Lake Gwelup Christian Church Inc.: charity review

This is a review in the series ‘Members of Missions Interlink’, Missions Interlink being ‘the Australian network for global mission[1]. ‘Lake Gwelup Christian Church’ is one such member.

Both Members and Associates have to accept a set of standards, the introduction to which includes this statement:

http://tedsherwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/word-image-20.png

I sent a draft of this review to the charity on 17 May 2109. They did not respond.

The charities’ regulator, the ACNC, in their article, Donating to Legitimate Charities, gives “some things to consider to help you make sure your donation is going where it is intended”:

  1. Check the charity’s name.
  2. Ask for identification from anyone seeking a donation.
  3. Be careful of online requests for donations.
  4. No tax deduction doesn’t mean the charity is not a legitimate one.
  5. Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.

Here are the results for ‘Lake Gwelup Christian Church’, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[2].

  1. A search on the ACNC Register of charities gives a charity with the name Lake Gwelup Christian Church Inc. (LGCC). The website address given on the Register entry for that charity shows that it is the same organisation[3].
  2. As a church, it is unlikely that LGCC uses third party fundraisers. There is no mention of them on the website.
  3. The web address does not begin with ‘https’ and there is not “a closed padlock symbol next to the web address in the address bar”, so the website is not secure [the ACNC article above]. However, as there is no online giving facility, this is not a concern.
  4. The Australian Business Register (linked from LGCC’s ACNC Register record), says that the charity is not entitled to receive tax deductible gifts. It is, however, a legitimate charity.
  5. Objectives / Mission

Nothing on the website.

From the Constitution (Governing document, ACNC Register):

Does this cover a joint venture with an aged-care provider?

Activities

Other than via some of the blog posts, nothing on the website.

From the AIS 2018 (although this is not particularly about 2018):

Sharing the Gospel[4]?

Yes

Locations

LGCC operates in Australia, per the ACNC Register, only in Western Australia.

The overseas country countries to which LGCC sent the $59K are not shown on the Register.

How it says it uses donations

The audited account of how donations are used is the Financial Report 2018 on the ACNC Register.

But this matters not, for if you are reading here to get financial information about the LGCC, then you are in the wrong place:  the directors have effectively said [Note 1 to the accounts] that you can ring the office and ask them to prepare a report to answer your questions[5].

Here’s the expenses that made double figures in what they submitted for the purposes of their enabling legislation and the ACNC Act (Note 1]:

Depreciation                                        124,011

Salaries                                                102,651

Reach Global Partner Support        55,342

Sensory Garden Expenses                13,845

Insurances                                           12,375

          Interest on Betahanie (sic) Loan     11,693

The destination of the ‘Partner Support’ is not given.

Outcomes / impact

Nothing found.

 

 

  1. https://missionsinterlink.org.au/about/
  2. Focus on the nature of the charity’s work, its beneficiaries and the impact the charity is having in the community.Is it clear what the charity is trying to achieve and how its activities work towards its objectives?Would you like to spend your money, or time if volunteering, to support these objectives?

    Is the charity being transparent about its activities? [A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering].

  3. As associations may either be incorporated or unincorporated, LGCC must, unless it has a business name registered, use its full name. It has no business name registered. The website does not use the full name.
  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. This is by virtue of the fact that they have said that LGCC is not a ‘reporting entity’, that is, there are no users who need a regulator to ensure that they get the information they need in order to make decisions about LGCC. With a church congregation that gives $261K [Financial Report 2018], 25 volunteers [AIS 2018], and aged care residents whose facility is partly owned by LGCC, this is very doubtful.

 

Refugee Connect Ltd: charity review

This is a review in the series ‘Members of Missions Interlink’, Missions Interlink being ‘the Australian network for global mission[1]. ‘Refugee Connect Ltd’ is one such member, and an organisation that seeks donations online.

Both Members and Associates have to accept a set of standards, the introduction to which includes this statement:

http://tedsherwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/word-image-20.png

I sent Refugee Connect a draft of this review on 16 May 2019. This resulted in a phone from them on 20 May, and then an email giving them links to some information that would help them, and a request to submit their comments by 24 May 2019. I did not hear from them again.

The charities’ regulator, the ACNC, in their article, Donating to Legitimate Charities, gives “some things to consider to help you make sure your donation is going where it is intended”:

  1. Check the charity’s name.
  2. Ask for identification from anyone seeking a donation.
  3. Be careful of online requests for donations.
  4. No tax deduction doesn’t mean the charity is not a legitimate one.
  5. Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.

Here are the results for ‘Refugee Connect Ltd, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[2].

  1. A search on the ACNC Register of charities gives a charity with that name (Refugee Connect).
  2. As a ‘Small’ charity, one would not expect Refugee Connect to use third party fundraisers.  And there is nothing to suggest that they do.
  3. The “web address begins with ‘https’” and there is “a closed padlock symbol next to the web address in the address bar”, so the website is secure [the ACNC article above].  On the giving page it says, ‘Donations are processed through a secure payment processorbut no basis for that claim is given.
  4. The Australian Business Register (linked from Refugee Connect’s ACNC Register record), says that the charity is entitled to receive tax deductible gifts. This matches what it says on the donations page.
  5. Objectives / Mission

From the Constitution (Governing document, ACNC Register):

Activities

How it says it uses donations

The audited account of how donations are used is the Financial Report 2018 on the ACNC Register. Although Refugee Connect is, by virtue of its size for reporting, not obliged to lodge one, it has chosen to do so.

Voluntary Reports do not need to comply with the ACNC Act. And this one doesn’t.

But this matters not, for if you are reading here to get financial information about the Refugee Connect, then you are in the wrong place:  the directors have effectively said [Note 1 to the accounts] that you can ring the office and ask them to prepare a report to answer your questions[3].

Impact

Nothing found.

 

  1. https://missionsinterlink.org.au/about/
  2. Focus on the nature of the charity’s work, its beneficiaries and the impact the charity is having in the community.Is it clear what the charity is trying to achieve and how its activities work towards its objectives?

    Would you like to spend your money, or time if volunteering, to support these objectives?

    Is the charity being transparent about its activities? [A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering].

  3. The Report “is a special purpose financial report which has been prepared to fulfill the director’s responsibilities under the Collections Act 1966.”

 

Canberra Baptist Church: charity review

This is a review of the organisation ‘Canberra Baptist Church’, principally for existing givers and those considering giving.

I sent a draft of this review to the church on 15 May 2019. They did not respond.

The charities’ regulator, the ACNC, in their article, Donating to Legitimate Charities, gives “some things to consider to help you make sure your donation is going where it is intended”:

  1. Check the charity’s name.
  2. Ask for identification from anyone seeking a donation.
  3. Be careful of online requests for donations.
  4. No tax deduction doesn’t mean the charity is not a legitimate one.
  5. Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.

Here’s the results for ‘Canberra Baptist Church’, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[1].

1.  A search on the name ‘Canberra Baptist Church’ on the ACNC Register of charities leads to a registered charity in the name Baptist Church Canberra (Canberra Baptist). This is because the Church has recorded, on the Register, Canberra Baptist Church as another name by which it is known[2].

2.  One would not expect a church to use third party collectors, and there is nothing to indicate that Canberra Baptist does.

3.  The web address begins with ‘https’, and there is a “closed padlock symbol next to the web address in the address bar”, so the website is secure [the first ACNC article above]. However, you will not need to rely on it as there is no online giving facility.

4.  The Australian Business Register (linked from Canberra Baptist’s ACNC Register record), says that the charity is not entitled to receive tax deductible gifts. It is, however, a legitimate charity.

5. Objectives/Mission

From the website:

Activities

See ‘Ministries’.

Sharing the Gospel[3]?

Yes

Locations

Canberra Baptist operates in Australia, per the ACNC Register, only in the ACT.

No overseas countries are listed; whether this is correct depends on whether Canberra Baptist sends money overseas, something that cannot be confirmed from the ACNC Register information (see below).

How the mission and activities translated into dollars spent

Canberra Baptist’s size for reporting purposes, ‘Medium’, would normally mean that there is a Financial Report on the ACNC Register. But Canberra Baptist has taken full advantage of the concessions allowed it as a Basic Religious Charity. So, no Financial Report, and no financial information in the AIS 2018.

There is, however, an unaudited Financial Summary for Year Ended 30 June 2018[4] in the 2018 Annual Report [ACNC Register]. Here are the items in either ‘Expenditure – General Fund’ or ‘Expenditure – Missions and Others’ that made double figures:

Ministers’ Costs – Stipends                                   144,282

Office Manager                                                           37,775

Major Maintenance Reserve[5]                               33,777

Insurance and Workers Compensation                22,121

Global Interaction (ABMS)                                     14,500

Community Centre                                                    13,731

NSW Baptist Co op Program                                 13,000

Electricity / Gas                                                         10,517

These two categories of ‘Expenditure’ together totaled exactly the same as ‘Total Income, giving a ‘Surplus for the Year’ of zero[6]. What then is the section over the page in the Financial Summary?

From the ACNC Register, these are the people responsible for this decision (and all decisions):

Alan Howe

Belinda Groves

Churcher Peter (sic)

Ian Joyce

James Carter

John Higgins

Kathryn Joyce

Merilyn Carey

Nanda Vernon

Paul Falconer

Peter Churcher (included twice?)

Phillip Hingley

Wendy Holland

Belinda Groves is one of the ‘Ministers’; the other, Martin Reilly, appears not to be on the board.

Outcomes/impact

Nothing found on outcomes or impact.

 

 

  1. Focus on the nature of the charity’s work, its beneficiaries and the impact the charity is having in the community.Is it clear what the charity is trying to achieve and how its activities work towards its objectives?Would you like to spend your money, or time if volunteering, to support these objectives?

    Is the charity being transparent about its activities? [A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering].

  2. Canberra Baptist does not have Canberra Baptist Church registered as a business name. It has that name as a trading name, but trading names do not meet the requirements of a registered business name.
  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. This report does not comply with the Australian Accounting Standards, but the Church’s governing document [“Standing Orders”, ACNC Register] does not require such compliance.
  5. This is not a legitimate charge against revenue.
  6. Which is unusual.

 

Tuggeranong Baptist Church Inc: charity review

This is a review of the organisation ‘Tuggeranong Baptist Church’, principally for existing givers and those considering giving. This church has an invitation to give to it online.

I sent a draft of this review to the church on 15 May 2019. They did not respond.

The charities’ regulator, the ACNC, in their article, Donating to Legitimate Charities, gives “some things to consider to help you make sure your donation is going where it is intended”:

  1. Check the charity’s name.
  2. Ask for identification from anyone seeking a donation.
  3. Be careful of online requests for donations.
  4. No tax deduction doesn’t mean the charity is not a legitimate one.
  5. Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.

Here’s the results for ‘Tuggeranong Baptist Church’, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[1].

1.  A search on the name ‘Tuggeranong Baptist Church’ on the ACNC Register of charities leads to a registered charity in the name Tuggeranong Baptist Church Incorporated (Tuggeranong Baptist). The email address given on the Register entry for that charity shows that it is the same organisation[2].

2.  One would next expect a church to use third party collectors, and there is nothing to indicate that Tuggeranong Baptist does.

3.  The web address begins with ‘https’, and there is a “closed padlock symbol next to the web address in the address bar”, so the website is secure [the first ACNC article above]. The donation page leads to ‘iGive Church Offerings’, a service of ‘Baptist Financial Services’. That page does not mention the security of your information.

4.  The Australian Business Register (linked from Tuggeranong Baptist’s ACNC Register record), says that the charity is not entitled to receive tax deductible gifts. It is, however, a legitimate charity.

5.  Objectives/Mission

Nothing found on the website.

From the Constitution [Governing document, ACNC Register]:

Activities

See here.

What they did in 2018 (from the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2018):

Sharing the Gospel[3]?

Yes

Locations

Tuggeranong Baptist operates in Australia, per the ACNC Register, only at 23 Garratt Street Wanniassa in the ACT.

And overseas, because it sends money to a missionary there, Uganda.

How the mission and activities translated into dollars spent

The audited account of how donations are used is the Financial Report 2018 on the ACNC Register. Are you one of Tuggeranong Baptist’s 21 volunteers [AIS 2018]? Perhaps you intend to donate or are one of the people who gave $236K [AIS 2018][4].  Can you ring Tuggeranong Baptist’s office and request that they prepare financial statements that answer the question or questions you have about the charity?  Highly unlikely.  So, you are a user who depends on general purpose financial statements. Yet the members of the Committee, with the agreement of the auditor[5f], say that you don’t exist:

So, the financial statements have not been drawn up to suit you.  Why, then, would you rely on them? 

Should you still choose to do so, here is where the $515K income went (with last year’s in the second column):

There were two full time equivalent employees [AIS 2018]. That’s average remuneration of $91K.

No explanation is given for the very large increase in ‘Administration expense’ or ‘Maintenance and cleaning costs’. 

How is ‘Tithe expended’ any different from all the other uses of the giving?

In addition to the use of special purpose financial statements, there is an issue with the donations amount: it was what was recorded, not necessarily what was received.  The Committee thought it ‘impractical’ to put in place the internal controls to ensure that the cash that was given to the Church made it into the bank account, and then into the books[8].  So, the auditor was unable to give a ‘clean’ opinion, but qualified the accounts:

The ACNC Register says that these are the people who made this decision (and the one about the type of financial statements):

Craig Leon

Ian Reid

Marian Ashford

Michael Ashford

Mona Young

Paul Massen

Robert James (Ashford and Young are additional to those shown on the website.)

Outcomes/impact

Nothing systematic on outcomes or impact was found.

 

 

  1. Focus on the nature of the charity’s work, its beneficiaries and the impact the charity is having in the community.Is it clear what the charity is trying to achieve and how its activities work towards its objectives?

    Would you like to spend your money, or time if volunteering, to support these objectives?

    Is the charity being transparent about its activities? [A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering].

  2. As associations may either be incorporated or unincorporated, Tuggeranong Baptist’s enabling legislation provides that it must use its full name when dealing with the public:

    The website contravenes this. (Tuggeranong Baptist does not have a business name registered.)

  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. From Objective of General Purpose Financial Reporting (SAC2), www.aasb.gov.au: http://tedsherwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/word-image-15.png
  5. John Beard of John Beard Audit. (It is John who is the Registered Auditor. ‘John Beard Audit’ is a trading name that is not registered when it should be registered.)
  6. There are among the small minority of Committees who think this way.

 

Emmanuel Independent Baptist Church Inc: charity review

This is a review of the organisation ‘Emmanuel Independent Baptist Church’, principally for existing givers and those considering giving.

I sent a draft of this review to the church on 15 May 2019. They did not respond.

The charities’ regulator, the ACNC, in their article, Donating to Legitimate Charities, gives “some things to consider to help you make sure your donation is going where it is intended”:

  1. Check the charity’s name.
  2. Ask for identification from anyone seeking a donation.
  3. Be careful of online requests for donations.
  4. No tax deduction doesn’t mean the charity is not a legitimate one.
  5. Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.

Here’s the results for ‘Emmanuel Independent Baptist Church’, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[1].

1.  A search on the name ‘Emmanuel Independent Baptist Church’ on the ACNC Register of charities leads to a registered charity in the name Emmanuel Independent Baptist Church Inc. (Emmanuel Baptist). The email address given on the Register entry for that charity shows that it is the same organisation[2].

2.  One would not expect a church to use third party collectors, and there is nothing to indicate that Emmanuel Baptist does.

3.  No website was found.

4.  The Australian Business Register (linked from Emmanuel Independent Baptist’s ACNC Register record), says that the charity is not entitled to receive tax deductible gifts. It is, however, a legitimate charity.

5. Objectives/Mission

From the ACNC Register entry:

Activities

The section on activities in the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2018, although meant to describe what happened in 2018, is the same as above.

Sharing the Gospel[3]?

Yes

Locations

Emmanuel Independent Baptist operates in Australia, per the ACNC Register, in both NSW and ACT. From the Notes in the Financial Report, the ‘principal place of business’ is 60 Fullager Crescent Higgins, but no explanation was found for the inclusion of NSW.

The Church also operates, again per the ACNC Register, in Mexico, Philippines, Thailand, and Tonga. The AIS 2018 says that 17K was sent overseas, so presumably these are the destinations (the Financial Report just gives the destination as ‘Missions’).

How the mission and activities translated into dollars spent

Because of its size for reporting, ‘Small’, Emmanuel Independent Baptist does not need to lodge a Financial Report. It has, however, chosen to lodge one.

If you are reading here to get financial information about the Church, then you are in the wrong place: the directors have effectively said [Note 1 to the accounts] that you can ring the office and ask them to prepare a report to answer your questions.

The directors, from the ACNC Register, are these people:

Ian Stevens

Jackson Maifiti

Kurt Stevens

Outcomes/impact

Nothing on outcomes or impact was found.

 

  1. Focus on the nature of the charity’s work, its beneficiaries and the impact the charity is having in the community.Is it clear what the charity is trying to achieve and how its activities work towards its objectives?

    Would you like to spend your money, or time if volunteering, to support these objectives?

    Is the charity being transparent about its activities? [A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering].

  2. As associations may either be incorporated or unincorporated, Emmanuel Independent Baptist’s enabling legislation provides that it must use its full name when dealing with the public:
  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.

 

Valley Baptist Church: charity review

This is a review of the organisation ‘Valley Baptist Church, principally for existing givers and those who are considering giving.

I sent a draft of this review to the church on 15 May 2019. They did not respond.

The charities’ regulator, the ACNC, in their article, Donating to Legitimate Charities, gives “some things to consider to help you make sure your donation is going where it is intended”:

  1. Check the charity’s name.
  2. Ask for identification from anyone seeking a donation.
  3. Be careful of online requests for donations.
  4. No tax deduction doesn’t mean the charity is not a legitimate one.
  5. Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.

Here’s the results for ‘Valley Baptist Church’, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[1].

1.  A search on the name ‘Valley Baptist Church’ on the ACNC Register of charities leads to a registered charity in that name (‘Valley Baptist”).

2.  One would not expect a church to use third party collectors, and there is nothing to indicate that Valley Baptist does.

3.  The web address does not begin with ‘https’, and there is no “closed padlock symbol next to the web address in the address bar”, so the website is not secure [the first ACNC article above]. But this matters not, for the Church does not offer an online giving facility.

4.  The Australian Business Register (linked from Valley Baptist’s ACNC Register record), says that the charity is not entitled to receive tax deductible gifts. It is, however, a legitimate charity.

5.  Objectives/Mission

From the website:

And from the footer on the website:

Activities

Nothing on the website.

This section from the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2018 is meant to describe what happened in 2018:

Sharing the Gospel[2]?

Yes

Locations

Valley Baptist operates in Australia, per the ACNC Register, only at 6 Macknight Place Macarthur Dickson in the ACT.

It operates overseas, again per the ACNC Register, in Fiji, Tonga, and Tuvalu.

How the mission and activities translated into dollars spent

Valley Baptist’s size for reporting purposes, ‘Small’, means that it does not need to lodge a Financial Report. It qualifies as a Basic Religious Charity, but is not registered as one. This means that there is financial information in the AIS 2018:

While one might accept the two ‘Grants…’ figures being round amounts, exactly $25K for ‘Other expenses/payments’ is strange. As is exactly $60K for ‘Donations and bequests’ under ‘Revenue/receipts’. And only one volunteer [AIS 2018].

The Constitution [Governing document, ACNC Register] says that the ‘pastor and deacons’ are the people responsible for the decisions, but on both the website and the Register, only one person is mentioned: Frank Tottingham, the Pastor.

Outcomes/impact

Nothing on outcomes or impact was found.

 

 

  1. Focus on the nature of the charity’s work, i+ts beneficiaries and the impact the charity is having in the community.Is it clear what the charity is trying to achieve and how its activities work towards its objectives?

    Would you like to spend your money, or time if volunteering, to support these objectives?

    Is the charity being transparent about its activities? [A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering].

  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.

 

North Canberra Baptist Church: charity review

This is a review of the organisation ‘North Canberra Baptist Church, principally for those who are existing donors, or who are considering donating.

I sent a draft of this review to the church on 15 May 2019. They did not respond.

The charities’ regulator, the ACNC, in their article, Donating to Legitimate Charities, gives “some things to consider to help you make sure your donation is going where it is intended”:

  1. Check the charity’s name.
  2. Ask for identification from anyone seeking a donation.
  3. Be careful of online requests for donations.
  4. No tax deduction doesn’t mean the charity is not a legitimate one.
  5. Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.

Here’s the results for ‘North Canberra Baptist Church’, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[2].

1.  A search on the name ‘North Canberra Baptist Church’ on the ACNC Register of charities leads to a registered charity in that name (‘North Canberra Baptist”).

2. One would not expect a church to use third party collectors, and there is nothing to indicate that North Canberra Baptist does.

3. The web address does not begin with ‘https’, and there is no “closed padlock symbol next to the web address in the address bar”, so the website is not secure [the first ACNC article above]. However, you will not need to rely on it as there is no online giving facility.

4. The Australian Business Register (linked from North Canberra Baptist’s ACNC Register record), says that the charity is not entitled to receive tax deductible gifts. It is, however, a legitimate charity.

5. Objectives/Mission

Nothing on the website.

From the ‘Constitution and Motions in Effect [Governing document, ACNC Register]:

Activities

See ‘Resources’ in the main menu.

Sharing the Gospel[3]?

Yes

Locations

North Canberra Baptist operates in Australia, per the ACNC Register, only in the ACT.

No overseas countries are listed; whether this is correct depends on whether North Canberra Baptist sends money overseas, something that cannot be seen from the ACNC Register information (see below).

How the mission and activities translated into dollars spent

North Canberra Baptist’s size for reporting purposes, ‘Small’, means that it is not obliged to lodge a Financial Report on the ACNC Register. And it hasn’t. In addition, the Church has taken advantage of the concessions allowed it as a Basic Religious Charity, and not provided any financial information in the AIS 2018.

The people responsible for this decision (and all decisions) are the members of the ‘Diaconate’ (Governing document, ACNC Register). They are not identified on the website, but the Responsible People on the Register are Dylan Muir, Gordon Carmichael, and Susan Henderson.

Outcomes/impact

Nothing found on outcomes or impact.

 

 

  1. Focus on the nature of the charity’s work, i+ts beneficiaries and the impact the charity is having in the community.Is it clear what the charity is trying to achieve and how its activities work towards its objectives?

    Would you like to spend your money, or time if volunteering, to support these objectives?

    Is the charity being transparent about its activities? [A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering].

  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.

 

Dickson Baptist Church: charity review

This is a review of the organisation ‘Dickson Baptist Church, principally for those who are existing donors, or who are considering donating.

I sent a draft of this review to the church on 14 May 2019. They did not respond.

The charities’ regulator, the ACNC, in their article, Donating to Legitimate Charities, gives “some things to consider to help you make sure your donation is going where it is intended”:

  1. Check the charity’s name.
  2. Ask for identification from anyone seeking a donation.
  3. Be careful of online requests for donations.
  4. No tax deduction doesn’t mean the charity is not a legitimate one.
  5. Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.

Here’s the results for ‘Dickson Baptist Church’, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[1].

1.  A search on the name ‘Dickson Baptist Church’ on the ACNC Register of charities leads to a registered charity in the name Baptist Memorial Church (Dickson Baptist). This is because the Church has recorded, on the Register, Dickson Baptist Church as another name by which it is known[2].

2. One would not expect a church to use third party collectors, and there is nothing to indicate that Dickson Baptist does.

3. The web address does not begin with ‘https’, and there is no “closed padlock symbol next to the web address in the address bar”, so the website is not secure [the first ACNC article above]. But this matters not, for the Church does not offer an online giving facility.

4. The Australian Business Register (linked from Dickson Baptist’s ACNC Register record), says that the charity is not entitled to receive tax deductible gifts. It is, however, a legitimate charity.

5. Objectives/Mission

From the Constitution [Governing Document, ACNC Register]:

On the website:

Activities

Nothing on the website.

From the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2018:

Sharing the Gospel[3]?

Yes

Locations

Dickson Baptist operates in Australia, per the ACNC Register, only at 133 Cowper Street Dickson in the ACT.

No overseas countries are listed; whether this is correct depends on whether Dickson Baptist sends money overseas, something that cannot be seen from the ACNC Register information (see below).

How the mission and activities translated into dollars spent

Dickson Baptist’s size for reporting purposes, ‘Small’, means that it does not need to lodge a Financial Report. It’s status as a Basic Religious Charity means that it also doesn’t need to provide financial information in the AIS 2018. And it has done neither.

The people who are responsible for that decision (and all decisions) are the ‘Pastors and the Elders of the Church’ [Constitution, page 3]. They are not identified on the website[4].

So, if you are considering membership, you will need to ask the church for the last (audited) accounts if you want to see what they do with your (God’s) money.

Outcomes/impact

Nothing systematic on outcomes or impact was found.

 

 

  1. Focus on the nature of the charity’s work, its beneficiaries and the impact the charity is having in the community.Is it clear what the charity is trying to achieve and how its activities work towards its objectives?Would you like to spend your money, or time if volunteering, to support these objectives?

    Is the charity being transparent about its activities? [A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering].

  2. Dickson Baptist does not have Dickson Baptist Church registered as a business name.
  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. Dickson Baptist have, incorrectly, only put the Pastor’s name, Matthew Glowacki, on the ACNC Register.

 

Hughes Baptist Church: charity review

This is a review of the organisation ‘Hughes Baptist Church, principally for those who are existing donors, or who are considering donating.

I sent a draft of this review to the church on 14 May 2019. They did not respond.

The charities’ regulator, the ACNC, in their article, Donating to Legitimate Charities, gives “some things to consider to help you make sure your donation is going where it is intended”:

  1. Check the charity’s name.
  2. Ask for identification from anyone seeking a donation.
  3. Be careful of online requests for donations.
  4. No tax deduction doesn’t mean the charity is not a legitimate one.
  5. Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.

Here’s the results for ‘Hughes Baptist Church’, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[1].

1.  A search on the name ‘Hughes Baptist Church’ on the ACNC Register of charities leads to a registered charity in the name Baptist Church Hughes (Hughes Baptist[2]). The email address given on the Register entry for that charity shows that it is the same organisation.

Hughes Baptist does not have Hughes Baptist Church registered as a business name. It has a trading name Hughes Baptist Church, but trading names do not meet the requirements of a registered business name.

2. One would not expect a church to use third party collectors, and there is nothing to indicate that Hughes Baptist does.

3. The web address begins with ‘https’, and there is a “closed padlock symbol next to the web address in the address bar”, so the website is secure [the first ACNC article above]. If there is a donation page it is in the private section, ‘Hughes online’.

4. The Australian Business Register (linked from Hughes Baptist’s ACNC Register record), says that the charity is not entitled to receive tax deductible gifts. It is, however, a legitimate charity.

5. Objectives/Mission

From the Constitution:

Although there is no mission directly given on the website, this page says that it is “to share the news about what He [Jesus] did, does and will do for Canberra and its region.”

Activities

See here[3].

Sharing the Gospel[4]?

Yes

Locations

Hughes Baptist operates in Australia, per the ACNC Register, only at 34 Groom Street Hughes in the ACT.

No overseas countries are listed on the Register; whether this is correct depends on whether Hughes Baptist sends money overseas, something that cannot be seen from the ACNC Register information (see below).

How the mission and activities translated into dollars spent

Hughes Baptist’s size for reporting purposes, ‘Medium’, would normally mean that there is a Financial Report on the ACNC Register. But Hughes Baptist has taken full advantage of the concessions allowed it as a Basic Religious Charity. So, no Financial Report, nor any financial information in the AIS 2018.

These are the people responsible for that decision (and all decisions):

Duncan Becsi

Jillian Harding

Nicholas Maill

Paul Hazell

Pui Cheung

Robert Allen

Stephen Freeman

The expectation of members, set out in the Principles of Operation, include the expectation that you will give to the Church:

So, if you are considering membership, you will need to ask the church for the last accounts if you want to see what they do with your (God’s) money.

Outcomes/impact

Nothing systematic on outcomes or impact was found.

 

  1. Focus on the nature of the charity’s work, its beneficiaries and the impact the charity is having in the community.Is it clear what the charity is trying to achieve and how its activities work towards its objectives?

    Would you like to spend your money, or time if volunteering, to support these objectives?

    Is the charity being transparent about its activities? [A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering].

  2. The registration of the church in this name contravenes its Constitution [Governing Document, ACNC Register, clause2.1], which says that the name will be Hughes Baptist Church.
  3. The ‘Description of charity’s activities and outcomes’ in the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2018 is the vision, not 2018’s activities and outcomes.
  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.

Vision Christian Fellowship Inc: charity review

This is a review of the organisation ‘Vision Christian Fellowship’, principally for those who are existing donors, or who are considering donating. The website has an invitation to give to the purchase and fit out of this building[1].

I sent a draft of this review to the church on 13 May 2019. They did not respond.

The charities’ regulator, the ACNC, in their article, Donating to Legitimate Charities, gives “some things to consider to help you make sure your donation is going where it is intended”:

  1. Check the charity’s name.
  2. Ask for identification from anyone seeking a donation.
  3. Be careful of online requests for donations.
  4. No tax deduction doesn’t mean the charity is not a legitimate one.
  5. Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.

Here’s the results for ‘Vision Christian Fellowship’, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[2].

1.  A search on the name ‘Vision Christian Fellowship’ on the ACNC Register of charities leads to a registered charity in the name Vision Christian Fellowship Inc (Vision). The email address given on the Register entry for that charity shows that it is the same organisation[3].

_________________________________________________________

2.  It would be unusual for a church to use third party collectors. There is nothing to indicate that Vision does.

_________________________________________________________

3.  The “web address begins with ‘https’”, there is a “closed padlock symbol next to the web address in the address bar”, so the website is secure [the first ACNC article above]. However, you will not need to test it as there is no online giving facility.

________________________________________________________

4.  The Australian Business Register (linked from Fusion’s ACNC Register record), says that the charity is not entitled to receive tax deductible gifts. Even for its Building Fund. It is, however, a legitimate charity.

_________________________________________________________

5. Objectives/Mission

Nothing found.

Activities

See the main menu item ‘Ministries’.

From the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2018, here what they said they did in 2017-18:

Sharing the Gospel[4]?

Yes

Locations

Vision operates in Australia, per the ACNC Register, only in the ACT (at 60-62 Gladstone Street, Fyshwick).

There’s nothing on the Register, but the countries to which Vision sent the $77K [AIS 2018] should be listed.

How the mission and activities translated into dollars spent

The audited account of how donations are used is the Financial Report 2018 on the ACNC Register. Are you one of Vision’s 150 volunteers [AIS 2018]? Perhaps you intend to donate or are one of the people who gave $706K[5] [AIS 2018][6].  Can you ring Vision’s office and request that they prepare financial statements that answer the question or questions you have about the charity?  Highly unlikely.  Therefore you are dependent on the normal kind of financial statements, general purpose statements. Yet the members of the Committee (see below), with the agreement of the auditor[7], say that you don’t exist:

So, the financial statements have not been drawn up to suit you.  Why, then, would you rely on them? 

There’s another reason why you should be cautious about the statements:  the $706K of donations is what was recorded, not necessarily what was received. The Committee were either unwilling or unable to put in place the internal controls to ensure that the money that you gave made it into the bank account, and then into the books. So, the auditor was unable to give a ‘clean’ opinion, but qualified the accounts:

That’s a qualification on 98% of the revenue.

Should you still choose to do so, here is where the donations went (with last year’s in the second column):

  • There were three full time, two part time, and three casual employees [AIS 2018].

The website does not identify the people – the board – who are responsible for the above situation. But from the ACNC Register, they are:

Alice Thompson

Paul Thompson

Alison Baker

Andrew Baker

Eric Van lerschot

Ruth Van lerschot

Justin Hartley

Kathryn Hartley[8]

Outcomes/impact

Nothing systematic on outcomes or impact was found.

 

 

  1. The cost will be $2 million plus the fit out. I cannot find where it tells donors (a) the expected cost of the fit out, (b) how much they can borrow should the donors not give the total, and (c) what that borrowing would mean for the congregation
  2. Focus on the nature of the charity’s work, its beneficiaries and the impact the charity is having in the community.Is it clear what the charity is trying to achieve and how its activities work towards its objectives?Would you like to spend your money, or time if volunteering, to support these objectives?

    Is the charity being transparent about its activities? [A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering].

  3. As associations may either be incorporated or unincorporated, Vision’s enabling legislation provides that it must use its full name when dealing with the public:The website contravenes this. (Vision do not have a business name registered.)
  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. The giving to the Building Fund is not identified.
  6. From Objective of General Purpose Financial Reporting (SAC2), www.aasb.gov.au: http://tedsherwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/word-image-15.png
  7. Eric Hummer of Synergy Group Audit Pty Limited.
  8. Two of the eight are staff members; with the whole membership from which to choose it is interesting that the board is composed of what appears to be four couples. With selection of board members being made by the existing members, hopefully the conflict of interest was dealt with appropriately.