Africa Inland Mission Ltd: charity review

This is review in the series ‘Members of Missions Interlink’, Missions Interlink being ‘the Australian network for global mission[1]’ (and a means for a Member to get income tax exemption when it might not otherwise be available[2], with a consequent accountability regime).

Africa Inland Mission International (Australia) Inc’ is one such Member, and an organisation that seeks donations from the public.

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

This particular charity did respond to a draft of this review, saying ‘Thanks for your updated review. We are considering your comments and will address any required changes in the new year.’

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 ‘Africa Inland Mission International (Australia) Inc’[3] (AIM), with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[4].

1.   A search on the name on the ACNC Register of charities leads to a charity with the name Africa Inland Mission Ltd.  Presumably this is because this charity has the Missions Interlink name as one the four names under ‘Also known by’.

One, ‘AIM International’ is a trading name, but AIM holds no business names. As it does not have provisions in its constitution[5] that would allow it to drop the ‘Ltd/Limited’ from its name, it is therefore not entitled to trade under the name it uses, ‘Africa Inland Mission’.

2.   NA

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 first giving page says ‘Secure donations by PayPal, but there is no link to a description of this security.

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

5.    Objectives

The ‘Mission’ on the website is for the worldwide collection of organisations, but there’s this description about Australia in the Annual Report 2018 [on the ACNC Register]:

Africa Inland Mission (AIM) in Australia partners in the role of empowering the world-wide Christian church in its responsibility to teach and make disciples of Christ according to the Great Commission of Jesus Christ in Matthew 28:19-20.

Activities (from the AIS 2018):

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The Annual Report 2018 shows that all these figures (except for #3, which is not reported) were significantly less than in 2017.  There is no explanation given for this. 

These are the ‘funds’ to which you can give:

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The disclosure, in the Financial Report, of where the money went, does not mention any projects, and it has to be assumed that ‘Worker Support’ above is ‘Missionary staffing and other costs’:

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The very large increase in ‘Missionary staffing and other costs’ is due to a change in accounting policy.  However, (a) there has been no retrospective application as is required by the Accounting Standards; and (b) there is no explanation for the lack of a corresponding change in Payables. 

The AIS 2018 shows the last three items above as ‘Employee expenses’, a classification that doesn’t match the Accounting Standards.  Plus there is no explanation for how having 23 employees (AIS 2018) generates a zero balance for the last two years for employee entitlements.

There is no mention of the impact of AIM’s work – that is, the Australian workers – on the website or in the Annual Report 2018. 

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For more a more in-depth review, please contact me.

 

 

 

  1.  https://missionsinterlink.org.au/about/http://tedsherwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/word-image-21.png
  2.  See here for last year’s review.
  3.  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].

  4.  https://www.acnc.gov.au/tools/guides/guide-using-template-constitution-companies-limited-guarantee:

 

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