Youth for Christ Australia: mini-charity review

Mini charity review of Youth for Christ Australia (YFC) as an organisation that seeks donations online. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

Are they responsive to feedback?

I sent them a draft of the review on 1 February. On 7 February, we negotiated a delay in publication to 21 February. On 27 February, having not heard from them, I emailed. Included in their response was a request to publish this comment: ‘we are undergoing both structural and strategic changes at present.’

Is YFC registered?

  • There are two registered charities with the name Youth for Christ Australia:
  • There are also two other charities that (appear to) [added 28.03.17] belong to YFC:
  • YFC has not taken advantage of the ACNC’s group reporting concessions.
  • The donation request does not distinguish between the four charities, so when you find which charity it is that you wish to support, read the applicable entries below.
  • Other registrations – YFC-Inc:
    • A Victorian incorporated association (VIC A0031888F).
    • It has the registration required because it operates interstate (ARBN 079 775 296).
    • It operates in five states that have a fundraising licence regime, but has a licence in only NSW[1]. (It also has a licence in a state in which it does not operate, the ACT.)
  • Other registrations – YFC-Ltd:
    • A public company, a company limited by guarantee.
      • It does not have the provisions in its constitution to allow it to omit ‘Ltd/Limited’ from the end of its name.
    • It operates in five states that have a fundraising licence regime, but has no licences[2].
  • Other registrations – YFC-PBI: None
  • Other registrations – YFC-OAF: None

What does YFC do?

  • Currently, the website only has ‘Home’, ‘Contact Us’, and ‘Donate’ – a new one is coming – but this is how they reported 2016’s ‘activities and outcomes’ in their Annual Information Statement 2016 (AIS 2016):
    • YFC-Inc:
      • ‘YFCA Inc conducts programs for neglected, troubled and other youth. Our counselling services for troubled youth are unique in that they are mobile and meet young people where they are including in schools, cafes or at home. We conducted programs in juvenile detentions centres, giving support to young offenders. We ran camps for young people, particularly those at risk or disadvantaged with the aim of helping them to adjust to their social environment. Our school programs have been targeted to prevent delinquency, suicide and other self-destructive behaviour.’
    • YFC-Ltd:
      • ‘YFC Australia focusses on youth (12-24 yrs). The purpose of YFCA is to share the gospel with young people. We did this through activities we ran this year including camps, sports and recreation programs, youth gatherings, teen mums support groups, various ministries to specific demographic groups such as surfers, skateboarders, and hip hop dancing groups and afterschool programs. We shared the gospel with hundreds of young people who in turn have shared this message of hope with their friends. In addition we provide support to churches in how to minister and share the gospel with young people.’
    • YFC-PBI: Reports due 31 January 2016 (not 2017) have yet to be submitted.
    • YFC-OAF: ‘To raise funds for the improvement of the health and education of people in developing countries.’

Do they share the Gospel?

  • YFC-Inc: From the above, it appears not. (Which would fit with their ability to give you a tax deduction.)
  • YFC-Ltd: From the above, it appears so.
  • YFC-PBI: (Reports due 31 January 2016 (not 2017) have yet to be submitted.)
  • YFC-OAF: No information available. (As an organisation giving a tax deduction, it shouldn’t be sharing the Gospel.)

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?

  • YFC-Inc: The expenses are not classified to allow this calculation.
    • There is an item ‘Administration expenses’, but no explanation for how this differs from, for instance, ‘Office overheads’.
  • YFC-Ltd: The expenses are not classified to allow this calculation.
    • There is an item ‘Administration expenses’, but no explanation for how this differs from, for instance, ‘Office overheads’.
  • YFC-PBI: No Financial Report lodged
  • YFC-OAF: They spent $8K to send $114K overseas. (Do they bear all their own expenses though?)

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • YFC-Inc: Yes
  • YFC-Ltd: No
  • YFC-PBI: Yes, the fund Youth Guidance Fund.
  • YFC-OAF: Yes. (It is a public ancillary fund.)

Is their online giving secure?

  • There is no mention of security.

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

  • None shown on the website.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • YFC-Inc: Yes (five months after their year-end).
  • YFC-Ltd: Yes (five months after their year-end).
  • YFC-PBI: No. (At the time of publication, 12 months overdue.)
  • YFC-OAF: Yes (AIS 2016 not due until 28 February 2017, and due to the size of the charity, no Financial Report is required.)

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • YFC-Inc:
    • AIS 2016: No
      • No outcomes
      • Some financial figures do not match those in the Financial Report.
      • No trading names.
    • Financial Report 2016: No – No Notes to the accounts.
  • YFC-Ltd:
    • AIS 2016: No
      • No outcomes
      • Not a ‘Basic Religious Charity’
    • Financial Report 2016: No
      • No Directors’ Declaration
      • No Notes to the accounts
  • YFC-PBI: No – nothing submitted.
  • YFC-OAF:
    • AIS 2016: Apart from the lack of outcomes, yes.
    • Financial Report 2016: Yes. (Their size means that one is not required, and they did not submit one voluntarily.)

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • YFC-Inc:
    • Last year’s deficit of 8% of revenue blew out to 28% this year.
    • ‘Accounting and audit fees’ were $111K, or 5% of expenses.
    • 57% of the expenses were for ‘Employee benefits expense’.
    • Working capital (current assets less current liabilities) is strongly positive.
    • There are minimal long-term liabilities.
  • YFC-Ltd:
    • A deficit of 10% of revenue was recorded. (This was their first year.)
    • There is no accounting and audit expense as there is for YFC-Inc.
    • 58% of the expenses were for ‘Employee benefits expense’.
    • Current liabilities exceed current assets (that is, negative working capital) by 22%.
    • There are no long-term liabilities.
  • YFC-PBI: NA – no Report lodged.
  • YFC-OAF:
    • A deficit of 10% of revenue was recorded.
    • No liabilities.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • YFC-Inc:
    • He was not able to give a ‘clean’ opinion. This was because he was ‘unable to express an opinion as to whether the donations of Youth For Christ Australia Inc is (sic) complete’.
  • YFC-Ltd:
    • He was not able to give a ‘clean’ opinion. This was because he was ‘unable to express an opinion as to whether the donations of Youth For Christ Australia Inc is (sic) complete’.
  • YFC-PBI: NA – No Report lodged.
  • YFC-OAF: NA – No Report lodged.

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

  • YFC-Inc: No
    • ACNC says that the selection of an Entity Subtype is overdue.
    • Trading names are missing.
    • ‘Website’ is blank.
  • YFC-Ltd: Yes
    • But it’s not, as is claimed, a ‘Basic Religious Charity’
  • YFC-PBI: No – much information is missing.
  • YFC-OAF: No
    • ACNC says that the selection of an Entity Subtype is overdue.  [2.03.17]
    • ‘Website’ is blank.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • YFC-Inc:
    • Not mentioned on the website.
    • From ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:
    • The board is one short of the number required by the constitution.
  • YFC-Ltd:
    • The same as for YFC-Inc, except ‘Christopher’ instead of ‘Chris’.
  • YFC-PBI: There are none listed on the ACNC Register.
  • YFC-OAF: The same as for YFC-Inc, except with Lisa Bell and Katherine Ruonala instead of Stephen Grocott and Daniel Muggeridge. That is, four out of six in common with both YFC-Ltd and YFC-Inc.

To whom is YFC accountable?

  • One of the organisations – it is not clear which one – is accountable to Missions Interlink[3] via its an Associate membership. (A membership that’s in the name of a YFC program, not an organisation, Youth for Christ – Senior Servants.)
  • All four charities are accountable to the ACNC.

 

 

  1. The law in this area is not straightforward – is an internet invitation ‘fundraising’ for instance? – and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
  2. The law in this area is not straightforward – is an internet invitation ‘fundraising’ for instance? – and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
  3. For one opinion on the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

From Seed to Trees: mini-charity review

Mini charity review of From Seed to Trees (FST) as an organisation that invites you to donate to it.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, on 14 February, they did not respond.

Is FST registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
    • But the ‘Ltd’ at the end has been accidentally omitted.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
      • It does not appear to have the provisions in its constitution necessary for it to omit, as it does on its website, ‘Ltd/Limited’ from the end of its name.
    • It does not have a fundraising licence in its home state, Queensland[1].

What does FST do?

  • This is the only information on the website:
    • This work [no work is previously described] is bound up in one purpose, which is “Going, Sowing and Growing”. This is done through obedience to the Word of God by reaching, touching and changing these nations according to the Great Commission. Our one aim is to disciple, mentor and by reaching out through practical involvement.
  • The Annual Information Statement 2016 (AIS 2016) is more helpful:
    • ‘It works beside universities students and gives training in leadership. its members takes (sic) seminars on becoming good leaders…
    • And if plans came to pass:
      • Changes planned it has been (sic) going to these places in the one place (sic). In another country it will provide teaching and mentoring in different locations as it is better suited to this.
  • They invite people to go on ‘mission’ trips. The connection with the above activities is not clear.
  • The ACNC Register says that FST operates in Belarus, Moldova (Republic), and Romania.

Do they share the Gospel?

  • From the above, no. But a brochure for a trip suggests that they do.

What impact are they having?

  • No information found.
    • The AIS 2016 included this under ‘activities and outcomes’:
      • The outcomes are positive as it has been successful in seeing the growth (sic) taking place and developing good leaders the future (sic).

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

  • ‘Other expenses/payments’ were 28% of the total. (The other 72% was for ‘Grants…outside Australia’.)

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.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (seven months after year end, nine days before the deadline).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: Yes
  • Financial Report 2016: 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?

  • No
    • They are long overdue in selecting a charity subtype.
    • ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank.

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?

 

 

  1. The law in this area is not straightforward – is an internet invitation ‘fundraising’ for instance? – and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.

Eastern College Australia Incorporated: mini-charity review

Mini charity review of Eastern College Australia Incorporated (EC) as an organisation that invites you, on its website, to donate to it.

  • You may know EC as Tabor College Victoria. It changed its name in August 2015.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, on 13 February, they…did not respond.

Is EC registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a Victorian incorporated association (VIC A0017676J).
      • On its website and Facebook, it uses its name without ‘Inc/Incorporated’ at the end. This is arguably a contravention of section 23 of its enabling legislation.
    • Someone else holds the business name ‘Eastern College’[1].
    • It operates, per the ACNC Register, in all states. It is exempt from having to register for fundraising in its home state, but has no licences in the other six states that have a licensing regime[2].

What does EC do?

  • The header and body of the home page assumes that we know what they do, but from a link in the footer:
    • EASTERN COLLEGE AUSTRALIA is a Christian Higher Education Provider that exists to equip individuals through provision of accredited teaching, training and research that contribute to the transformation of church (local and global), society and marketplace through the lives of its graduates.
  • More specifically, from their constitution:
    • The Association believes that the Bible is the written word of God and the standard by which the validity and philosophy of all subjects taught must be evaluated. The approach to interpreting scripture adopted by the Association may be generally described as evangelical, charismatic and Pentecostal.

Do they share the Gospel?

  • NA – students would have already heard it.

What impact are they having?

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 calculation; for instance, there is only one figure for employee benefits expense.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Yes

Is their online giving secure?

  • ‘When you press “Submit Form” you will be taken to a secure area where you can safely enter your credit card information.’ Provided by NAB, so should be secure. (Still in EC’s old name though.)

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

  • None

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (four months after year end).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: Except for specifying the wrong type of financial statements, yes.
  • Financial Report 2015: Only if you
    • agree that it is reasonable for the directors to conclude that all the users of its accounts, both present and prospective, can command EC to prepare accounts to suit them.
    • Also
      • a related parties’ Note, suggested by the ACNC, is not included.
      • property, plant and equipment is carried at cost, yet there an Asset Revaluation Reserve.
      • ‘Other expenses from ordinary activities’, over 9% of expenses, is perhaps a little large to have no breakup.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • The surplus increased slightly, but is still less than 1% of revenue.
  • ‘Employee benefits expense’ is 56% of expenses.
  • ‘Trade and other receivables’ have increased from less than 1% of assets to 8%. (No explanation is given).
  • Current assets are 1.3 times current liabilities.
  • Longer term financial structure is sound.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion[3].

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

  • Yes

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Those shown here.
  • Or, per the ACNC Register, those nine, plus Michael Wong, and Glenn Ward instead of David Ward:
    • Geoffrey Cox
    • Joanna Cruickshank
    • Jame Lewis
    • Cheryl McCallum
    • Timothy Meyers
    • Gregory Restall
      • It is this Greg Restall?
    • David Rietveld
    • David Ward
      • There are 17 directorships recorded for this name.  The ACNC Register has only charities, so if, after eliminating the entries in the Register that don’t belong to EC’s David Ward, you are left with his total being more than a handful, it would be legitimate for you to question whether his ability to discharge his fiduciary responsibilities is threatened.
    • Michael Wong
    • Rosemary Wong
  • Four of these people are also on the board of Melbourne School of Theology. Something to do with this (undated) announcement of a ‘partnership’ with MST?

To whom is EC accountable?

  • To Missions Interlink, because it’s an Associate member.
  • EC is also accountable to the ACNC, and the Victorian associations regulator.

 

 

  1. It is a little surprising that the authorities allowed the registration of this name, six months after ECA had changed its name to ECA.
  2. The law in this area is not straightforward – is an internet invitation ‘fundraising’ for instance? – and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
  3. To take the right amount of comfort from a ‘clean opinion’, please read here and here.

EA Insurance: mini-charity review

 Mini charity review of EA Insurance (EAI), an Associate member of Missions Interlink, ‘the Australian network for global mission.

Is EAI registered?

  • No.
  • EA Insurance is a business name belonging to The Trustee for Evangelical Alliance Foundation Trust Fund (EAFTF).
    • EAFTF is registered as a charity.
  • EAFTF is not incorporated. It is classified by ASIC as a ‘Non Registered Entity (Nret)’.
  • The trustee referred to in the name The Trustee for… is EA Foundation.

Is EAFTF responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they…did not respond.

What does EAI/EAFTF do?

  • There is no indication that EAFTF has any enterprise other than EAI.
  • From the EAI website:
    • EA Insurance has is (sic) a specialist provider of insurance and risk management services to Faith, Charity and Not for Profit organisations throughout Australia. We deal exclusively with three types of organisations; Overseas Mission/Aid Organisations; Not-for profit / Community organisations; and Faith Communities… so we are genuine specialists.

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 calculation is possible – no financial statements for EAFTF are available. (For its Financial Report on the ACNC Register, it has attached the financial statements of its trustee, EA Foundation. And these financial statements mention insurance only three times: once as an expense, and the name ‘EA Insurance Project’ twice.)

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • NA – donations are not sought.

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 (seven months after their year-end, on the last day permitted.)
    • But the financial statements are not theirs (see below).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • No, they have reported as if they were EA Foundation.
    • The EA Foundation does more than run EAI on behalf of EAFTF.
      • The EA Foundation continues to incorporate the work of the EA Insurance Project, as well as the Alfred Clark Missions Trust and the Indigenous Ministries Trust Fund[2].

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • NA

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • NA

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

  • Not quite:
    • The business name EA Insurance is missing.
    • There is no phone number.
      • And not correct:
        • EA Foundation is not a name belonging to EAFTF.
        • The constitution of EA Foundation is not EAFTF’s constitution.
        • The Financial Report is not a report on EAFTF.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • The ‘management committee’ are introduced at the bottom here.
  • From ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:
    • Richard Dickins
    • John Peberdy
      • There are 14 directorships recorded for this name. EAFTF’s John Peberdy, the principal of a consulting practice, lists, on LinkedIn, twelve directorships, including seven as Chairperson,. It is therefore legitimate for you to question whether his ability to discharge his fiduciary responsibilities is threatened by having this workload.
    • John Yates

To whom is EAI/EAFTF accountable?

 

 

 

  1. EAI says that it is ‘wholly owned by the EA Foundation’. However, there is nothing to ‘own’. EAI is a business name registered to The Trustee for…, and EA Foundation is that trustee.
  2. Neither of these other trusts trades under its own name. All three trusts’ trading names are slightly different than here.

Adelaide College of Ministries (ACM): mini-charity review

N.B. The following appears on the website of this ministry:

The board of Adelaide College of Ministries have made the difficult decision to close the College at the end of 2016 due to a number of significant factors. The finances have reached a stage where it is impossible to continue without going into debt, the search for a new Principal has been unsuccessful, and student numbers have become dangerously low.

The ministry is still a member of Missions Interlink (‘the Australian network for global mission’), and it intends to continue to pursue its mission:

The continuing mission of ACM is to teach the Word of God by training and equipping leaders for the Kingdom. The ACM board believes that scholarships and assistance in such a way will fulfil the wishes of the many donors and supporters we have had over the years. This Fund will be administered by godly men who have a deep commitment to the foundational principles of ACM. Further details will be available in the days ahead, but we feel confident that this is God’s direction for us.

A review in the series ‘Associate members of Missions Interlink’ is therefore still appropriate.

When sent a draft of this review, they…did not respond.

Is ACM registered?

  • Still registered as a charity.
  • Still registered as a South Australian incorporated association (A7728).

What does ACM do?

Until the end of 2016 it was a bible college. It is now reorganising as a fund to provide scholarships and assistance to ‘leaders for the Kingdom’ (see the introduction, above).

Do they share the Gospel?

  • NA – either in the past or their intended future.

What impact are they having?

  • Now irrelevant for the College; no activity yet for the fund.

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

  • Now irrelevant for the College; no activity yet for the fund.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • They are not calling for donations at the moment, but if they do, then it won’t be for either of the tax-deductible funds (one for building, the other for the library).

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA at the moment.

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

  • NA

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (six months after year end, the day before the last day).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: Except for the lack of outcomes, yes.
  • Financial Report 2015: Yes
    • The audit report is unsigned.
    • There is no related parties’ disclosure.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • Past performance is largely irrelevant now, but at 31 December 2015 they had net assets of $3.05 m at going concern values. Land and buildings were $2.75 m of this, with buildings valued at cost and the land ‘at board’s valuation’ (undated).

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion[1].

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

  • Almost – ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

To whom is ACM accountable?

  • To Missions Interlink, because it’s an Associate member.
  • ACM is also accountable to the ACNC, and the South Australian regulator of associations.

 

 

  1. To take the right amount of comfort from a ‘clean opinion’, please read here and here.

Reformed Theological College: mini-charity review

Mini charity review of Reformed Theological College (RTC) as an organisation that invites you, on its website, to donate to it.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they…did not respond.

Is RTC registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Other registrations:
    • ITA is a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
      • Its name: It is permitted to omit ‘Ltd/Limited’ at the end.
    • It operates, per the ACNC Register, in all states. No fundraising licences are held[1].

What does RTC do?

  • It is a “reformed, evangelical theological college”.
  • Or as they say in the Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015):
    • The Reformed Theological College is committed to training people to serve God in the whole of life.

Do they share the Gospel?

  • NA – students would have already heard it.

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?

  • The expenses are not classified to allow this calculation.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Yes

Is their online giving secure?

  • Security is not mentioned.

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

  • None

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (five and a half months after year end).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: No
    • A number of the financial figures do not match those in the Income Statement.
    • No outcomes reported.
  • Financial Report 2015: No
    • Why not consolidated reports? Both Pigdons Road Pty Ltd and The Trustee for the Reformed Theological College Foundation are subsidiaries.
    • Other comprehensive income is not shown.
    • The item ‘Other expenses…’ is 35% of expenses, yet there is no breakup.
    • There is no related parties’ disclosure.
    • RTC says that the financial statement are general purpose; the auditor says they are special purpose.
    • Why are the two ‘Non-Operating Activities’ any less part of the College’s operations than the ones under ‘Operating Activities’? (This is not a distinction used by the ACNC.)
    • Buildings and the library are not depreciated. (The surplus is therefore overstated.)
    • $116,966 in Note 2 is not ‘Net cash provided by from (sic) investing activities’.
    • The land and buildings valuation is long out-of-date.
    • How does an ‘Overseas student assist (sic) fund’ meet the definition of a liability? Likewise, the ‘Other’ provisions?

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • With the knowledge that
    • the Report, because it omits RTC’s two subsidiaries, shows an incomplete picture, and
    • adjustments to the figures and disclosures are needed (see just above) –
      • The deficit was again approximately 1% of revenue.
      • Current assets are 1.8 times current liabilities.
      • Longer term financial structure is sound.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion[2].
    • However, he says he audited ‘a special purpose financial report’ when Note 1 to the accounts says that the report is a general purpose financial report.
  • The inclusion of an Auditor’s Compilation Report implies that he also produced the financial statements.

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

  • No
    • One business name is missing
    • ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • The composition of the board is given on the website, but no names.
  • From ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:
    • John Barkley
    • Johannes Berends
    • John Bylsma
    • Anthony Deenick
    • John Hoogenhout
    • Peter Van Der Schoor
    • Cornelis Van Garderen
    • Dirk Van Garderen
    • Dawid Van Vuuren
    • Harry Westendorp

To whom is RTC accountable?

 

 

  1. The law in this area is not straightforward – is an internet invitation ‘fundraising’ for instance? – and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
  2. To take the right amount of comfort from a ‘clean opinion’, please read here and here.

Intercultural Training Australia Limited: mini-charity review

Mini charity review of Intercultural Training Australia Limited (ITA) as an Associate member of Missions Interlink, ‘the Australian network for global mission’.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they replied quickly. One addition was made to the review as a result.

Is ITA registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Other registrations:
    • ITA is a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
      • Its name: It does not appear to have the provisions in its constitution to allow it to omit ‘Ltd/Limited’ at the end.
    • Registered to fundraise in the two states in which, per the ACNC Register, it operates.

What do they do?

  • See here.
  • More specifically, this, from the AIS 2015, is what they did in 2015:
    • Conducted TESOL training courses in 3 states of Australia, in Montana USA, Cambodia and Thailand. Also ran TESOL workshops in Australia and Thailand

Do they share the Gospel?

  • No, not unless they present the Gospel as part of the training.

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?

  • The expenses in the AIS 2015 – ITA is not required to lodge accounts, and hasn’t – are not classified to allow this calculation.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA – donations are not sought.

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

  • NA

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (three months after year end).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: Except for the absence of outcomes, yes.
  • Financial Report 2015: Yes – none required
    • They could have lodged this voluntarily, but they chose not to.
    • 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.”
    • Their constitution requires them to submit an audited financial report to the members.
    • And their enabling legislation has financial reporting obligations.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • A deficit of 14% of Income/Receipts.
  • No donations.
  • $32K ‘Employee expenses/payments’ for one part-time and two casuals.
    • This was 36% of expenses.
  • Grants made: $1K
  • $7K of liabilities were covered by assets of $61K.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • The audit report, if there is one, is not publicly available.

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

  • Yes

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not mentioned on the website, but
  • From ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:
    • John Anderson
      • There are 34 directorships recorded for this name.  The ACNC Register has only charities, so if, after eliminating the entries in the Register that don’t belong to ITA’s John Anderson, you are left with his total being more than a handful, it would be legitimate for you to question whether his ability to discharge his fiduciary responsibilities is threatened.
    • Juanita Anderson
    • Kim Hood
      • Is this the Kim Hood?
    • Frederik Kamst
    • Peter Romanowski

To whom is ITA accountable?

  • To Missions Interlink, because it’s an Associate member.
  • ITA is also accountable to the ACNC.
  • And to the Queensland associations regulator.

Uniting Church in Australia – Geraldton Parish: mini-charity review

Mini charity review of Uniting Church in Australia – Geraldton Parish (UCG) as an organisation that seeks donations online. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they…did not respond.

Is UCG registered?

  • Yes, as a charity.
  • But not incorporated.
  • Trading under the name Lighthouse Church, but this name is not registered (or at least, not to them).
  • UCG does not have a fundraising licence in the state in which it operates[1].
  • It controls another charity, Lighthouse Church Community Services (LCCS).
    • This charity has reported separately – UCG have not taken advantage of the ACNC’s group reporting concession.

What does UCG do?

  • Their latest newsletter will give you a good idea.
  • LCCS is not mentioned on the website, but here’s how they described their 2015 activities (AIS 2015):
    • To provide practical and compassionate assistance, financial and other support to people affected by illness, homelessness, unemployment, disability, poverty or other distress in need of care or emergency assistance in the local community.

Do they share the Gospel?

  • Yes
  • LCCS: since their constitution says that they are a Deductible Gift Recipient, probably not.

What impact are they having?

  • No information found (for either charity).

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

  • No financial information is published, so it is not possible to make this calculation.
  • UCCS: The information presented does not allow this calculation.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No, not with either charity. (This is despite the LCCS constitution saying that LCCS is a Deductible Gift Recipient.)

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA – not offered

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

  • ‘Please indicate clearly the purpose of your deposit. (Tithe, Missions, Specific Gift etc)’
    • UCCS not specifically mentioned.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (six months after their year-end, a day after the last day for submission).
  • UCCS: the same.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: With the small exception of the inclusion of a name that is not registered, yes.
    • They took advantage of their status as a Basic Religious Charity and didn’t submit any financial information.
      • Their subsidiary, because its Subtype is not ‘Advancing Religion’, is not a basic religious charity.
    • UCCS: Except for the omission of their business name, their AIS complies.
  • Financial Report 2015: Yes. (None 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.
    • UCCS: None required.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • NA
  • UCCS: Income $273, Net surplus/deficit $223, Total assets $1,362, Total liabilities $0.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • NA (Both charities)

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

  • No
    • There are only two names under ‘Responsible Persons’. It is highly unlikely that would be only two people on the Parish Council.
  • UCCS: No
    • There are at least five names missing under ‘Responsible Persons’, and
    • ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not shown on the website.
  • Two of them are listed under ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:
  • UCCS: Only Garth De Kock shown. At least five names missing.

To whom is UCG accountable?

 

 

  1. The law in this area is not straightforward – is an internet invitation ‘fundraising’ for instance? – and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
  2. For one opinion on the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

Friends of Indian Evangelical Mission Australia: mini-charity review

Mini-charity review of Friends of Indian Evangelical Mission Australia (FIEMA), an organisation that invites the public, on its website, to donate to it. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they…did not respond.

Is FIEMA registered?

  • Not as a charity.
    • This means that they are not entitled to any charity tax concessions.
  • Not incorporated.
    • This means that the members are personally liable for the actions of FIEMA.
  • It has an ABN.
  • But is not registered for GST.

What does FIEMA do?

  • ‘FIEMA seeks to promote the interests of the Indian Evangelical Mission by informing Australian Christians about the work done by IEM missionaries, and raising financial and prayer support for the Mission.’
    • But the ‘Mission’, on the same page, is the mission of the Indian organization, not FIEMA.

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 information is published, so it is not possible to make this calculation.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA – not offered.

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

  • None shown on the website.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • No reporting by regulatory authorities is required.
  • 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.”  It’s not offered on the website, so just ask.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • NA

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • NA

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • NA

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

  • NA

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • On the website:
    • National Director : Vincent Devasahayam – 0424 396 096 devasahayam@hotmail.com
    • National Secretary – Mr Dev Daniel
      • Is it this Dev Daniel?
    • National Treasurer – Mr Rex Christopher
      • Is it this Rex Christopher?
    • National Prayer Co-ordinator – Mr Vincent Devasahayam
    • National Promotions Co-ordinator – no name; presumably vacant
    • National Outreach Co-ordinator– no name; presumably vacant

To whom is FIEMA accountable?

  • To Missions Interlink[1] via its Associate membership.
    • You might ask them whether it is acceptable for a member not to be a registered charity.

 

  1. For one opinion on the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

Right Track Services Inc.: mini-charity review

Mini charity review of Right Track Services (RTS) as an Associate member of Missions Link, ‘the Australian network for global mission’.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they responded the next day with the following general comment, plus comments within the review (included, where appropriate, below).
    • ‘Right Track Services is a not-for-profit association of (Christian) IT people committed to helping smaller Christian mission & aid agencies with their IT needs, primarily in administrative processes.

RTS is a not-for-profit primarily to protect intellectual and other assets and to ensure that they benefit the mission community should the organisation be wound up.  And RTS is an association to aid the natural turn-over of personnel as time goes by without jeopardizing the organisation’s long-term sustainability.  Presently our members consist essentially of those you list below.

We do not solicit donations but are primarily self-funded through discounted customer fee-for-service charges and software license fees.  The sole purpose of these charges is to maintain a sustainable service.  Having said that, very occasionally people may give us grants for specific purposes.

Is RTS registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a Victorian incorporated association (VIC A0049755G).
    • RTS operates, per the ACNC Register, interstate. However, it does not have the necessary ARBN registration to do this.
    • It has no fundraising licences[1].

What do they do?

Do they share the Gospel?

  • No – services are provided to Christ-centred organisations.

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing found.
    • Ministry comment: ‘We provide supporter management software to 42+ Christian missions & aid-agencies – primarily in Australia and New Zealand.  Last financial year these organisations used our main software product to communicate with 230,000 supporters and process 209,000 donations worth about $55,000,000.  (Missions Interlink was one of them.)’

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

  • No information is available that allows this calculation.
    • Ministry comment: ‘It is in the Financial report.  “Development fees” pay for software programming so are directly incurred.  The rest is mostly administration.  (But it isn’t much as what little there is is done voluntarily by the members.)
      • Reviewer response:  No ‘Financial report’ is published.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA – they do not solicit donations online.

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

  • NA

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (lodged five months after their year-end).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: Almost – no outcomes are reported.
  • Financial Report 2015: NA – because of RTS’s size, one isn’t required.
    • 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.”
    • RTS lodged a Financial Report voluntarily last year, but not this year.
      • That Report consisted only of a Statement of Financial Performance.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • No Report (see above), but the ‘Financial Information’ section of the AIS 2016 shows:
    • They recorded a deficit, a deficit that was 19% of revenue.
    • There were no donations, just ‘fees’.
    • ‘Employee benefits’ for the one part-time employee (AIS 2015) were zero.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • NA (see above).

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

  • Not quite – ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not shown on the website, but from ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:
    • Stephen Andrews
    • Harley Beck
      • Is it this Harley Beck?
        • Ministry comment: ‘Yes’
    • Ronald Clough
      • Is it this Ronald Clough?
        • Ministry comment: ‘Possibly, if this one is/has been involved with Australian missions.’
    • Nigel Leed
    • Andrew Smith
      • There are 34 directorships recorded for this name.  The ACNC Register has only charities, so if, after eliminating the entries in the Register that don’t belong to RTS’s Andrew Smith, you are left with his total being more than a handful, it would be legitimate for you to question whether his ability to discharge his fiduciary responsibilities is threatened.
        • Ministry comment: ‘Andrew is a New Zealander and is therefore probably not any of the above mentioned directors.  (But I can ask him if it is important.)’
    • James Stanhope

To whom is RTS accountable?

 

 

  1. The law in this area is not straightforward – is an internet invitation ‘fundraising’ for instance? – and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
  2. For one opinion on the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.