Capital Healing Rooms: charity review

This is a review of the organisation ‘Capital Healing Rooms’. It was prompted by their response to a social media post inviting contact from charities seeking a five figure plus monthly donation, charities ‘willing to undergo reasonable scrutiny, and be open to change.’ (This donation was subsequently given to ‘Capital Healing Rooms’.)

Feedback

After reading the review, Martyn Ritchard of Capital Healing Rooms suggested a meeting. This meeting resulted in a number of changes to the draft and the comments by the charity you see interspersed below.

Capital Healing Rooms is an organisation that seeks donations online. 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 ‘Capital Healing Rooms’, 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 ‘Capital Healing Rooms’ on the ACNC Register of charities leads to a registered charity in the name Capital Healing Rooms Inc. The bottom of Capital Healing Room’s home page shows this is the same organisation[2].

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2.  Nothing on the website indicates that Capital Healing Rooms uses professional third-party collectors.

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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]. The ‘Donate’ page has a prominent message that ‘CREDIT CARD DONATIONS ARE SECURE AND ENCRYPTED BY STRIPE OR PAYPAL’, supported by the applicable logos of stripe and PayPal.

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4.  The Australian Business Register (linked from Capital Healing Room’s ACNC Register record), says that the charity is entitled to receive tax deductible gifts. This is because it has been granted the status of a ‘public benevolent institution’.

All three pages (here, here, and here) on which there is an invitation to donate say that donations are tax deductible.

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5.  The use of your donations

Mission

This is clear from the home page of the website[3].

Although nowhere mentioned specifically, the religion, Christianity, is clear from the ‘What we believe’ page. More specifically the charismatic Protestant persuasion.

The need for a para-church organisation like Capital Healing Rooms is supported by that fact that it is in its 16th year, is financially supported by three local churches, draws its current prayer team comes from 12 of them.

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Strategies/Activities

A good idea of what they do is gained from the ‘Donate’ page:

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Sharing the Gospel[4]?

There’s nothing explicit saying that they do, but given that they are a Christian prayer service, one would expect the Gospel to be shared when it is appropriate. This testimony and this post support this conclusion.

Ministry response: The gospel is shared ‘instrinsically’ in what we do as we pray for guests who come to receive healing. We also share the gospel when appropriate with those who come for food hampers. We have seen many salvations at the Healing Rooms as guests are powerfully touched by the love of God.

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Locations

Capital Healing Rooms operates in Australia, per the ACNC Register, only in the ACT.

The Register also shows that it also operates in Cambodia[5].

__________________________________________________________

Giving options

None offered online.

Ministry response: ‘Anyone can donate via our website using Stripe or Paypal (their choice) or by direct debit to our bank account details of which are on the Donate page. https://www.capitalhealingrooms.org.au/donate.’

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Donations received

A Financial Report was lodged last year, but not this year (it’s not compulsory). From the Financial Report 2017:

There is no explanation anywhere for why, when donations are tax-deductible (see above), some donations are classified as ‘Non DGR’[6].

Ministry response: ‘Donations ‘classified’ as Non DGR are those either given anonymously or from those who don’t wish to have a receipt for tax purposes. It is an internal differentiation only in our accounting system but will be simplified in the next financial year and future years.’

Donations in 2018 totaled $182K (from the AIS 2018)[7].

Ministry response: ‘The definition of fundraising was not clearly understood. However, by nature of us operating totally on donations and having 2 ‘public’ appeals per year (Winter and Christmas) we do ‘fundraise’ so this will be corrected on our 2019 Annual Information Statement.’

________________________________________________________

Cash spent

There is no Financial Report available on the Register this year (it was voluntary), and 2017’s Report has no cash flow statement[8].

Ministry response: Financial Statements are available on request from stakeholders and will be provided in future years on ACNC website.’

________________________________________________________

Resources consumed (i.e. accrual)

The only information available for 2018 is from the AIS 2018:

In 2017, these were the expenses that made double figures:

Rent 41,945.55

Specific purpose gifts 40,588.77

Salary 21,641.35[9]

FB Allowance[10] – Office 16,039.92

Long Service Leave Expense -10,464.19[11]

_______________________________________________________

The Board (Committee)

The ACNC Register, under ‘Responsible People’, says that four people are responsible for Capital Healing Rooms’ decisions (including reporting):

Martyn Ritchard

Robert Holland

Is it this Robert Holland?

Ministry response:Yes’

Roslynne Ritchard

Wayne Lucerne

Martyn and Roslynne are couple, the people who run the charity day-to-day (the executives)[12].

The number of members is not disclosed anywhere, so we don’t know if there is any accountability from the membership. The minimum number of members for a general meeting is five.

Ministry response: ‘The current membership is 7. There is no field on the ACNC portal to show members.’

Although the members have to endorse the Board’s selection of new Board members, it is the Board that decides who becomes a member, and the Board who expels members.

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Impact

To measure impact one needs a theory of change. Although Capital Healing Rooms is not explicit about it, their ‘What we believe’ page shows that they believe that, by God working through them by his Holy Spirit, people can be cured of what ails them.

Although there is no explicit study of impact, the many testimonies of their clients that they have posted is strong evidence of impact.

______________________________________________________

Please contact me if you need a more in-depth review.

 

  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, Capital Healing Room’s enabling legislation provides that it must use its full name when dealing with the public: http://tedsherwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/05/word-image-22.pngIt appears that the charity may not be completely following this requirement.

    Ministry response: ‘Changes have been made to our website, receipts & invoices and will be changed on our letterhead etc when reprinted.’

  3. The ACT government lists Capital Healing Rooms as one of its ‘emergency relief providers’:
  4. ‘When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett says this about sharing the Gospel: ‘A host of contextual issues determine the best manner and the appropriate time to present the gospel verbally, particularly in militant Muslim or Hindu settings. But without such a presentation, it is not possible for people to be personally transformed in all their relationships, which is what poverty alleviation is all about [Kindle Locations 1262-1264, Moody Publishers].
  5. Two of Responsible Persons on the Register, Martyn Ritchard and Roslynne Ritchard, are also the ‘Australia contact’ for this church in Cambodia.
  6. Presumably the DGR donations are kept in the Gift Fund that the Constitution requires (clause 30).Ministry response: ‘Correct’
  7. In the AIS 2018 they say that they do not intend to fundraise in the 2019 year, but, given their past activities, I doubt whether this is correct.Ministry response:See our note in the body of the review.’
  8. This is a financial statement that would be required, along with three others, if Capital Healing Rooms increased in size to $250K revenue, or earlier if it used an auditor that was a member of one of the three professional accounting bodies.Ministry response: Understood – revenue still below this threshold.’
  9. Rounding to the nearest dollar is usual and would benefit the reader.Ministry response: ‘Noted for future years.’
  10. Presumably this stands for ‘fringe benefits’.Ministry response: ‘Correct’
  11. Yes, this is a negative figure. Was it meant to be charged against the liability?Ministry response: ‘Yes it was charged against the liability and incorrectly allocated in the accounts.’
  12. And, from the AIS 2018, the only employees. (Even if both were not full-time, the disclosed Full-time equivalent staff of zero must be a blip in the ANCN’s system.)Ministry response: ‘The hard copy of the report filed on the ACNC portal shows full time employees = 2 so this must be an error on their portal.’

 

Anglican Aid: charity review

This is a review in the series ‘Organisations accredited by the CMA Standards Council’. The CMA Standards Council is ‘a ministry of Christian Ministry Advancement’, with a mission “to help build faith and trust[1] in Christian organisations, be they churches, charities, schools or otherwise, to enable them to achieve more effective outcomes” Anglican Aid’ is one of these accredited organisations.

I sent a draft of this review to Anglican Aid[2]. Like last time, they did not respond.

‘Anglican Aid’ is an organisation that seeks donations online. The Australian charities’ regulator, the ACNC, in their Factsheet: Making sure your donation gets to where it needs to, gives “some steps to consider to help make sure your donation is going where it is intended.”

  1. Check the organisation’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 ‘Anglican Aid’:

1. A search of the Register for ‘Anglican Aid’ brings up 14 (fourteen) charities. The one we are looking for, from the ABN in the CMA Standards Council’s directory, is the first one, The Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid. This has ‘Anglican Aid’ in its name. As does the second one, The Missionaries Of St Andrew Anglican Aid Abroad.

The third one, The Archbishop of Sydney’s Overseas Relief and Aid Fund, is in the list because it says that it is ‘Also known as ‘Anglican Aid’. Confusing. As does the last one, The Archbishop of Sydneys (sic) Overseas Ministry Fund. Confusion doubled.

No reason could be found for why the other 10 appear in the results.

Note 14 in the Financial Report 2018[3] says that Anglican Aid is the trustee of the Archbishop’s two funds above[4], so I suspect this is why they have included ‘Anglican Aid’ on the Register.

But the ‘name’ ‘Anglican Aid’ is a registered business name, registered to[5] the CMA Standards Council accredited ‘Anglican Aid’, The Archbishop of Sydney’s Anglican Aid. So, there is only one charity named ‘Anglican Aid’, so the use by the two funds (even if their trustee is Anglican Aid) is confusing (and unnecessary)[6].

The website for ‘Anglican Aid’ is a website that covers all three charities – Anglican Aid and the two funds for which it is the trustee. They are treated as one entity of three parts:

The giving page on the website supports this single entity stance. You are therefore entitled to expect that that entity would be accountable for your donations. But there is no such entity, just three separate charities who operate as one.

Treating Anglican Aid this way would be fine if the combining of the charities continued into financial reporting, but it doesn’t: there are three separate financial reports on the ACNC Register.

‘Anglican Aid’ appear to have recognized this issue and have offered some accountability in the Annual Report 2017-18:

Note that these figures don’t come from a set of financial statements ‘for all the funds administered by Anglican Aid’. They don’t come from anything other than a simple addition of some of the figures in the three ‘audited financial reports’ /’summary financial statements’ (that is, Anglican Aid and its two funds). This is a long way short of the accountability that is reasonable to expect for a donor.

Being short of a set of financial statements is a disappointing omission (a big one), but what is included two pages further on in the Annual Report is hard to believe. Anglican Aid has included an audit opinion, by the auditor who audited the statements of each of the three charities, Warwick Shanks of KPMG, on a set of financial statements that all the evidence suggests doesn’t exist[7]:

No ‘accompanying Financial Report of the Funds’ has been included in the Annual Report. In fact, the only reasonable conclusion from Anglican Aids’ publicly available information, is that this Auditor’s Report, by a partner of KPMG, is a report on something that doesn’t exist .

This from a pillar of the Anglican Church, and an organisation that is held up as a standard-setter ‘in terms of impeccable corporate behaviour’, a leading light in transparency and accountability[8].

These are the people responsible for this situation:

David Dennis

Is it this David Dennis?

Douglas Marr

Emma Penzo

John Menear

Keith Walker

Peter Rodgers

Peter Tasker

Sally-Anne Bathgate

End of review.

 

 

  1. Emphasis in original.
  2. Number 8 of the CMA Standards Council’s ‘Nine Principles of Ministry Accountability‘ is ‘The organisation must be transparent and accountable to its stakeholders’. One of the nine ‘Standards’ that ‘fall under’ that principle is about openness and responsiveness to feedback:
  3. From what is in the governing document on the Register for the Overseas Ministry Fund, we have to assume that the trustee has been since changed to Anglican Aid: For the Overseas Relief and Aid Fund, the governing document contains only a statement in an undated and unsigned ‘Rules’:

  4. Anglican Aid itself appears confused. In the Financial Report 2018, it says that Anglican Aid incurs operating expenses on behalf of Anglican Aid:
  5. This report is new for this year.
  6. Which entity or entities did the CMA Standards Council assess to issue a seal? The accreditation has been issued to the separate charity called Anglican Aid. There is no mention of their two funds, nor a combined organisation.

 

Gateway Baptist Church Ltd: charity review

This is review in the series ‘Organisations accredited by the CMA Standards Council’. The CMA Standards Council is ‘a ministry of Christian Ministry Advancement’, with a mission “to help build faith and trust[1] in Christian organisations, be they churches, charities, schools or otherwise, to enable them to achieve more effective outcomes” Gateway Baptist Church’ (Gateway) is one of these accredited organisations.

Gateway is also an Associate of Missions Interlink, Missions Interlink being ‘the Australian network for global mission’[2]. The review is therefore simultaneously a review in the series ‘Members of Missions Interlink.’

I sent a draft of this review to Gateway[3]. As usual, they did not respond.

Gateway is an organisation that seeks donations online. The Australian charities’ regulator, the ACNC, in their Factsheet: Making sure your donation gets to where it needs to, gives “some steps to consider to help make sure your donation is going where it is intended.”

  1. Check the organisation’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 Gateway:

1: A search of the Register of charities shows two charities with that exact name, and another with ‘Ltd’ at the end:

The one we are looking for, from the ABN at the bottom of its website, is the third one[4]. But the second has the same addresses and is controlled by the same people.

The giving page says that ‘Unless otherwise shown, all giving goes to Gateway Baptist Church ABN 68 607 195 522.’

2. As a church, one would not expect Gateway to use third party fundraisers.  And there is nothing to suggest that they do.

3. Gateway’s web address begins with ‘https’, and there is a ‘closed padlock symbol next to the website’s URL in the address bar”, so the website is secure [the first ACNC article above].

There is nothing on the giving pages about the security of your information. The third option uses Paypal, so that may be enough for you for that one[5].

4. It is a legitimate charity (or two), even though its ABN record confirms that, as a church, it does not have deductible gift recipient status.

Why, then, do two of the three giving options offer, without explanation, a tax deduction? The first one is to an organisation in a completely different name, Bloom Asia Ltd (Blo0m)[6]:

The ACNC Register shows that Bloom is a charity, a charity whose constitution shows that it is ‘owned’ and controlled by Gateway[7]:

There is no mention of this company in the Financial Report 2018 [on the ACNC Register].

The second tax-deductible option is Gateway Community Fund[8].

Even though this giving is to Gateway, there is no mention of the Fund in the Financial Report 2018. In fact, I can find no record of this entity anywhere.

5.  The use of your donations

Objectives / Mission

From the Financial Report 2018:

The mission is given in the search result (the link goes to a 404 error):

Activities

The Financial Report (above) continues:

For the detail, see ‘Next Steps’ and ‘Care’ in the main menu.

For what happened in 2018, see the Annual Report 2018.

Sharing the Gospel[9]?

Yes

Locations

Gateway operates in Australia, per the ACNC Register, only in Queensland.

The absence of overseas operations on the ACNC Register is surprising, and although there is no information on the website about Gateway’s missionaries, they do exist[10]:

So why does the AIS 2018 say that no money was sent overseas?

Donations received

From the Financial Report 2018 (but see below for cautions), donations were at least 89% of the revenue. $6.46 million[11].

Donations used

The audited account of how donations are used is the Financial Report 2018. Do you depend on a regulator to ensure that you are provided with suitable Gateway financial statements (called general purpose financial statements)? [12][vii]  In other words, can you ring Gateway’s office and request that they prepare financial statements that answer the question or questions you have about the charity?  For an organisation that has 54 employees and 1175 volunteers (AIS 2018], runs on multiple sites, and controls another large charity, it’s highly unlikely.  Yet the directors[13], by deciding that Gateway is not a ‘reporting entity’[14] effectively say you can:

[15]

And this with the agreement of the auditor, Daniel Gill, of Pilot Partners.

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

Apart from the choice of financial statements that do not have to comply with all the Accounting Standards (special purpose statements), there’s another reason why you might not rely on these financial statements: they don’t show a complete picture of the resources and activities controlled by the leaders of the church:

  • The Annual Report includes a report on Bloom, but there is nothing in the Financial Report.
  • The Gateway Community Fund is mentioned in the Annual Report, but there is nothing in the Financial Report.
  • The existence of the other Gateway Baptist Church ‘owned’ by Gateway is not acknowledged.
  • There’s also nothing about the takeover of Baptist Church Logan City [Annual Report, pages 6, 10, 18]).

Conclusion

You are entitled to expect more of any organisation in which you are investing (time or money), but even more so an organisation that is held up as a standard-setter ‘in terms of impeccable corporate behaviour’, a leading light in transparency and accountability.

Should you choose to rely on the statements, here is where the donations went:

Cash spent

This is the only information about where the cash went on operating activities[16]:

Resources consumed (i.e. accrual)

The accrual section of the Report is more helpful, (with the last year’s figures in the second column):

‘Missions expenses’ is 8% of the total, ‘Employee benefits…’ 60%.

There is no explanation of ‘Ministry expenses’, nor how ‘Operating expenses’ relate to the other expenses of operation.

Destination of the ‘Missions expenses’ and ‘Ministry expenses’

There is no disclosure of the geographical destination of donors’ funds.

How they ensured that the money was used for the purpose for which you gave it

This is not addressed by Gateway.

Impact

The Annual Report reports the number of people involved in the various activities of Gateway in 2018. Impact generally has to be inferred.

Please contact me if you need a more in-depth review.

 

 

  1. Emphasis in original.
  2. https://missionsinterlink.org.au/about/
  3. Number 8 of the CMA Standards Council’s ‘Nine Principles of Ministry Accountability‘ is ‘The organisation must be transparent and accountable to its stakeholders’. One of the nine ‘Standards’ that ‘fall under’ that principle is about openness and responsiveness to feedback:With Missions Interlink, 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
  4. Because it is a registered charity and its constitution (a) prohibits the payment of directors’ fees, and (b) requires all payments to directors to be approved by the Board, Gateway is permitted to trade without the ‘Ltd/Limited’ on the end of its name.
  5. The first one uses PushPay. Is this well known enough yet to not require any information?
  6. 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.
  7. The number given in the Annual Report (page 25) is ‘more than 40’.
  8. Bloom took in another $1.17 million in donations.
  9. [vii] From Objective of General Purpose Financial Reporting (SAC2), www.aasb.gov.au: http://tedsherwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/word-image-15.png  
  10. Either the seven people on the website, or the 10 people on the ACNC Register, depending on which list is up-to-date.
  11. Included in their Directors’ declaration, part of the Financial Report (contradicted, I think just through carelessness, by Note 1). Note 2 is missing a similar statement, and nowhere do the directors’ say why they have decided that the normal financial statements for an entity such as this as not required.
  12. AASB 1053, www.aasb.gov.au, Appendix A.
  13. Although this level of disclosure may be compliant with the letter of the applicable Accounting Standard ( AASB 107), it is not consistent with either the intent of the Standard and paragraphs 14 and 19, or what is reasonable to expect from a major Christ-led charity that is reporting a true and fair view.

 

CityLife Church Inc: charity review

This is a review, principally for donors[1], in the series ‘Members of Missions Interlink’, Missions Interlink being ‘the Australian network for global mission’[2]. ‘CityLife Church World Impact Dept’ is one such Member, with the link from the membership list leading to the website of ‘CityLife Church’ (CityLife).

Feedback

Members of Missions Interlink 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[3]

I sent CityLife a draft of this review on 20 May 2019. Like last year (and the review before that), they did not respond.

Donors

CityLife is an organisation that seeks donations online. 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 ‘CityLife Church’[4], with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[5].

1.  A search on the ACNC Register of charities for ‘CityLife Church’ gives three results:

Although not spelt correctly, and having ‘Inc’ at the end[6], ‘CityLife Church’ is the first one[7].

2. It would be unusual for a church to use third party fundraisers (including street collectors), and there is nothing on the website to indicate that CityLife 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 ACNC article above].

But on the giving page there is no mention of the security of your information.

4. The Australian Business Register (linked from CityLife’s ACNC Register record), says that the charity is not entitled to receive tax deductible gifts.

One of the four giving options, ‘Outreach’, contradicts this. The reconciliation is that CityLife is collecting for another charity, The Trustee for Kingdom Investment Fund, a public ancillary fund controlled by CityLife[8]. This page says that the projects are three[9]:

CityLife also has the ability to seek tax-deductible donations via yet another charity it controls, Student Impact Fund[12].

5. The use of your donations

Objectives / Mission

From the website:

Activities

See ‘Connect’ and ‘Grow’ in the main menu.

Sharing the Gospel[13]?

Yes

Locations

CityLife operates in Australia, per the ACNC Register, in Victoria and Western Australia. There is nothing on the website, or in the Financial Report 2017, about what it does in Western Australia.

CityLife says, on the Register, that it operates overseas in Cambodia, China, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, India, Indonesia, Russian Federation, and Myanmar. Compared to the location of its missionaries, USA is missing and Cambodia is additional.

The AIS 2017 shows $512K ‘Grants and donations made for use outside Australia, but there is no information in the Financial Report 2017.

Donations received

From the Financial Report 2017 (but see below), donations were at least 92% of the revenue in Note 3, and 79% of ‘Revenue for General Reserves & KIF’, a total of at least $11.55 million.

Donations used

The audited account of how donations are used is the Financial Report 2017 on the ACNC Register. Do you depend on a regulator to ensure that you are provided with suitable financial statements (called general purpose financial statements)? [14] In other words, can you ring CityLife’s office and request that they prepare financial statements that answer the question or questions you have about the charity?  For an organisation that has 127 employees and 2617 volunteers (AIS 2017], runs on multiple sites, and controls a number of other charities, this highly unlikely.  Yet the directors[15], with the agreement of the auditor[16], say you can:

[17]

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

There are two other reasons why you might not rely on these financial statements:

  1. Despite CityLife controlling other charities (see above)[18], the directors do not produce consolidated financial statements. The statements above, therefore, do not give the correct picture of the resources and activities controlled by the leaders of the church.
  2. There are a number of other questionable accounting practices in the accounts. For instance,[19]

Should you choose to rely on the statements, here is where the donations went:

Cash spent

This is the only information about where the cash went on operating activities[20]:

Resources consumed (i.e. accrual)

The accrual section of the Report is more helpful, (with the last year’s figures in the second column):

‘Missions expenses’ is 8% of the total, ‘Employee benefits…’ 60%.

Destination of the ‘Missions expenses’ and ‘Ministry expenses’

There is no disclosure of the geographical destination of your funds.

How they ensured that the money was used for the purpose for which you gave it

This is not addressed by CityLife.

Impact

This is not addressed by CityLife.

Please contact me if you need a more in-depth review.

 

 

  1. As a draft of this review is sent to the charity, the charity, if it is open to improvement, can benefit too.
  2. https://missionsinterlink.org.au/about/
  3. For an incorporated association like CityLife, the members, if sufficient in number, can be a source of accountability on the board (and therefore management). The number of members is not disclosed.
  4. To see the situation last year, read this review.
  5. 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].

  6. Because associations can be incorporated or unincorporated, CityLife;s enabling legislation requires CityLife to use its full name, that is, including ‘Inc/Incorporated’ at the end, when dealing with the public:The website appears to contravene this requirement.
  7. The third one comes up because it has ‘Citylife Church’ recorded on the Register as another name by which it is known; there’s also an unregistered NSW association of the same name, and Christian Outreach Centre has Citilife Church registered as a business name.
  8. It is the trustee.
  9. The prior page says that they give to more than these three:
  10. This from the footer of their website:The members must be elders of CityLife (the constitution).
  11. From the College’s constitution:
  12. Although its figures are said, in Note 1, to be included in the Financial Report 2017, this is the only time it is mentioned. And there is no mention of it on the website.
  13. 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.
  14. [vii] From Objective of General Purpose Financial Reporting (SAC2), www.aasb.gov.au: http://tedsherwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/word-image-15.png  
  15. Either the people on the website, or the people on the ACNC Register, depending on which list is up-to-date.
  16. [vii] Peter Shields, of Saward Dawson.
  17. In continuing to say that CityLife is not a reporting entity, the directors are saying that CityLife has no stakeholders, current and prospective, who rely on normal financial statements (that is, general purpose statements) to make decisions about CityLife and its operations. This is silly.
  18. There is a further charity that appears (same addresses, a shared directorship) to be controlled by CityLife : CityLife Projects Limited. There is also an unanswered question about the relationship between a sixth organisation, Open House Christian Fellowship Inc., a charity that is, since 2013, being taken over by CityLife, and CityLife.
  19. See last year’s review.
  20. Although this level of disclosure may be compliant with the letter of the applicable Accounting Standard ( AASB 107), it is not consistent with either the intent of the Standard and paragraphs 14 and 19, or what is reasonable to expect from a major Christ-led charity that is reporting a true and fair view.