Bridgeway Publications: 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).

Bridgeway Publications’ (Bridgeway) 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

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 ‘Bridgeway Publications’[3], 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 ACNC Register of charities leads to a charity in the name Bridgeway Publishing Foundation Trust. This is because that charity has ‘Bridgeway Publications’ recorded under ‘Also known as’[5].

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 ACNC article above]. Online giving is not offered, so an assurance on the giving page about the safety of your information is not required.

4.  Although Bridgeway is not entitled to receive tax deductible gifts, it is a registered charity.

5.   Here is what they are about: “BRIDGEWAY PUBLICATIONS is an Australian non-profit foundation that provides reference books and other resources to help Christians in the developing world.” Read more here.

There is a list of the countries to which it sent resources in 2018 in the AIS 2018, but this is extent of the disclosure of results, either on the website or on the ACNC Register.

There is no Financial Report 2018 because Bridgeway has the special status of ‘Basic Religious Charity’. This probably also explains the zeroes in the ‘Income and Expenses’ section of the AIS 2018. The status continues this year even though Bridgeway’ size has grown to Medium.

Bridgeway could have voluntarily lodged their report with the ACNC, but they chose not to.

The trust deed requires an annual audit – which implies the preparation of financial statements.

Although not mentioned on the website, their membership of Missions Interlink requires them to ‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor [Standards Statement, 4.1]. In the review before last, Bridgeway commented that We have no issue with fulfilling Mission Interlink’s requirements and have provided appropriate financial information on supporter’s requests in times past.”

Bridgeway offers no information about their impact.

 

 

  1. https://missionsinterlink.org.au/about/ 
  2. http://tedsherwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/word-image-21.png
  3. See here for last year’s review.
  4. 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].

  5. ‘Bridgeway Publications’ is a business name owned by a partnership:These three men are three of the five men who are currently the responsible persons for the charity. Last year, Bridgeway showed me that the partnership consisted of all five of the responsible persons at the time. Is this still the case?

 

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