ACC International Missions Ltd: mini-charity review

The charity's Annual Information Statement current at the time of this review has been superseded.  Please start with the updated review published in July 2018, and come back to this one as needed.

Mini-charity review of ACC International Missions Ltd (ACCIM), an organisation that seeks donations online and is a member of Missions Interlink. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

(To see the situation last year, read this review.)

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • ACCIR welcomes it:
    • ACCI recognises that listening to and responding to feedback, concerns and complaints is integral to our commitment to achieving the high standards and ensures accountability to all stakeholders. Complaints or feedback can be submitted to the CEO of Operations via the below contact details or to another ACCI employee, field worker or strategic partner.
  • When sent a draft of this review, they…did not respond. [Last year: did not respond.]

Is ACCIM registered?

  • As a charity, yes. (But as Acc International…).
  • As a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
    • Not, as the ABN record still says, an ‘Other Incorporated Entity’.
    • It has the necessary provisions in its constitution to allow it to omit ‘Limited/Ltd’ on the end of its name.
  • It has two business names, ACCI Missions & Relief, and Australian Christian Churches World Missions. (The second is not shown on either the ABN record or the ACNC record.)
  • ACCIM operates in all six states that have a fundraising regime for charities, and has an invitation to give on the internet. They do not explain why they hold no fundraising licences.

What do they do?

  • ACCI Missions is the missionary sending and support agency of the Australian Christian Churches movement (link added).
    • This is on an ‘About’ page on ACCIM’s website (www.accim.org.au) that starts by describing the work of the unregistered charity ‘ACCI’. Further down it identifies ACCI as being composed of ACCIM and another charity, Acc International Relief Inc. (Relief). (Relief also has its own website, www.accir.org.au, a website that does not include information about ACCIM.)
      • The combination of the two ‘Acc International’ organisations has been formalised in a business name for ACCIM, ACCI Missions & Relief. See, for instance the ‘Donate’ page on the ACCIM site.
      • The website uses the name ACCI. However, this is a business name held by the Australian Carpet Cleaning Institute Pty Ltd (www.asic.gov.au).
  • Per the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2016, the same description as last year:
    • The principal activities of ACC International Missions Ltd during the financial year were: • To recruit, enable, support and send field workers to Australia and foreign countries to establish self-governing, self supporting and self propagating (sic) churches and preach the Gospel in Australia and other nations around the world; • To provide pastoral support, direction, vision and strategy for field workers as they prepare for ministry and minister overseas; • To work in synergy with local congregations within the Australian Christian Churches movement and assist them to fulfil the Company’s vision; and • To otherwise fulfil and follow the missionary objects of the Australian Christian Churches.

Do they share the Gospel?[1]

  • Yes

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing systematic found.

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

  • If we define ‘direct’ as ‘Disbursements to missionaries and projects’, then ‘administration’ is 22% of expenses. Making the cost object smaller will increase this percentage, e.g. by recognizing that there is overhead in the projects in the overseas country.

Do they pay their board members?

  • This is not permitted by the ACCIM constitution.
  • The expenses are not disclosed sufficiently to allow a check.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No
    • But their website also collects for Relief, a separate charity, as well. Donations to Relief are tax deductible.

Is their online giving secure?

  • Security is not mentioned.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (four and a half months after their year-end, one 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 12 months ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: Not quite no outcomes are given.
  • Financial Report 2016: Probably. But
    • It is hard to see that a report that makes no mention of (a) the organization the objects of which it is required to follow, Australian Christian Churches, and (b) the organization with which it shares a business name and a website, Relief, can be judged as showing a true and fair view.

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • Last year’s deficit of less than 1% of revenue was increased to 3%.
  • Less than two and a half months of revenue is held in ‘Cash and cash equivalents’ plus ‘Financial assets’.
  • Both short-term and long-term financial structure are, based on this Report, sound.

Where were your (net) donations sent?

  • The Statement of Profit or Loss and Other Comprehensive Income just says ‘Disbursements to missionaries and projects’ $2.55 m.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • The auditor, Jeffrey Tulk, for Saward Dawson, gave a ‘clean’ opinion.
    • To take the right amount of comfort from a ‘clean opinion’, please read here and here.

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

  • No
    • One business name, Australian Christian Churches World Missions, is missing.
    • For the directors, which is correct, website or ACNC Register?

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

  • Many – via a visually confusing set of pages and tiles:
    • The first set of tiles:
      • Donate’
      • Middle East Crisis Appeal’
      • ‘OneLife Partnership’
        • A form for churches
      • Make a Tax-Deductible Donation’
        • This takes you to Relief’s website. (ACCIM does not have tax-deductible status.)
      • Event Offering’
        • This is an ‘ACCI’ event, i.e. a joint ACCIM and Relief event.
    • The second set of tiles:
      • Regular Giving’
      • Support a Missionary’
        • A list of 55 individuals/couples
        • The list includes Relief’s workers
      • Make a Single Gift’
      • Current Appeals’
        • This takes you to Relief’s website. (ACCIM does not have tax-deductible status.)

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Again this year, the listing under ‘Our Board of Directors’ on the website has only one name in common with the list under ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:

To whom are AC accountable?

  • As a charity, to the ACNC.
    • Its ‘Charity Tick’ is used on the website in support of you giving to them.  And rightly so, because it would be unwise to give to a charity that is unregistered.  The ‘tick’ also means ACCIM’s AIS is not overdue, and the ACNC has not taken any compliance action against it.
  • ACCIM claims that it ‘is an accredited member of Missions Interlink and operates in compliance with Missions Interlink Statements and Accreditation Standards.’ Membership confirmed.
    • For one opinion on the strength of this accountability, see the section Activities in this review.
  • ACCIM is also accountable, as a company, to ASIC.

 

 

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

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