothing about accountability.
  • I sent them a draft of this review. Like last year, they…did not respond.

Is ERR registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Even though it says, in the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2017, that it is incorporated, ERR is an unincorporated association.
    • It was originally an incorporated association but was deregistered in 2006.
    • Although it’s not taken advantage of it, ERR, as an unincorporated body with the ‘Entity Subtype’ ‘Advancing Religion’, is likely to qualify as a Basic Religious Charity.
  • It does not hold any business names.
  • ERR operates, per the ACNC Register, only in Western Australia. It doesn’t have a fundraising licence there. It says, in the AIS 2017, that it intends to fundraise, so if its donations come from the public it needs a licence.

What do they do?

  • The only information – there is no website and no Financial Report – is in the AIS 2017:
    • Funds were distributed for education, training, health care, disaster rehabilitation, rural community development projects and religious teaching. At meetings in Australia we raised awareness of the situation of people in need, and prayed for them.
      • This was with an income of $35K.
  • Part of the ‘EI Network’.
  • They operate overseas, per the ACNC Register, in three countries. With $34k of the $35K income being spent on overseas grants, this is most likely where they sent money, not people.

Do they share the Gospel[1]?

  • No

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing found.

What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?

  • ‘Grants and donations made…’ were 98% of the expenses.
    • We don’t know how much administration was deducted by the recipient though.

Do they pay their directors?

  • We can’t tell from the information available.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA

Where were the (net) donations sent?

  • The grants ‘for use outside Australia’ presumably went to the three countries shown on the ACNC Register (Canada, Philippines, and Uganda). The destination within the countries is not disclosed.

What choices do you have in how your donation is used?

  • There is no information available on this.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (seven months after year end, a week before the deadline).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2017: Not quite
    • ‘Other names…’: One is a trading name (and they are now of little consequence), and the other is neither a trading name nor a business name. Two other trading names are not shown.
    • No outcomes reported.
  • Financial Report 2017: NA
    • As a ‘Small’ charity, ERR doesn’t have to submit a Financial Report.
    • Although ERR is a member of Missions Interlink, and one of their requirements is that members ‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor’ [Standards Statement, 4.1], they did not choose to lodge one with the ACNC voluntarily.
    • An audit is also required by the constitution.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • No Report (see above), but from the AIS 2017:
    • Donations returned to 100% of income (71% last year).
    • No employees.
    • ERR reported that its accounting method was ‘Cash’, a method that doesn’t generate assets and liabilities. Other than cash then, these came from outside the double entry system.
    • 98% of the payments were for ‘Grants and donations…’, all of it to overseas.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • No audit report was published.
    • One is required by both the constitution and Missions Interlink.

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete/correct?

  • Not quite – ‘Who the Charity Benefits’ is blank.
    • It may be known by the names Emmanuel International, and Emmanuel International Australia, but these are not registered business names. It must therefore trade under its full name.
    • ‘No’ for ‘Basic Religious Charity’ may be incorrect.
    • ‘Email’, ‘website’ and ‘phone’ are blank, but are not compulsory.
      • That ERR has no website is confirmed by the listing of ‘National Affiliates’ on Emmanuel International’s site.
      • From there we also get another email address: australia@e-i.org/. And the phone number: (08) 9386 8488.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • As shown on the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’), the same people as last year:
    • Allison Chapple
      • Is Allison this one?
    • Heather Ellis
      • Shouldn’t it be ‘Margaret Ellis’?
    • Mary Roskams
    • Babu Simon

To whom is ERR accountable?

 

 

  1. “Good living and social concern are important [to the cause of evangelism], but they are not uniquely Christian graces…I’ve met a lot of fine Hindus, Muslims and atheists. Just living the life is not going to bring someone to Christ. There is much more to it than that. We must help people, certainly, but we must also share with them why we are motivated to do so. We must stand against injustice, poverty and need, but we must at the same time point to the One who brings justice and who can meet the deepest need. Until they know our reasons, how can they come to know our Lord?” [Dan Armstrong, the Fifth Gospel: The Gospel According to You, Anzea Books, pp. 13-14.

AccessTruth Limited: charity review

This is a charity review of AccessTruth Limited (AT), an organisation that seeks donations online, and is an ‘Associate Organisation’ of Missions Interlink. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

For the previous review, see here.

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • There is no invitation on the website to give feedback or to make a complaint. Nor is there any mention of accountability.
  • I sent them a draft of this review. Like last year, they…did not respond.

Is AT registered?

  • Yes, as a charity.
    • Three of the directors are also three of the four directors of the charity Crossview Australia Limited. It looks like AT is a subsidiary – but Crossview doesn’t mention this in its Financial Report.
  • AT is a public company, a company limited by guarantee[1].
  • It holds the business name AccessTruth, allowing it to omit ‘Limited/Ltd’ at the end of its name.
  • They are well over the threshold for GST registration, yet are still not registered.
  • AT operates, per the ACNC Register, only in New South Wales. It said in the AIS 2017 that they did not intend to fundraise, so that would explain the lack of a licence.
    • But it has an internet invitation to give. The absence of fundraising licences in the other states that have a licensing regime relevant to registered charities no doubt means that AT doesn’t equate this invitation with ‘fundraising’. One or more of those states may disagree.

What does AT do?

  • See here.
  • AT does not operate overseas [ACNC Register].

Do they share the Gospel?

  • No

What impact are they having?

  • No information found.

What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?

  • No financial statement is available. So, it is not possible to make this calculation.
  • On the giving page, they say that none of their donation receipts or sales revenue goes to what would normally be called administration:

Do they pay their directors?

  • It is allowed, but there is no information available to check.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • Security is not mentioned.

What choices do you have in how your donation is used?

  • None

Where were your (net) donations sent?

  • ‘Grants and donations…’, both in and outside Australia, were zero.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes, but only because they are still recorded as a ‘Small’ charity. Did they get approval to keep that size?

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2017: No
    • It is AccessTruth, not Access Truth.’
    • Why is ‘Online’ not selected under fundraising?
    • Plus, a couple of questions:
      • Does AT have permission to stay a ‘Small’ charity?
      • Does people overseas buying things on a website equal ‘Transferring funds or goods overseas’?
  • Financial Report 2017: Yes, but does AT have the ACNC’s permission to stay at ‘Small’? If not, then a Financial Report was required.
    • Whatever they do with the ACNC, their Associate membership of Missions Interlink requires them to “have available for [their] members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor.” So just ask.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • NA

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • No audit report was required. Missions Interlink requires one though, so just ask.

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete?

  • Not quite – the business name is misspelt.
  • ‘Email’ and ‘Phone’ are blank (but the ACNC says that these are not compulsory).

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not shown on the website, but here are the people shown as ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:
  • The number of members is not disclosed, so we can’t assess the accountability coming from that quarter.

To whom is AT accountable?

  • As a charity, to the ACNC.
  • And, still for some things, as a company, to ASIC.
  • Three of the directors are also three of the four directors of the charity Crossview Australia Limited. It looks like AT is a subsidiary, But AT only says that Crossview is a ‘training partner’, and Crossview doesn’t address the question in its accounts.
  • Not mentioned on the website, but AT is accountable to Missions Interlink via its ‘Associate Organisation’ membership.
    • For one opinion on the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

 

 

  1. The previous incarnation, an unincorporated charity, was ‘Voluntarily Revoked’.

WorldShare: charity review

This is a charity review of WorldShare, an organisation that seeks donations online, and is exempt from Australian income tax via its membership of Missions Interlink. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

For the previous review, see here.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • Neither feedback nor complaints (other than those about your privacy) are invited on the website.
  • The ‘Accountability’ page on the website does not mention feedback, complaints, or any external accountability organisations.
  • I sent them a draft of this review. Like last year, they…did not respond.

Is WorldShare registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • WorldShare is a public company (a company limited by guarantee).
    • It is permitted to omit ‘Limited/Ltd’ at the end of its name.
  • It holds one business name, CNEC Partners International.
  • WorldShare operates, per the ACNC Register, in all eight states.
    • It says – in the AIS 2017 – that it has a fundraising licence in every state with a licensing regime. Confirmed for New South Wales, South Australia, Victoria and Western Australian[1].

What do they do?

  • This description, from the Financial Report 2017, is probably the clearest:

  • Here what they reported for 2017 in the AIS 2017:
    • In the last financial year, WorldShare supported 11 direct partnerships. Through these partnerships, 1042 children were sponsored, with 1194 others educated outside of our child sponsorship programs. 460 individuals received vocational training and 4349 patients were provided with healthcare. Thousands of people were reached through spiritual ministries. To connect people in Australia with the work overseas, WorldShare hosted an international visit from a partner in Uganda, during which over 1900 people connected with that partner. Over 1500 people in Australia provided support for our programs in the year, including through child sponsorship. In the last financial year, $1.7M in expenses were used for the purpose of supporting our overseas partner organisations, while $388,000 was used for fundraising purposes to ensure WorldShare can continue to assist more people and communities around the world.
  • WorldShare says, on the ACNC Register, that it operates in nine countries. This is two more than the number stated in the Annual Report.

Do they share the Gospel[2]?

  • From ‘What do they do?’ (immediately above), and the Annual Report, it appears not.
    • Evangelism is probably even less likely now that they have tax-deductible status not just for their fund, but also in their own right.
    • The objects in the old constitution required it:
      • The Company is a religious institution whose values require the promotion of the Lord Jesus Christ to peoples throughout the world and their evangelisation on the basis of the principles of the Christian faith.
    • But the not so the new constitution:
      • (a) to love like Jesus and provide holistic benevolent relief to poor and marginalised persons and communities through relief or development projects…
    • Perhaps this is why, again this year, their fund, Christian Nationals Developing Countries Aid Fund, is nowhere mentioned.
      • The only place ‘Christian’ is mentioned in the Annual Report is in the name of an overseas partner.

What impact are they having?

  • This is WorldShare’s answer to the FAQ ‘How do I know that the project I support is effective?’

  • No evaluations were found. Nor anything systematic on impact.
  • WorldShare do not describe how what they do produces the changes that they are seeking in the beneficiaries. ‘Theory of change’ is not mentioned on the website.
  • Hopefully, with an ‘Evaluation Specialist’ on the board since May 2017, there will be at least some comment next year.

What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?

  • If we define ‘direct’ as the money that leaves Australia for projects – and this ignores the fact that some of this money may be used on local administration – ‘administration’ is 43% of expenses (up from 42%).
  • With getting a result for you costing this much, it would be reasonable for you to ask whether it would be more efficient to donate direct to the partner.  As three people and one organization from Australia did in the year ended 2017 to the Indian partner.

Do they pay their directors?

  • This is not allowed by their constitution.
  • The disclosure of expenses is insufficient to confirm that no fees were paid.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Since 13 May 2017, yes.
  • And since many years earlier, to its fund, Christian Nationals Developing Countries Aid Fund.

Is their online giving secure?

  • Security is still not mentioned.

Where were your (net) donations sent?

  • The only information in the Financial Report is that $1.34 m was sent overseas.
  • The Annual Report discloses the name of WorldShare’s 11 (down from 12 last year) overseas ‘partners’ and their country.
    • Unlike last year, though, the amounts sent to each country is not shown.
  • This is WorldShare’s answer to their FAQ ‘Where does my money go?’
    • Approximately 78% of funds raised go to partner programs that directly benefit vulnerable children and their communities. This includes the provision expertise (sic) to ensure that the funds are providing maximum benefits to their intended beneficiaries.
      • Note that this includes $375K of ‘Project costs’, that is, not money that goes to the beneficiaries. Without that spending, the percentage drops to 60%.

What choices do you have in how your online donation is used?

  • Many.
    • Why, when WorldShare has DGR status, are some things that you can give for ‘non tax deductible’ (sic)?

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Worldshare (Group not yet started): Yes (two days before the deadline, seven months after their year-end, and three weeks later than last year).
  • The Group: None due – Group began 1 July 2017.
  • The Trust: None due – Group reporting.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2017[3]: No
    • Most of the figures in the ‘Comprehensive Income Statement summary’ are incorrect.
    • No outcomes are reported.
    • CNEC Partners International is not their former name.
    • Online’ has been omitted as a fundraising source.
  • Financial Report 2017[4]: No
    • Once again[5]
      • There is no reserve for the ‘Fair value adjustment of financial assets’.
      • The disclosure in the Statement of Cash Flows does not comply with the Accounting Standards.
      • The deficit used in the ‘Reconciliation of net cash flows from/(used in) operating activities to operating (loss)’ is different from the deficit reported in the Statement of Income and Comprehensive Income (sic).
      • The revenue disclosure in Note 2 does not match what is disclosed in the Statement of Income and Comprehensive Income (sic).
      • Why is ‘Staff Entitlement Provisions Movement’ not included in ‘Employee Benefits Expense’?
      • What is the difference between ‘Employee benefit accounts’ and ‘Employee Entitlement Provisions’?
    • The prior year figures in the Statement of Cash Flows do not match those in last year’s accounts.
    • ‘Increase (decrease) in GST Payable/Recoverable’ is not a cash flow.
    • The disclosure in the Statement of Changes in Equity and Accumulated Funds and Reserves does not comply with the Accounting Standards[6].

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • Last year’s return as a percentage of revenue was increased from negative 6% to negative 4%.
  • Both short- and long-term financial structure are sound.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • The auditor, Lawrence R Green, FCA, of Shedden and Green Partners, issued a ‘clean’ opinion on the financial statements. I suggest you read the ‘Financial Report 2017’ section above before you decide how much comfort to take from this opinion. (And here and here to understand what ‘clean’ means.)

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete/correct?

  • Worldshare: Not quite – the information under ‘Other Name(s)’ is still incorrect.
  • The Group: No. Four fields are blank.
  • The Trust: No.
    • ‘Other Name(s)’ is incorrect.
    • ‘Email’ and ‘Website’ are blank (said by the ACNC not to be compulsory).

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • The people introduced here.
  • With a couple of name variations, this is the same as those shown on the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’):
    • Joanne Armstrong
      • Is it this Jo Armstrong?
    • Stuart Harris
    • Krystal Leanne John
    • John Lamerton
    • Peter Leau
    • Victoria Lee
    • Alexandra Elizabeth Rodgers
    • Craig Murray Wilson
  • At year-end, there were only 18 members [Financial Report 2017]. As directors must be members, there’s not much effective accountability to the membership (but more than last year with only 13 members).

To whom is WorldShare accountable?

  • As a charity, to the ACNC.
  • And, still for some things as a company, to ASIC.
  • Not mentioned on the website, but WorldShare is a member of Missions Interlink.
    • For one opinion of the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

 

 

  1. Search facility temporarily unavailable for Tasmania and Queensland.
  2. Good living and social concern are important [to the cause of evangelism], but they are not uniquely Christian graces…I’ve met a lot of fine Hindus, Muslims and atheists. Just living the life is not going to bring someone to Christ. There is much more to it than that. We must help people, certainly, but we must also share with them why we are motivated to do so. We must stand against injustice, poverty and need, but we must at the same time point to the One who brings justice and who can meet the deepest need. Until they know our reasons, how can they come to know our Lord?” [Dan Armstrong, the Fifth Gospel: The Gospel According to You, Anzea Books, pp. 13-14.
  3. A Group AIS was not required.
  4. A Group Financial Report was not required.
    • The breakup of donations is not shown (it is in the Annual Report).
    • Reading the market price of available-for-sale investments is not a ‘critical…judgement’.
    • Nowhere is the tax-deductible fund, Christian Nationals Developing Countries Fund, mentioned.
    • The title Statement of Income and Comprehensive Income doesn’t make sense.In addition:
  5. In addition:
    • The title of that statement doesn’t make sense.
    • The revenue recognition practice does not match the policy Note.
    • Confusion is caused by the inclusion of cents in the first four of the revenue items in the Statement of Income and Comprehensive Income.

EA Foundation: charity review

This is a charity review of EA Foundation (EAF), an organisation that is connected, by the cross-directorship of John Peberdy and Robert Rawson, to Christian Ministry Advancement Ltd, the organization that is responsible for the CMA Standards Council’s ‘major new initiative, accrediting Christian organisations against a set of standards of good governance, financial oversight, and fundraising ethics.’

For the previous review, see here.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • I sent them a draft of this review. Like last year, they did not respond.

Is it registered?

  • Yes, as a charity.
    • From its constitution, it is the trustee for the EA Foundation Trust Fund.
    • There is another charity purely for EAF’s role as trustee, The Trustee for Evangelical Alliance Foundation Trust Fund (the Trust Fund).
    • The existence of two charities implies that EA does things in addition to its role as trustee for the Trust Fund. However, the information that EAF supplies to the ACNC, except for three additional board members, is identical to the information it supplies for the Trust Fund.
  • EAF is a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
    • It is entitled to omit ‘Limited/’Ltd’ from the end of its name.
  • It operates, per the ACNC Register, in all states. But it received only $3K in ‘Gift and bequest’ (sic) ($20K last year), says in the AIS 2017 that it doesn’t intend to fundraise, and has no obvious request for donations on its website, so the lack of licences to fundraise is probably reasonable.

What does EAF do?

  • From the above information, EAF’s only business is to act as the trustee for the Trust Fund. But this does not agree with what EAF says in its public documents.
  • This is what they are meant to be doing:

  • So, more than not just being the trustee of the Trust Fund.
  • This is how they described their 2017 activities in the AIS 2017:

  • ‘Grants paid’ were $60K, 9% of revenue (down from 11%).
  • The introduction to the Notes to the Financial Statements says that ‘The principal activities of the Company for the year ended 30 June 2017 were advancing the Christian Religion (sic) in Australia through oversight, mentoring and assisting members of the EA Family Covenant of Cooperation and Fellowship including the operating of the EA Insurance Project…
  • There is no description of the ‘oversight, mentoring….’ outside the operation of an insurance brokerage.

Do they share the Gospel?

  • No

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing found.

What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?

  • It is not clear what impact they are seeking, so no calculation can be made.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA

What choices do you have in how your donation is used?

  • NA

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (a day late, seven months after their year-end, and the same time as last year).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2017: No
    • The Trustee For Evangelical Alliance Foundation Trust Fund is not another name for EAF, but a charity in its own right (see ‘Is it registered’, above).
    • ‘Other comprehensive income’ and ‘Total comprehensive income’ are incorrect.
    • No outcomes are reported.
  • Financial Report 2016: No, a true and fair view is not shown when
    • the introduction to the Notes to the Financial Statements says that ‘The financial report covers EA Foundation as consolidated entity (sic) consisting of EA Foundation and the entities it controlled…’, yet
      • EAF presents itself elsewhere (see above) as just being the trustee for the Trust Fund,
      • The report title, the statements, the directors and the auditor make no reference to consolidation,
      • Two of the three trusts said to have been consolidated [Note 2(a)] are not separate entities with an ABN, but only trading names of EAF.
      • Note 2(a) says that there are ‘other wholly owned subsidiaries’ but doesn’t identify them.
    • 97% of the revenue comes from ‘commission’ but nowhere in the Financial Report does it say how it was earned.
      • ‘Revenue’ under ‘Significant accounting policies’ does not mention commission.
    • 74% of the liabilities are the unexplained item ‘Held in trust’, under ‘Trade and other payables’.
    • There are many other issues.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • Because of the answer immediately above I make no comment.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • The auditor, Joel Hernandez, CA, of rdl.accountants, was asked to review the statements, that is, not audit them.
  • Given the issues identified above, his ‘clean’ conclusion is highly questionable.

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete/correct?

  • The Trustee For Evangelical Alliance Foundation Trust Fund is not another name for EAF, but a charity in its own right (see ‘Is it registered?’, above).
  • ‘Who the Charity Benefits’ is blank.
  • ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are missing (but these are not compulsory).

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not shown on the website. But, per the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’), they are
    • Ronald Clough
    • Richard Dickins
    • John Peberdy
    • Robert Rawson
    • David Spargo
      • Is it this David Spargo?
    • John Yates
      • Is it this John Yates?
      • John Peberdy and Robert Rawson are directors of Christian Ministry Advancement Ltd, the organization that has introduced a ‘major new initiative, accrediting Christian organisations against a set of standards of good governance, financial oversight, and fundraising ethics.’
      • There are 11 directorships recorded for the name ‘John Peberdy’. And the register only covers charities, not all not-for-profits, and no for-profit organisations. Therefore, if after eliminating the charities for which EAF’s John Peberdy is not a director, you are left with the total being more than a handful, it would be legitimate for you to question whether his ability to discharge his fiduciary responsibilities is threatened.

To whom is EAF accountable?

  • As a charity, to the ACNC.
  • And, as a company, still for some things, to ASIC.

The Australian Navigators Limited: charity review

This is a charity review of The Australian Navigators Limited (AN), an organisation that seeks donations online, and is a member[1], and subject to the accountability of, Missions Interlink. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

For the previous review, see here.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • There is no invitation, on the website, to submit feedback or complaints.
    • Ministry comment: ‘We are in the process of adding a complaints lodgement ability to our website.’
  • Accountability is not mentioned on the website.
  • I sent them a draft of this review. Their comments are included throughout.

Is AN registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
    • As a public company (a company limited by guarantee).
      • Although such a company has members, in the case of AN membership is only open to a ‘staff member’ (someone holding a paid or unpaid staff position).
  • It does not have the necessary provisions in its constitution to permit it to omit ‘Limited/Ltd’ at the end of its name. Nor does it have a truncation or rearrangement of its name registered as a business name. So, it should be using its full names in dealings with the public. Not like on its website, Navigators and The Navigators, or on (Facebook), Navigators Australia.
  • It has, however, registered the business name Solid Rock Ministries
  • AN operates, per the ACNC Register, in Australian Capital Territory, New South Wales, Queensland, Victoria, and Western Australia.
    • How does this fit with the claim on the website that ‘Our ministries and contacts are spread throughout Australia’? It still doesn’t have a fundraising licence in Western Australia, a state that has a licensing regime. (The AIS 2017 says that it is ‘Pending’.)
      • Ministry comment: ‘We applied to WA licensing authority and they wrote back saying we don’t need one in WA as we are a religious charity.’
  • They have an internet invitation to give. Their application for a fundraising licence is in Tasmania is also ‘Pending’ (AIS 2017)[2], but there is no mention of South Australia, the other state with a licensing regime for charities.
  • AN operates overseas, per the ACNC Register, in Indonesia and United States.
    • No overseas countries are in the list of locations, but if you look for ‘Missions Overseas’ under the photos you’ll find the four couples involved.

What do they do?

  • It could be clearer, but it appears that its workers make disciples and then train those people to make disciples. See ‘Calling’ on the website.
  • It does this in ‘communities’.
    • Compare their activities to what your local evangelical church and its members are doing (or at least should be doing).
    • Here’s how Australian Defence Force Academy describes what AN does there.
  • AN is part of The Navigators Worldwide Partnership.

Do they share the Gospel[3]?

  • From the descriptions here, many of the workers do this as part of their job; one would hope that all do it as part of their life.
    • Ministry comment: ‘Indeed and that is exactly what we try to help people to do – share the gospel as part of their everyday life.’

What impact are they having?

  • They put stories on their website to illustrate the impact of their work.  I believe the systematic measurement of impact (including scientifically) provides a better guide to impact.
  • There is a section in the Directors’ Report ‘Key Performance Measures’, but it just says that ‘quantitative and qualitative benchmarks’ are used.

What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?

  • The expenses are not classified to allow this estimate.

Do they pay their directors?

  • It’s not prohibited in the constitution.
  • There is no ‘Directors’ fees’ in the expenses.
    • Ministry comment: ‘We don’t pay Directors.’

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

What choices do you have in how your donation is used?

  • Where Most Needed’
  • ‘Specific Person’
    • 33 named individuals/couples
  • ‘Specific Project’
    • ‘Growing Capacity’
    • ‘ISM Melbourne Ministry’
    • ‘ISM Sydney Ministry’
    • ‘Jephcott’s Car’
    • ‘Keep the Labourers Labouring’
    • ‘Military Ministry’
    • ‘Student Ministry’
      • The second, third and fourth of these are not described on the website. The last two are two of the ‘communities’ (see above). ‘Keep the Labourers Labouring’ was a six-week campaign that finished in 2016.

Is their online giving secure?

Where were your (net) donations sent?

  • The AIS once again says that no grants or donations were made. How does this fit the collection of money for projects (above)?

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (six and a half months after year end, the same time as last year.)
    • The next financial report is due by 31 December 2018. Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date. You may therefore need to ask for more up-to-date information.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2017: No
    • A business name (Solid Rock Ministries) is missing.
    • The ‘Description of charity’s activities and outcomes’
      • is not particularly about what was done in 2017.
      • does not mention outcomes.
    • Some of the ‘Financial Information’ again doesn’t match what is in the Financial Report 2017.
    • The Financial Report 2017 has been lodged as an ‘Annual Report’.
    • The number of staff (75) does not match the number given on the website (120).
  • Financial Report 2017: No
    • Again this year, in the Statement of Profit or Loss and Other Comprehensive Income:
      • A large proportion of the expenses is unexplained. This includes 27% for ‘Ministry Expenses & Costs’. (The entire charity is a ‘ministry’, so this title discloses nothing.)
      • 97% of the revenue came from donations. There is no breakup of this figure, so a match, even at the fundamental level of the areas for which money is sought, ‘Where most needed’, people, and projects, is not possible.
        • AN seeks money for 33 individuals or couples on the website (via ‘Give’ and ‘Meet the Staff’).
          • We are not told whether the money donated to a person (or couple) goes to AN to offset the benefits AN gives the person, or is just handed on to them.
            • Ministry comment: ‘It goes to offset their superannuation guarantee costs, their ministry expenses like attending our national conference, a 15% admin fee and their salary.’
          • 47 individuals or couples are shown under ‘Meet the Staff’.
          • Why, when they appear to be doing the same work, do 14 staff not qualify for the ‘Give’ button?
            • Ministry comment: ‘They are voluntary staff.’
          • The AIS 2017 gives the number of staff as 75. How does this relate to the above figures?
            • Ministry comment: ‘Some of the couples in the meet the staff are both staff and some couples only one is.’
        • Why is the cash amount of earnings on investments shown in the accrual statement?
        • ‘Other Income’ is a revenue item in the Statement of Profit or Loss…, but is not included in the Note supporting revenue.
    • The figure for ‘Other Income’ does not match the figure in the breakup in the Notes.
    • Without explanation, the revenue and surplus figures for 2016 do not match what was disclosed last year.
    • The loss on foreign currency is disclosed as revenue.
    • Again this year, in the Statement of Financial Position:
      • 94% of the $297K liabilities are in one item, the unexplained ‘Staff Reserves’.
        • ‘Reserves’ are not a liability, but a part of equity.
        • Last year, this item was called the (also unexplained) ‘Ministry Expense Account’.
      • There is no explanation for why $137K is kept in a US bank account.
      • Inventories are valued inconsistently with the policy in Note 1. (This year it is ‘written down value’; last year it was ‘cost’.)
      • There is no explanation for why a ministry with a $2.02 m turnover would hold 100% of its $892K non-cash funds in a moderate to high risk asset class.
        • $892K is an 11% increase on last year. There is no explanation for this increase. It also increased 11% last year.
      • The type of financial assets is not disclosed. (This is even though the types are described in Note 1.)
      • Restricted funds are not disclosed.
    • The auditor signed his report before the directors signed theirs.
    • There is no explanation for the 72% increase in the item that comprises 94% of the liabilities (see above).
    • There is no explanation for the 443% increase in the amount held in the US.
    • Again this year, in the Notes to the Financial Statements:
      • There is no Note on foreign currency.
      • Five of the usual policy Notes are missing.
      • Neither commitments nor contingent liabilities are disclosed.[4]
      • Were there any transactions with related parties?
    • The use of cents in the three of the four of the statements is unhelpful.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • Last year a gain on using foreign currency contributed $12K to the surplus. This year AN lost, without explanation, $44K.
  • Last year’s surplus of 6% of revenue was maintained.
  • ‘Employee Benefits Expense was declined marginally (from 64% to 63% of expenses), while the (still) unexplained ‘Ministry Expenses & Costs’ increased marginally (26% to 27%).
  • From Note 14, it appears that the National Director is paid a mere $24K.
  • ‘Other Expenses almost doubled. It is now 4% of the total.
  • Short-term structure: current assets are over two times current liabilities.
  • Long-term structure: there are no non-current liabilities but $892K of ‘Financial assets’ (see above).

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • The auditor, Glenn McEwen, of ThomasGLC, issued a ‘clean’ opinion.
  • When assessing how much comfort to take from this
    • read the ‘Financial Report 2017’ section above, and
    • read here and here.

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete / correct?

  • No
    • The business name is missing.
    • ‘Who the Charity Benefits’ is blank.
    • The Financial Report has been lodged as an ‘Annual Report’.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Effectively, this is the Board of Directors.
  • Which is the same as the list on the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’):
  • Whether the director is a ‘Member Director’ or a ‘Non-Member Director’ is not disclosed.
  • It appears that, as usual, significant powers have been delegated to the National Director, Grant Dibden (the constitution is silent on such delegation).
  • The website – but not the constitution – says that he is assisted by two other bodies:

To whom is AN accountable?

  • Not mentioned on the website, but it is a member of Missions Interlink.
    • For one view on the strength of this accountability, see the section Activities in this review.
  • As a registered charity, AN is accountable to the ACNC.
  • And still for some things, to ASIC as a company.
  • Members can hold directors accountable.
    • AN include a Directors’ Report in the Financial Report 2016, but the number of members, usually available from that report, is not included.
    • Only staff can be a member. The National Director, the supervisor of the staff, reports to the Board, which in turn reports to those staff.

 

  1. Under a slightly incorrect name.
  2. They were working on these applications at the time of the last review.
  3. Good living and social concern are important [to the cause of evangelism], but they are not uniquely Christian graces…I’ve met a lot of fine Hindus, Muslims and atheists. Just living the life is not going to bring someone to Christ. There is much more to it than that. We must help people, certainly, but we must also share with them why we are motivated to do so. We must stand against injustice, poverty and need, but we must at the same time point to the One who brings justice and who can meet the deepest need. Until they know our reasons, how can they come to know our Lord? [Dan Armstrong, the Fifth Gospel: The Gospel According to You, Anzea Books, pp. 13-14. 
  4. I use the Pinnacle Financial Statements, respected in the profession as providing a very sound basis for producing compliant financial reports. To this I add an assessment of materiality (both quantitative and qualitative), where the users being considered are donors.

Hands at Work In Africa (Australia) Limited: charity review

This is a charity review of Hands at Work In Africa (Australia) Limited (HAW) an organisation that has two online invitations to donate (here and here), and is exempt from Australian income tax via its membership of Missions Interlink. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

For the previous review, see here.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • I sent them a draft of this review. Like the previous two years, they did not respond.

Is HAW registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • HAW is a company limited by guarantee.
    • I think it would be judged that it has the necessary provisions in its constitution to allow it to omit ‘Ltd/Limited’ at the end of its name.
    • As it holds no business names it must use the name Hands at Work in Africa (Australia), when dealing with the public – not as it does on its webpages.
  • HAW operates, per the ACNC Register, in New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. It holds a fundraising licence in all three of these states.
    • Apart from exemptions, whether it needs such a licence in the other three states that have a licensing regime depends on whether those states think that HAW, by calling for donations via the internet, is ‘fundraising’ in their territory.
  • Overseas, it operates in The Democratic Republic of Congo, Mozambique, Nigeria, South Africa, Zambia, and Zimbabwe [ACNC Register].

What do they do?

  • From HAW’s webpages on the international site:
    • We are a group of Christians who help the local church in Africa to effectively care for the orphaned and vulnerable. We do this by supporting local Christian leaders, increasing the community’s capacity to provide care in an effective and holistic manner. Our ministry is to all those in need, regardless of race, class or religion.
  • The AIS 2017 makes it clear that this ‘support’ is by the transfer of money and goods.
  • There is no description on the webpages of the ‘local Christian leaders’ who are supported. The names of the projects are given in Note 4 of the accounts.

Do they share the Gospel[1]?

  • No
    • Nor presumably, because of the tax deduction given, do the recipients of the money.

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing found.

What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?

  • If we define ‘direct’ as ‘Project Expenses’, then ‘administration’ is 10% of expenses.
    • But what’s included in ‘Project Expenses’?

Do they pay their directors?

  • Under their constitution, this is prohibited.
  • Are there any directors’ fees included in the expense ‘Directors (sic) expenses’?

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Yes

Is their online giving secure?

  • Online giving is via GiveNow, and they don’t mention security.

Where were the (net) donations sent?

  • The project and amount that was sent is given in Note 4 to the accounts, but neither the name of the recipient or their country.

What choices do you have in how your donation is used?

  • Either a ‘crowdraiser’ called ‘Biking across Canada 2018’ or unspecified.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (seven months after year end, the day before the deadline, and at the same time as last year).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2017: Almost – no outcomes are reported.
  • Financial Report 2017: No
    • The directors say that none of HAW’s stakeholders, either present or prospective, need a regulator to help them get the financial information they need to make decisions about HAW. This allows them to produce the kind of financial statements that do not comply with all the Accounting Standards. For an organization that collects donations from the public, operates in three states and six overseas countries, and has 30 staff, this is implausible.
    • The absence of controls over cash receipts is a sufficient threat to a true and fair view for the auditor to refuse to give HAW a clean audit opinion. This is at least the third year that this deficiency has existed, showing that the directors are unconcerned.
    • ‘Other Comprehensive Income’ is included in the title of the statement but is missing.
      • As it is from the Statement of Changes in Equity.
    • There is no explanation of the significant revenue item ‘Team & Project Deployment’.
    • There is no explanation of how, in $332K of expenses, ‘Volunteer Expenses and Reimbursements’ for 30 volunteers is $18K. And has increased from (exactly) $11K.
    • Several of the usual Notes are missing.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • Because of the above issues, I make no comment.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • The auditor, Matthew Williams, of CB Audit, has again issued a qualified audit opinion. He claims that ‘It is not practicable for the company to maintain control over cash receipts prior to their (sic) being received and receipted by officers.’ Based on the evidence on the ACNC Register, and from my reviews, this is hard to believe.

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete/correct?

  • Yes

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • The webpages do not mention the board.
  • Per the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’) the directors are:

To whom is HAW accountable?

  • As a charity, to the ACNC.
  • And still for some things as a company, to ASIC.
  • Not mentioned on the website, but HAW is a member of Missions Interlink.
    • For one opinion of the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

 

  1. Good living and social concern are important [to the cause of evangelism], but they are not uniquely Christian graces…I’ve met a lot of fine Hindus, Muslims and atheists. Just living the life is not going to bring someone to Christ. There is much more to it than that. We must help people, certainly, but we must also share with them why we are motivated to do so. We must stand against injustice, poverty and need, but we must at the same time point to the One who brings justice and who can meet the deepest need. Until they know our reasons, how can they come to know our Lord?” [Dan Armstrong, the Fifth Gospel: The Gospel According to You, Anzea Books, pp. 13-14.