Aztem Inc: mini charity review

Mini charity review of Aztem Inc (Aztem) as an organisation that has the option for you to support it financially and is a member of Missions Interlink[1], (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

See here for the previous review.

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, on 10 July 2017, they…did not respond.

Is Aztem registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Other registrations:
    • Aztem is a Victorian incorporated association (VIC A0019358F).
    • For GST
    • The absence of a business name means that Aztem must use its full name on all documents and publications.
    • It operates in Australia, at least per the ACNC Register, only in New South Wales. It therefore does not need an ARBN registration.
    • Aztem doesn’t have a fundraising licence in any of the seven states that have a licensing regime[2].

What do they do?

  • ‘(O)ur organisation supports Aussie Tentmakers to live and witness overseas.’
  • See the website for more information.
  • This is they report on 2016’s ‘activities and outcomes’ (in the AIS 2016):
    • Activities conducted by Aztem achieve our purpose by providing a range of services for Australians who undertake international work assignments. As individuals and their families have a wide range of professional skills, and go to different country destinations and work roles, we offer individual mentoring. Mentoring covers a wide range of life and work matters; begins in the pre-departure phase, and continues with ongoing mentoring. This covers advice, resources, networking with others engaged in similar roles and pastoral support. Debriefing is provided for those on leave in, or returning to, Australia. We also do some promotion of the benefits of having this type of support among those who may in future undertake international assignments.

Do they share the Gospel [3]?

  • 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 16% of expenses.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA

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

  • Online: NA
  • Via contact with them: ‘Support AZTEM financially to help cover administration costs and also to augment the salaries of tentmakers on assignment when this is necessary.’

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (lodged five months after their year-end).
    • But if you are considering a large donation, I would ask for more up-to-date financial information – the accounts are for a year end that is now over a year ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: Except for the absence of outcomes, yes.
  • Financial Report 2016: NA
    • Not required to submit a financial report to the ACNC (because of its size).
    • Not submitted voluntarily.
    • But Aztem, as a member of Missions Interlink, is required to ‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor [Standards Statement, 4.1][4].
    • Last year I got no response to my request for this statement. I leave it to you this year.

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • NA
    • The AIS 2016 shows a loss of $2K and assets of $3K.
    • And says that they have no employees.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • NA

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

  • Yes

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not shown on the website.
  • Per the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’):
    • Rosalind Gooden
      • Is it this Rosalind Gooden?
    • John Jamieson
    • Richard Lai
    • David Mills
    • Jillian Quartel
    • Merilyn Riley
      • Is it this Merilyn Riley?
    • Grace Tjandraatmadja
    • Paul Wansbrough

To whom are they accountable?

  • To Missions Interlink, as a member. Membership confirmed[5].
  • And to the regulator of Victorian incorporated associations.

 

 

  1. An organisation that, among other things, gives members income tax exemption even though they do not meet the “in Australia” test and do not have deductible gift recipient status.
  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. “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. As an association, the law also requires financial statements that ‘give a true and fair view of the financial position and performance of the association during and at the end of its last financial year’. The constitution repeats this requirement.
  5. For one opinion on the strength of the Missions Interlink accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

Sowers International Australia Incorporated: mini charity review

Mini charity review of Sowers International Australia Incorporated (SI) as an organisation that (a) seeks donations from the public via its website, and (b) is a member of Missions Interlink[1], (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

See here for the previous review.

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • I sent them a draft of this review 8 July 2017. After an initial exchange, they sent the following response to my comments:
    • SIAust raises funds for the work in six African countries and these funds are used to support the work in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mozambique, Uganda and Kenya. SIAust has no paid staff and uses 7% of donations for administration.
      • Reviewer response: This figure cannot be confirmed from financial statements.

The impact is reflected in the annual statistics from these countries. For example, 

From August 2015 to July 2016 in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Kenya, Uganda and Mozambique:

*             459 teams held 2080 open air meetings

*             54,130 people heard the Gospel

*             Over 21,800 people were counselled

*             Over 11,700 people were followed-up

*             More than 4,400 people joined churches with SOWERS teams. Many more joined other churches and

*       55 new churches were planted

Reviewer response: These figures are for ‘SOWERS’ internationally, not SI. SI raises money.

It is Sowers International policy not to include the full name of people on its websites.  Hence under the photo, only the Christian name is shown.  Peter is Peter Gazard, Paul is Paul Mosiejczuk and Ella is Delia Yon.

Reviewer response: The information publicly available on the ACNC Register negates the effectiveness of this policy. (I have told them that they can apply to have the names withheld.)

Is SI registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Other registrations:
    • SI is a NSW incorporated association (No. Y1946305).
    • Not currently registered for GST. This is not an issue until its revenue reaches $150K.
    • The absence of a business name means that SI must use its full name on all documents and publications.
    • It operates in Australia, at least per the ACNC Register, only in New South Wales. It therefore does not need an ARBN registration.
    • SI doesn’t have a fundraising licence in any of the seven states that have a licensing regime[2].

What do they do?

  • From the website:
    • SOWERS International Australia helps local churches in Africa to reach their communities with the gospel through open air meetings.The SOWERS Program trains and equips church teams in culturally appropriate ways to lead people to Christ and disciple the new believers.

Do they share the Gospel [3]?

  • Yes, in conjunction with local churches.

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing systematic found.
    • A couple of stories here – but Sowers internationally rather than just Australia?

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

  • If ‘direct’ is defined as ‘Overseas Ministry Costs’ – which probably include all the costs of both getting overseas and working overseas – then ‘administration’ is 47%.
    • SI gave a figure of 7% in their comments on the draft review (see above). This cannot be confirmed from the financial statements.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (lodged five+ months after their year-end).
    • But if you are considering a large donation, I would ask for more up-to-date financial information – the accounts are for a year end that is now over a year ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: Except for the absence of outcomes, yes.
  • Financial Report 2016: NA
    • Although not required to submit a financial report to the ACNC (because of its size), SI has submitted one anyway. Because it was a voluntary submission, the Report does not need to comply with the ACNC’s requirements.
    • But SI, as a member of Missions Interlink, is required to ‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor [Standards Statement, 4.1]
    • If ‘appropriate’ has any reference at all to what professional accountants do (at least should do), then this Report falls well short of the Missions Interlink requirement.
    • Once again
      • There is no Statement of Changes in Equity.
      • Nearly all the required Notes to the accounts are absent.
      • SI has confused expenses with transfer to reserves.
      • The Statement by Committee is unsigned.
      • There is no reason given for the Committee’s questionable decision – given the public invitation to donate and the dependence on donations – not to produce those statements that are needed by users (and prospective users) who can’t request tailor-made statements.
      • They are using neither the cash basis nor the accrual basis.
      • There is no distinction between current and non-current in the Balance Sheet.
      • There is no explanation why Mission Funds held in Trust (100% of the liabilities) are classified as liabilities.
      • With the Statement of Income and Expenditure
        • The section ‘Other Comprehensive Income’ is missing.
        • The only explanation for 95% of the expenses was that they were ‘Ministry Operating Costs’.
    • The Committee claim compliance with the ‘Charitable Fundraising Act NSW’ yet they are not a licensed fundraiser.

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • No reliable comment can be made.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

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

  • Not quite:
    • The ACNC say that they have yet to select an Entity Subtype.
    • ‘Date established’ is blank.
      • “Phone” and “Website” are blank, but neither are compulsory.

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

  • These (but not online):
    • ‘A NATIONAL SOWER AND HIS MINISTRY: Please state which country.
      • PRINTING: Counselling booklets, contact tracts, manuals, follow-up materials
      • EQUIPMENT: Sketchboard kits,
      • BIBLES for new churches
      • BICYCLES, MOSQUITO NETS, SLEEPING BAGS for Trainers’

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Sometime in 2016 it was the people in this photo on the website.
  • Per the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’):
    • Neil Clark
    • Peter Gazard
      • Is it this Peter Gazard?
    • Wendell Merchant
    • Paul Mosiejczuk
      • Presumably it is this Paul Mosiejczuk?
    • Christine Sexton
    • Selwyn Sexton
    • Geoffrey Tomkinson
    • Delia Yap
  • The website includes ‘Ella’, but the Register has Delia Yap instead.

To whom are they accountable?

  • To Missions Interlink, as a member. Membership confirmed[4].
  • And to the regulator of New South Wales incorporated associations.

 

 

  1. An organisation that, among other things, gives members income tax exemption even though they do not meet the “in Australia” test and do not have deductible gift recipient status.
  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. “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. For one opinion on the strength of the Missions Interlink accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

Hills Alliance Church Incorporated: mini charity review

Mini charity review of Hills Alliance Church Incorporated (HAC), including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask before donating.

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • I sent them a draft of this review on 8 July 2017. On 14 July they said that they did not want to comment.

Is HAC registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a New South Wales incorporated association (INC9874502).
    • For GST.
    • Doesn’t appear to be fundraising, so doesn’t require fundraising licences.
    • Not, at least from the information on the ACNC Register, operating interstate, so doesn’t need an ARBN registration.

What do they do?

  • From its Facebook site, its Mission is
    • To Glorify God by obeying his command to make disciples of all nations” (sic). The Great Commission teaches that we should love God, this is called Worship. We are to love our neighbour as ourselves, this is called service. We are to obey the great commission to preach the Gospel to all peoples, this is called evangelism. We are to obey the Lord Jesus Christ by teaching men to observe all that He taught, this is called discipleship. We understand we will all give an account of our lives at the judgment seat of Christ – so we are to be stewards of all God has entrusted to us. All that we do at Hills Alliance Church inc. Falls under these five headings; Worship, Service, evangelism, Discipleship and stewardship.
  • HAC is a Christian church, a member of the Christian & Missionary Alliance of Australia denomination.
    • The ‘head office’ is a charity, reviewed here.

Do they share the Gospel?

  • Yes

What impact are they making?

  • Nothing 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?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA – none offered.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (lodged six+ months after their year-end).
    • But if you are considering a large donation, I would ask for more 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 2016: No
    • The accounting method given, cash, does not match the financial statements.
    • There are no outcomes given.
    • ‘Email address’ is blank.
    • ‘Donations and bequests’ does not match what’s in the Profit & Loss Statement.
  • Financial Report 2016: NA
    • HAC’s size, ‘Small’, means that it is not required to submit a Financial Report to the ACNC, and they didn’t submit one voluntarily.
    • Nor, for the same reason, is it required to submit financial statements to the state regulator.
    • However, it is required, under the Associations Incorporation Act 2009, to ‘prepare financial statements that give and true and fair view of the association’s affairs’.
    • And it is required, under its constitution, to have those statements audited [section E] by ‘An auditor with suitable accounting qualifications and external to the Board of Deacons’ [Article V].
    • A request for the audited statements to the ‘Charity Address for Service’ got an immediate response from David Benyon (one of the ‘responsible persons, see below): I was told that the accounts for 2016-17 had not been finalized[1], but that I was welcome to use the ‘2015~2016 balance sheet Profit and loss and Audit approval’ (which he attached).
    • The ‘Audit approval’ is a signed Independent Auditors Report for the 2015-16 year dated 1 June 2016; that is, it is an audit completed one month before the year ended![2]

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • Keeping in mind the restriction that the financial situation is described in a Report that falls far short of what should be produced by a professional accountant, and has had a very questionable audit –
    • HAC made a loss of $11K, 8% of ‘Total income’.
    • The largest expense was ‘Total Employment Expenses’, $87K.
      • This was 61% of ‘Total Expenses’.
      • This was, per the AIS 2016, for one full-time and two part-time employees.
    • The second largest expense was ‘Citibank Old Arrears’, $11K. If this was, as its name implies, the repayment of a loan, it is misclassified: it should be a reduction to a liability. (Not such liability exists in the Balance Sheet.)
    • HAC made no donations or gifts (usually called ‘missions’ in a church).
    • Are repayments to the loans under ‘Long-Term Liabilities’ required? If so, the repayments that are due in the next 12 months should be classified as current liabilities.
    • Even without this reclassification, HAC has a significant shortfall in working capital (current liabilities $31K compared to current assets$5K). This is a red flag for the going concern assumption, yet nothing was said by the auditor.
    • Although HAC’s constitution allows it to hold real property[3], HAC belongs to a denomination that has a separate charity, The Christian And Missionary Alliance Development Fund (see ‘Is CMAA registered’ here), that describes its activity as holding and administering properties for its churches.
    • HAC has determined, and the auditor has accepted, that it, not the property trust, owns the land and buildings that it is using.
    • HAC doesn’t have the capacity to repay its loans from current assets or cash flow. If the property is not, as the Balance Sheet implies, at its disposal, then it couldn’t even repay these loans by using the property. Again, there is no comment from the auditor.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • See first ‘Financial Report 2016’, above. There you will see why you should take little comfort from this opinion.
  • In addition
    • The report is on the letterhead of EzyBooks Accounting, a letterhead that also has a logo saying ‘RP’ (see below), and the CPA Australia logo.
    • There is no CPA Australia public practice in that name in the suburb in which EzyBooks has its office.
    • The name that appears under the signature appears to be a combination of two names:
      • The first one is Roshani Priyanga. (The ‘RP’ above?) Although the firm’s website has no names, this service says that she works for them.
      • I cannot find the second, Kahadalwala Ritchie Donna, on the internet. You could check with CPA Australia.

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

  • If there are indeed only three ‘responsible persons’, yes. Otherwise, not quite.
    • ‘Phone’, ‘Email’, and ‘Website’[4] are blank, but none of them are compulsory.

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

  • NA

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not shown on the website or on Facebook.
  • The ACNC Register, under ‘Responsible Persons’, says that it is these people:
    • David Benyon
    • Robert Berry
    • Terrence Davidson
    • If these are the only officers, then HAC is not following its constitution:
      • The officers shall consist of: the Pastor, Associate Pastor and Assistant Pastor where such may be called; Elders; Deacons, including the Treasurer and Missionary Treasurer, Trustees where such are required; and such other officers as the membership may elect [Article VI – Officers].

To whom are HAC accountable?

  • Primarily to the ACNC.
  • But also to the New South Wales associations regulator.

 

 

  1. The audit report was sent to HAC, together with the financial statements, from Account Care Bookkeeping Services.
  2. Even without this issue, this audit should not be relied on. If the auditor is a member of one of the three professional accounting bodies, and this one (or two?) has the CPA Australia logo on the audit, he or she is required to comply with the Australian Auditing Standards. But this audit report falls well short of those requirements. (This is chiefly because ‘a true and fair view’ for a professional accountant means financial statements that comply with the Australian Accounting Standards. These statements are far from compliant with those standards.)
  3. ‘The church may acquire, own, dispose of, improve, encumber and convey property, real and personal, for church purposes, in conformity with the laws of the States or Territories where the property is situated and, where Trustees are requires (sic), they are to be elected by the membership according to the law. Such property may be sold, conveyed, exchanged, or encumbered only by order of the membership through the church Board of Deacons. In States or Territories where Trustees are required, the order of the membership shall proceed through them.’ [Arp[ ticle XIII – Property].
  4. The website, http://www.hillsalliance.org.au/ is a copy of the Facebook news Feed.

International Nepal Fellowship (Australia) Limited: mini charity review

Mini review of International Nepal Fellowship (Australia) Limited (INF) as an organisation that (a) seeks donations online, and (b) is a member of Missions Interlink, an organisation that, among other things, gives members income tax exemption even though they do not meet the “in Australia” test and do not have deductible gift recipient status. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

See here for last year’s review.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • INF have the following statement on their webpage:
    • INF/A is committed to honesty and transparency and is a member of the Australian Council For International Development and a signatory to their Code of Conduct, adhering to high standards of management, public communication and disbursement of funds. INF/A publishes an Annual Report and has a Complaints policy which describes how anyone can confidentially raise concerns about any aspect of INF Australia’s work.
  • When sent a draft of this review, on 20 June 2017, they offered this response on 12 July:
    • INF Australia is grateful for Ted’s comments and feedback and we will use this to improve our reporting and communication as we prepare our accounts for the year just gone. One immediate change is that on the advice of our Auditor, INF will be using a General Purpose reporting format for our accounts this year.

Is INF registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
    • A business name: ‘INF Australia’.
    • INF operates – according to the ACNC Register – in all states except Tasmania.
      • The omission of Tasmania does not match the inclusion of a Tasmanian in the list of state representatives on the website.
    • It also has a public invitation to donate. Since last year’s review it has added a fundraising registration in South Australia to its registrations in New South Wales and Queensland. Four other states have a licensing regime[1].

What do they do?

  • From the top banner on the webpage:
    • INF has existed in Australia for over fifty years to enable Australians to help bring about ‘fullness of life’ for the most marginalised people in Nepal, learning from them and taking encouragement from our partnership.
  • More specifically, from their Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2016:
    • INF Australia works with partners in Nepal to bring about fullness of life for Nepal’s poor and marginalized people, particularly women in remote areas and people with disability. In 2016 we sent $170,000 to improve mother and child health and empower women in Nepal’s remote Jumla district; $86,000 was used to empower people with disability in western Nepal, providing rehabilitation and helping them access their human rights; and $122,000 was used to treat people with leprosy and disability at INF’s Green Pastures Hospital in Pokhara. In addition, we supported 14 Australians using their professional skills and serving as long term volunteers in Nepal. More information can be found on our website: www.inf.org/inf-australia.
  • So INF is principally a fundraising vehicle.
  • There are not 14 people in the online giving options (see below).

Do they share the Gospel?

  • Despite being a member of the ‘INF family’, a family headed by an organisation that has as its taglinea Christian mission serving the physical and spiritual needs of the Nepali people’, INF cannot, since it gained Deductible Gift Recipient Status, share the gospel.

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing found.

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

  • INF claim that 90% of expenses ‘are directly incurred in aiding Nepal projects and programmes’ [page 6, Financial Report].
    • However, these expenses include
      • ‘International Programs – program support costs’ $105K ‘Community Education’ $45K, and
      • ‘Domestic Programs Expenditure’ (i.e. in Australia) $50K
      • So it all depends how you define ‘directly incurred’, and they (still) give no definitions of the line items in the statement.
    • Defining ‘directly incurred’ is defined as ‘money sent to Nepal’, that is, ignoring the fact that some of that money would be used on ‘administration’ after it arrived, is 74% (82% if ‘International Programs – program support costs’ was money spent in Nepal).
  • Using the figure given in the Directors’ Report for ‘Expenditure directly related to our work in Nepal’ the figure is 75%. That’s 25% for ‘administration’.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • The ABN record (via the ACNC Register), says yes. (Both as an organisation and for a fund that it operates, International Nepal Fellowship (Australia) Relief Fund.)
  • The page for Australia on the giving page on the international website says yes.
  • Note 8 in the financial statements says yes.
  • But not according to the Table of Cash Movements For Designated Purposes in the Financial Report (page 13). There is shows that, apart from donations for ‘INF Volunteers’, some donations to ‘Nepal Projects’ were also non-tax deductible. 28% of the total. Why the contradiction?

Is their online giving secure?

  • There’s no giving available from the Australian page, but you can give from the website that hosts the page.
  • On that website, security is not mentioned but the word ‘PayPal’ appears under the bar showing your progress through the donation process, so maybe it is secure.

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

  • Here’s the possibilities that come up on the international website donation page for Australia:
    • ‘Where most needed…’
    • ‘Community Development and Rehabilitation projects’
    • ‘Green Pastures Hospital and other clinical work’
    • ‘Support of I & N Baumann May’
    • ‘Support of the Steven family’
    • ‘Support of the Colville family’
    • ‘Support of the Mcgunnigle Hilder family’
    • ‘Support of C & D Price’
    • ‘Support of Sam Budhathoki’
    • ‘Other project or person…’
    • ‘Smokeless stoves’ (additional to last year)
  • As INF is collecting for overseas organizations, it would not be unreasonable for you to question why it would not be both more efficient and safer for donors to send their money direct to those organisations.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (just over six months after their year-end).
    • But if you are considering a large donation, I would ask for more up-to-date financial information – the accounts are for a year end that is now nearly a year ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: No. Like last year
    • several of the figures in the Income Statement do not match those in the Financial Report, and
    • there are no outcomes given.
  • Financial Report 2016: Questionable
    • The directors, without explaining why, have (again) decided that INF, an organisation that has ‘thousands of Australians’ helping them, earned $1.35 m revenue, including $1.05 m in gifts, operates in seven (eight?) states, and appeals publicly for donations, has no users, either present or prospective, who rely on the financial statements to make decisions. This means that they can produce special purpose financial statements, statements that do not have to comply with all the Accounting Standards.
    • Despite indirectly acknowledging (in Note 9) that the accrual accounting statement of flows should be called a Statement of Comprehensive Income, they have labelled it an Income Statement and omitted any mention of comprehensive income.
    • The accounting treatment of funds sent overseas is both confusing and questionable.
      • In explaining why $390K was transferred to the international organization (INF Limited) and yet classified as still being held by INF, they say that an expense is only incurred ‘when funds have been fully acquitted for by (sic) the project implementation partner’. Has a donation been made to INF Limited, or are they just holding the money for INF? If the first, then the $390K is an expense, and surplus is overstated; if the second, the $390 is ‘cash and cash equivalents’, and ‘Other Financial Assets’ are overstated.
        • Why isn’t the rest of the money sent overseas accounted for in the same way?
        • Another $390K expense would have turned a small surplus into a $348K deficit.
      • Apart from the $390K, the destination of the other monies sent overseas is not given.
        • INF Limited shows only approximately $7K received from INF in 2015-16.
    • Neither the Table of Cash Movements… (placed before the audit report), nor the Supplementary Financial Information (included after the audit report), are marked as being unaudited.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • Surplus as a percentage of revenue declined markedly, from 36% to 3%.
  • Revenue declined 35%, with 93% of this decline due to a drop in ‘Donations and Gifts – Monetary’. There is no explanation in the Financial Report for this, including in the Directors’ Report (which, although included is not required by the ACNC).
  • Liabilities, both short-term and long-term, are minimal.
  • We are told how much money was sent overseas (Financial Report), and for a portion of it, the destination program (AIS 2016). But nowhere are we told which organisations received the money.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion. To take the right amount of comfort for this finding, please read here and here.
    • But he agrees with the directors’ decision to produce that the lower standard special purpose financial statements are appropriate (see ‘Does their reporting..’, above).

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

  • Yes
    • ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank, but neither are compulsory.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • The webpage (middle right) gives the names of eight people.
  • Except for a swop of Catherine Clark for Kate Shepherd (or did she get married?), this is the same list as on the ACNC Register (‘Responsible persons’),
    • Catherine Clark
    • Richard Groves
    • William Hood
    • Worboys Kerrie (names reversed)
    • Johnson Matthew (names reversed)
    • Rudra Paudel
    • Upendra Singh
    • Judd Stephanie (names reversed)

To whom is INF accountable?

  • See second panel from the bottom here on the Australian page of the website for INF’s four memberships. Only the ACFID information mentions accountability, but both Missions Interlink and the government’s Australia AID have some requirements too[2].
  • INF is also accountable to the ACNC.
  • And as a company, to ASIC.

 

 

  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 the Missions Interlink accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students: mini charity review

Mini charity review of Australian Fellowship of Evangelical Students (AFES) as an organisation that seeks donations online, and that is a member of Missions Interlink[1]. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

(For last year’s review, see here.)

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • I sent them a draft of this review on 28 June 2017.  Like last year, they…did not respond.

Is AFES registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
    • AEFS controls[2] another charity, Monash Evangelical Union House Trust.
      • The trustee has said that this is a Basic Religious Charity. But this is only correct if it is unable to be registered under any other ‘Entity Subtype’ than ‘Advancing Religion’, and as the Trust is primarily a property owner, this is doubtful.
      • The classification means that no financial information need be provided to the ACNC.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
      • It is permitted to omit ‘Ltd/Limited’ from its name.
    • AFES does business under the name ‘AFES’. This is not a registered business name.
    • AFES operates (per the ACNC Register) in all eight states. From their statement, in the Financial Report 2016 (see below), that ‘The results of the various Areas have been incorporated into these accounts[3].’, it is reasonable to conclude that AFES raises funds in most, if not all, states. It also has an internet invitation to donate. Combined, these two sources generate $9-10 m p.a. It is at least questionable then, why it still has only the one fundraising licence, in New South Wales.[4].

What do they do?

  • See their website, here.
  • More succinctly, in the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2016:
    • Train and mentor university student (sic) to understand the Bible.
  • The Annual Campus Group Report[5], gives a good idea of the activities of AEFS on campus:
    • How many main meetings do you run per week?
    • Average number attending main meetings per week (total)
    • How many small groups do you run per week?
    • Average small group size
    • Average number attending small groups per week (total)
    • How many from your campus went to NTE [National Training Event] last year?
    • NTE Mission last December: Church attended/No. in team/What did you do on mission
    • Conferences/camps – give details of events your group ran/attended last year

Do they share the Gospel?

  • Yes

What impact are they having?

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

  • There is insufficient disclosure to calculate the split between the direct cost of the what the workers did with students in the universities (the ‘mission’), and the other costs.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • If security is mentioned it is not until after the first page of information has been entered.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (two and a half months after their year-end, two and a half months earlier than last year).
    • But if you are considering a large donation, I would ask for more up-to-date financial information – the accounts are for a year end that is now over nine months ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: No
    • I think the ‘Other names charity is known by…’ section is intended to record registered names; ‘AEFS’ is not such a name.
    • The ‘activities and outcomes’ description is essentially the same as last year, so not helpful as a description of 2016’s activities.
    • No outcomes are given.
  • Financial Report 2016: It contains all the required statements and reports, but
    • Why isn’t the charity they control, Monash Evangelical Union House Trust consolidated? The only mention of the Trust is in a Note, and that only in explanation of reserves[6]. It is not mentioned in the ‘Related Parties’ Note.
    • In the Statement of Income and other (sic) Comprehensive Income, not big things, but
      • Why is ‘Recovery of office costs’ recorded as revenue rather than a reduction of the expense?
      • Why is a long service leave expense ($148K) not included in ‘Staffing Costs’?
      • ‘Other payments to suppliers and Employees (sic)’, at $649K and the third largest expense, is arguably a little large to leave unexplained.
      • There is a mismatch between disclosing ‘Depreciation’ and ‘Amortisation’, both under $30K, and yet leaving ‘Expenses from Conferences and Events’, $1.03 m, unexplained.

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • The surplus as a percentage of income was returned closer to its 2014 level, from 8% to 5%
  • Cash and cash equivalents and financial assets represent approximately seven months of revenue (the same as last year).
  • No obvious issues with either short-term or long-term financial structure.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion[7].

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

  • Yes

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

  • An unspecified number of persons and campuses, and ‘Where most needed’.
    • The universities at which AEFS are represented are listed here (native English speakers), and here (non-native speakers).

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • The composition of the board is explained, but not the members’ names.
  • The ACNC Register, under ‘Responsible Persons’, says that it is these people:

To whom are AEFS accountable?

 

  1. Missions Interlink is an organisation that, among other things, gives members income tax exemption even though they do not meet the “in Australia” test and do not have deductible gift recipient status. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)
  2. The AFES directors are the ‘responsible persons’ of the Trust.
  3. file:///C:/Users/ted/Downloads/Understanding%20Monthly%20Accounts.pdf.
  4. The law in this area is not straightforward – for instance, is an internet invitation ‘fundraising’ – and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
  5. This report doesn’t appear to be available on the public website; I found it via a Google search of the site.
  6. The Trust’s bank deposits are included under ‘Designated Funds’ in the AFES balance sheet, but the property is mentioned only in the Note.
  7. To take the right amount of comfort from a ‘clean opinion’, please read here and here.
  8. For one opinion on the strength of this accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

Transform4Life Inc: mini charity review

Mini charity review of Transform4Life Inc. (T4L) as an organisation that has an online giving facility, and that is a member of Missions Interlink[1]. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

For last year’s review, see here.

Are T4L responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, on 27 June 2017, they…did not respond.  (Additional information about the Financial Report was added after this.)

Is it registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a Victorian incorporated association (No. A0056696F).
    • T4L is not registered for GST. This is not an issue until its revenue reaches $150K.
    • It says that ‘We commonly use the abbreviations Transform4Life and T4L in referring to the association.’ [Financial Report, below]. This is done without the required business name registrations.
    • T4L operates in Australia, according to the ACNC Register, in Victoria only. It therefore does not need an ARBN registration to carry on business interstate.
    • It may need a fundraising licence in Victoria though. It doesn’t have one.

What does T4L do?

  • The ALIVE program and various workshops.
    • For the mission and strategy behind these activities, see here.
  • T4L operates overseas in four countries (the ACNC Register). Half its grants went overseas.
  • What happened in 2016? There are only two newsletters, both for 2017, and the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2016 doesn’t help much:
    • By extending the understanding of the way people can be helped to deal with trauma, and by showing communities the way to support people who are impacted by trauma.

Do they share the Gospel [2]?

  • 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?

  • The expenses are not classified to allow this calculation.
    • $18K grants were made.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Yes

Is their online giving secure?

  • PayPal is used, so yes.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (four months after their year-end).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: Not quite
    • The reported accounting method, cash, does not match the financial statements.
    • The ‘activities’ are a poor description of what happened in 2016.
    • No outcomes are reported.
  • Financial Report 2016: Yes
    • Although not required to submit a financial report to the ACNC (because of its size), T4L chose to submit one voluntarily. The ACNC does require such a submission to comply with its requirements.
    • As a member of Missions Interlink, T4L is required to ‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor [Standards Statement, 4.1].
    • If ‘appropriate’ has any reference to the standards of professional accountants, the Report is materially deficient:
      • The Advisory Board Members (sic) Declaration is missing some essential statements.
      • The Statement of Income and Expenditure uses a long out-of-date format (and therefore is missing a section).
      • There is no Statement of Changes in Equity.
      • The Notes are missing most of those normally included.
      • The audit report is materially different from what is required by the Australian Auditing Standards. For instance,
        • The scope of his audit does not match what Aztem have included in their Report.
        • He contradicts himself on whether he evaluated the appropriateness of the accounting policies chosen by the directors.
        • He has omitted the paragraph that is required because T4L has produced special purpose financial statements.
        • He signed before the directors signed their declaration.

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • With the limitations of the Report in mind (see above) –
    • Using the cash basis of accounting – not accrual accounting – the surplus was measured as $2K, and the amount held at the end of the period $16K.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • The auditor, Brian Bay, a ‘registered company auditor’ and Fellow of the IPA, gave a ‘clean’ opinion. However, because of the deficiencies of the Report (see above) you are entitled to question how much reliance you should place on this opinion.

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

  • Yes
    • “Phone” and “Website” are blank, but neither are compulsory.

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

  • None

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not shown on the website.
  • Per the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’):
    • Susan Coates
      • Is it this Susan Coates?
    • David Dyer
    • Syam Kumpati
    • Chathanattu Philip (round the wrong way?)
    • Ian Pugsley
    • Shwu Chin Woo

To whom is T4L accountable?

  • Not claimed on the website, but it is a member of Missions Interlink.
  • As a registered charity, it is accountable to the ACNC.
  • Also to the New South regulator of incorporated associations.

 

 

  1. Missions Interlink is an organisation that, among other things, gives members income tax exemption even though they do not meet the “in Australia” test and do not have deductible gift recipient status. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)
  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. 

Tahlee Ministries Inc: mini charity review

Mini charity review of Tahlee Ministries Inc (TM) as an organisation that depends on the public for funds, and that is a member of, and has a cross directorship (John Anderson) with, Missions Interlink[1]. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

For last year’s review, see here.

Are TM responsive to feedback?

  • I sent TM a draft of the review on 26 June 2017. Like last year, they did not respond. (That draft has been updated for TM’s later lodgment of their Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2016.)

Is TM registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
    • TM still has another ABN in its name. Not a charity – leftover from some earlier venture?
  • Other registrations:
    • As a NSW incorporated association (Y2385120).
    • TM operates in Australia, according to the ACNC Register, in New South Wales only. It therefore does not need an ARBN registration to carry on business interstate.
    • Although it has not shown them on their ABN record, and only one is on the ACNC Register entry, TM has two registered business names: Tahlee Bible College and Port Stephens College. However, neither one is needed– both these organisations are charities in their own right (see below).
    • The New South Wales Act governing fundraising – except Sec 48 – does not apply to TM[2] (it is a prescribed organization by regulation.)
      • And it would only have to register in the other six states that have a licensing regime if they held that the invitation to give on the internet was ‘fundraising’.
    • There are two other charities operating from the same address and with some or many of the same ‘Responsible Persons’ as TM:
      • Tahlee Bible College
        • TM’s constitution defines the College as ‘the trading name for training and education programmes of the organisation’.
        • The College was four months late in submitting its Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2015 (an improvement on seven months last year).
        • It still hasn’t selected an Entity Subtype.
      • Port Stephens College
        • The College is 12 months late in submitting its AIS 2015, and the AIS 2016 is now due as well.
      • Whether, and to what extent, these charities have been consolidated, is unclear (see below).
      • TM has not taken advantage of the ACNC’s group reporting concessions.
    • There are also two TM charities that have had their registration revoked by the ACNC:

What does TM do?

  • See their website, here.
  • Their AIS 2016 doesn’t help much with the particulars of what happened in 2016:
    • Offering training, Christian education, camps.

Do they share the Gospel [3]?

  • 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?

  • The expenses are not classified to allow this calculation.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No.
    • You can, however, get one for a donation to either of the two funds that belong to Tahlee Bible College.

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (but four days late, 6+ months after their year-end.)

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: No
    • Only four of the figures match those in the financial statements.
    • They incorrectly say that general purpose financial statements were prepared.
    • The ‘activities’ are a poor description of what happened in 2016.
    • No outcomes are reported.
  • Financial Report 2016: No
    • A cash flow statement has not been included.
    • The Directors’ Declaration is incomplete and unsigned.
    • The Consolidated Profit and Loss Statement is materially incorrect.
    • The directors give no reason for saying that TM is not a reporting entity.
    • The financial statements are described as ‘consolidated financial statements’, but the entities that have been consolidated have not been identified.
    • Not all the Accounting Standards required by law for special purpose financial statements have been followed.
    • The Notes to the accounts omit most of what is required.
    • Many of the 2015 figures, without explanation, do not match those published last year.
    • TM does not have any internal controls in place to ensure that all donations that are received make their way into the charity’s bank account.

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • The state of the Report (see above) gives an insufficient basis for commenting reliably.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • Given the issues with the financial statements above, you would be entitled not to put too much store in the fact that the auditor, Ashley Dorse of A J Dorse Accounting, gave a ‘clean’ opinion.
    • Especially as Ashley is not a Registered Auditor, a registration that is required in order to conduct an audit on TM (a ‘Medium’ charity).

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

  • No.
    • An Entity Subtype still hasn’t been selected.
    • A business name is missing.

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

  • NA

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not shown on the website.
  • Per the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’):
    • John Anderson
    • Kathryn Bolte
    • Wayne Forward
    • Fraser Hannam
    • Peter Romanowski
    • Betty Stanbury
    • There are 29 directorships recorded for the name ‘John Anderson’.  And the register only covers charities, not all not-for-profits, and of course no for-profit organisations.  Therefore, if after eliminating the charities for which John 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 are TM accountable?

  • Not claimed on the website, but they are a member of Missions Interlink.
    • One of the directors of TM (and the other two TM charities), John Anderson, is part of the National Leadership Team and on the board of Missions Interlink (Australian Evangelical Alliance).
  • As a registered charity, they are accountable to the ACNC.
  • Also to the New South Wales regulator of incorporated associations.

 

 

 

  1. Missions Interlink is an organisation that, among other things, gives members income tax exemption even though they do not meet the “in Australia” test and do not have deductible gift recipient status. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)
  2. Except Sec 48.
  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. 

Youth With A Mission Bryon Bay Incorporated: mini charity review

Mini charity review of Youth With A Mission Bryon Bay Incorporated (YBB) as an organisation that has an online option for you to donate to it, and that is a member of Missions Interlink[1]. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

See here for the previous review.

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • I sent them a draft of this review 26 June 2017. Like last year, they…did not respond.

Is YBB registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • YBB is a NSW incorporated association (INC9889230)[2].
  • The name by which they are commonly known, YWAM Byron Bay, is not a registered business name.
  • Operates in Australia, per the ACNC Register, in New South Wales only. But also invites donations on the internet. Not registered for fundraising in any of the seven states that have a fundraising licence regime[3].

What do they do?

  • See the main menu items ‘DTS’ (Discipleship Training School), ‘SOE’ (School of Evangelism), and About/Ministries.
    • A DTS may take a trip overseas:
      • each school finds out on there (sic) school which specific countries and missions they will be able to chose (sic) from/ do. But the base here in Byron has connections and a heart for many of the east Asian countries like Indonesia, east Timor, Cambodia, PNG – & sometimes Thailand & India.
        • This is a different list of countries to the one that is on the ACNC Register.

Do they share the Gospel?

  • Yes.

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing systematic found. You may find one or two anecdotal accounts of impact in the blog.

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

  • The classification of expenses does not allow a split between direct and indirect – however ‘direct’ is defined.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Not to YBB itself, but to the Youth With A Mission Byron Bay Building and Maintenance Fund, yes.
    • There is no mention of this fund on the website or in the Financial Report.

Is their online giving secure?

  • PayPal is used, so yes.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (seven and a half months after their year-end, one and a half months beyond the final date).
    • But if you are considering a large donation, I would ask for more up-to-date financial information – the accounts are for a year end that is now over 14 months ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: No
    • Several of the financial figures do not match those in the financial statements.
    • No outcomes are reported.
    • Is the description of ‘activities’ about 2015?
  • Financial Report 2015: No
    • Like last year
      • There is no audit report.
      • Two of the four required financial statements are missing.
      • The Directors’ Declaration is unsigned.
      • The Detailed Profit and Loss Statement uses a long out-of-date format.
      • Many of the usual Notes are missing.
      • The directors don’t say why an organization that recruits students from all over the world would not properly be a reporting entity. (This allows them to produce the lower standard special purpose financial statements.)

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • Too much information is missing to reliably comment.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • There is no auditor’s report included. In fact, there is nothing in the Financial Report to suggest that an audit was performed.

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

  • Yes
    • “Phone” and “Website” are blank, but neither are compulsory.

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

  • ‘Application Fee’
  • ‘Enrollment Deposit’
  • ‘Other Donations’
    • The purpose can be recorded
  • ‘School Fees’
  • ‘Staff Fees’
    • Not explained anywhere.
  • The revenue items don’t quite match this list.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not shown on the website, but from the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’):
    • Steven Clark
    • Susan Clark
    • Kevin Stickl
    • Tiffany Stickly (Stickl?)
    • If these four are two couples (which I think they are), this board, with one fewer directors than last year, has become less diverse.
      • It is questionable wisdom to have one couple in a board of four for an organization taking public money, but two is definitely a bad practice.
    • Diversity would be greatly improved if YBB was following its constitution and the committee had the required seven (7) members.

To whom are YBB accountable?

 

 

  1. Missions Interlink is an organisation that, among other things, gives members income tax exemption even though they do not meet the “in Australia” test and do not have deductible gift recipient status. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)
  2. Not, as they say on their ABN record, an ‘Other Unincorporated Entity’.
  3. 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.
  4. For one opinion on the strength of this accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

Youth With A Mission Darwin Inc: mini-charity review

Mini-review of Youth With A Mission Darwin Inc[1] (YWAMD) as an organisation that (a) seeks donations online, and (b) is a member of Missions Interlink, an organisation that, among other things, gives members income tax exemption even though they do not meet the “in Australia” test and do not have deductible gift recipient status. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

See here for the previous review.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • I sent them a draft of this review on 25 June 2017. Like last year, they…did not respond.

Is YWAMD registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • YWAMD is a Northern Territory incorporated association (No. 01556C).
  • The trading name Youth With A Mission Darwin is missing here; however, YWAMD needs a business name to continue to operate under any name other than the full name.
    • Neither its name without ‘Inc/Incorporated’, nor the name it uses on the website and elsewhere, YWAM Outback, are registered.
  • YWMD doesn’t have a fundraising licence in any of the seven states that have a licensing regime. (No licence is necessary in their home state.) [2]

What do they do?

  • See here on the website.

Do they share the Gospel [3]?

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?

  • The limited financial information available does not allow even an estimate of this.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • According to YWAMD’s ABN record, not to YWAMD generally, but yes if you give to the Youth With A Mission Darwin Inc School Building Fund.
    • This Fund is not mentioned on the website. Nor is tax deductibility.

Is their online giving secure?

  • PayPal is used, so yes.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (over 10 months after their year-end, which was over four months after the final date for submission).
    • But if you are considering a large donation, I would ask for more up-to-date financial information – the accounts are for a year end that is now nearly 18 months ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: Not quite.
    • The response to ‘activities and outcomes’ reads as a description of what YYAMD does generally, not what it did in 2016.
    • No outcomes are given.
  • Financial Report 2016: NA
    • Its rating as “Small” means that it doesn’t have to submit a Financial Report. (And it chose not to submit one voluntarily.)
    • Its constitution requires audited accounts, as does its membership of Missions Interlink:
      • Each constituent shall have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor [Standards Statement, 4.1].
    • I asked for the financial statements last year, but got no reply. I will leave it to you to ask this year.

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • NA
    • From the (unaudited) information in the AIS 2016:
      • No overseas grants made. (YWAMD say, on the ACNC Register, that they operate in Thailand and Timor-Leste.)
      • Local grants were less than one percent of expenses.
      • A deficit of 6% of revenue was recorded, but equity is still healthy.
      • Minimal liabilities.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • NA

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

  • No, only one ‘responsible persons’ is shown.
  • Missing, but not compulsory: “Phone” and “Website”.
  • Missing, but of little consequence: their trading name.

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

  • None

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • There is no mention of the committee on the website.
  • There is meant to be, according to the constitution, at least four committee members. However, there’s still only one, Jennifer Keatch, shown on the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’).
  • Australian Mercy says that David Skeat is a director.

To whom is YWAMD accountable?

 

 

  1. The name by which they are commonly known, YWAM Gold Coast, is not registered.
  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. “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. YWAMD, like other YWAMs, promotes the The Seven Spheres of Influence (or Seven Mountains of Culture). Dominionism is the theology.
  5. For one opinion on the strength of this accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

Youth With A Mission Gold Coast Inc: mini-charity review

Mini-review of Youth With A Mission Gold Coast Inc[1] (YGC) as an organisation that (a) seeks donations online[2], and (b) is a member of Missions Interlink, an organisation that, among other things, gives members income tax exemption even though they do not meet the “in Australia” test and do not have deductible gift recipient status. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

See here for the previous review.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, on 24 June 2017, they…did not respond.

Is YGC registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • As a Queensland incorporated association (IA36004).
  • YGC operates, per the ACNC Register, in New South Wales and Queensland. It also has on online donation invitation. It is not registered for fundraising in any of the seven states that have a fundraising licence regime[3].

What do they do?

  • They conduct ‘DTS’ and other schools for Christians (see ‘YWAM DTS’ and ‘Training’ in the main menu), and have various ministries to non-believers.

Do they share the Gospel [4]?

  • Sharing the Gospel is not explicitly included in the its objects (in the constitution). Their description of some of their ministries suggests that the Gospel is shared, but again these are substantially about good deeds.

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?

  • The classification of expenses does not allow a split between direct and indirect – however ‘direct’ is defined.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • According to YGC’s Government ABN record, yes, both to YGC itself and to its fund, Youth With A Mission Gold Coast Inc Trust.
    • Not according to YGC though. They say that tax deductible donations are only available for donations ‘to YWAM Gold Coast through our Building Fund
      • This is the only reference to this fund on the website or in the Financial Report.
      • There is no reference to the Trust in either place.

Is their online giving secure?

  • Westpac’s PayWay is used, so yes.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (four months after their year-end).
    • But if you are considering a large donation, I would ask for more up-to-date financial information – the accounts are for a year end that is now over 16 months ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: Not quite.
    • The response to ‘activities and outcomes’ reads as a description of what YGC has done since its inception, not what it did in 2016.
    • No outcomes are given.
  • Financial Report 2015: No.
    • It is still missing
      • Two of the four required financial statements.
      • the Directors’ Declaration.
      • The Notes to the accounts.
    • The Detailed Profit and Loss Statement again uses a long out-of-date format.
    • And this year it is also missing the audit report.

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • Too much missing information make a reliable assessment.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • NA

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

  • No, only two ‘responsible persons’ are shown.
  • Not incomplete, but still incorrect: the year end is 30 April, not 30 June.
  • Missing, but not compulsory: “Phone”.
  • Not incomplete, but confusing: “Website” gives the address of a second website for YGC.

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

  • On this page:
    • Thank you for your generous support and involvement with YWAM Gold Coast. If you’d like to make a credit card payment for an application fee, course fees or make a donation to a staff, student, or the general work of YWAM Gold Coast, please click the Pay/Donate button below. 
    • But there is no such button.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • They are not shown on the website.
  • The constitution requires a minimum of three, yet there are still only two shown on the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’):

To whom are YGC accountable?

 

 

  1. The name by which they are commonly known, YWAM Gold Coast, is not registered.
  2. YGC has two websites: www.ywamgoldcoast.com.au and www.ywamgc.org. The second, the one that is on the ACNC Register, has two buttons that should lead to an online giving form but are dead. In fact, all the buttons on the home page were dead when I was there.
  3. 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.
  4. 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. 
  5. For one opinion on the strength of this accountability, see the section Activities in this review.