A charity review of CrossCulture Church of Christ Inc (CCC), an organisation that seeks donations online and is an Associate member of Missions Interlink. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)
For last year’s review, see here.
Is it responsive to feedback?
- CCC does not invite, on its website, feedback or complaints.
- There is nothing about their accountability on the website.
- I sent them a draft of this review. Like last year, they… did not respond.
Is CCC registered?
- As a charity, yes.
- CCC controls two other charities, CrossCulture Development Foundation Ltd, and Crossculture School Building Fund.
- Crossculture Church of Christ Point Cook Inc: The Fund’s address is Point Cook, and CCC advertises this church on its website. What is the relationship?
- CCC has not taken advantage of the ACNC’s group reporting concessions.
- CCC is a Victorian incorporated association (VIC A0050619R).
- It holds two business names, Melbourne City Conference Centre, and Celebration Books.
- CCC routinely use less than its full name, thus contravening the business names legislation and, most likely, sometimes also their enabling (associations) legislation.
- It is exempt from the Victorian fundraising regime. Whether it requires a licence in the other states that have a regime applicable to charities depends on whether those states think that CCC is ‘fundraising’.
What do they do?
- See their description.
What impact are they having?
- No information found.
What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?
Do they pay their board members?
- There is no constitution on the ACNC Register to check whether this is prohibited.
- Unless it is in one of the expense items called ‘Others’, it does not appear that they make such payments.
Can you get a tax deduction?
Is their online giving secure?
- PayPal is used, so yes.
What choices do you have in how your donation is used?
- Online, only ‘General Fund’ and ‘Open Up, Reach Out Project’.
- By direct debit:
Is their reporting up-to-date?
- Yes (six months after year end, two days before the deadline and three weeks later than last year.)
Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?
- AIS 2016: No
- The figures for the ‘Comprehensive Income Statement summary’ are not the figures for CCC, but one of its ‘segments’.
- The business names are missing.
- There are no outcomes given.
- Financial Report 2016: No. Once again,
- The Report is a confusing collection of statements, several which are not required.
- There is no ‘Statement of Comprehensive Income’, or similar.
- There is no ‘Statement of Changes in Equity’, or similar.
- The Notes to the Financial statements are incomplete.
- By any reasonable interpretation, a church with a multi-million-dollar turnover and that controls two other charities is a reporting entity, and should therefore produce financial statements that comply with all the Accounting Standards.
- There is no explanation of the relationship between the two charities that they control (Crossculture School Building Fund and Crossculture Development Foundation Ltd).
- And, this year, where did the $10.28 m of ‘Property, plant & Equipment’ go?
What financial situation was shown in that Report?
- Because of the issues with the Financial Report (see above), I make no comment.
What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?
- The auditor, Brian Bay FIPA, of Brian Bay & Co, issued a ‘clean’ opinion. He shouldn’t have done – see Financial Report 2016, above.
If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete/correct?
- The three business names are missing.
- ‘Operates in (Countries)’ is blank.
- Still only one ‘responsible person’ is shown.
- There is a list of ‘Global Partners’ under ‘Expenditure’ in one of the financial statements (see above), but no locations.
Who are the people controlling the organisation?
- Not shown on the website.
- ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register still shows only one person, Chuang Kong.
- The pastors are shown here, but it appears from the Financial Report 2016, that the following people, the ‘Board of Elders’ are (or at least were on 7 May 2017) in charge:
- Samuel Reeve
- David May
- Pieter Bruinstroop
- Zyx Owen
- Chee Khiam Tay
- Thomas Siaw
- We cannot confirm the composition of the committee because CCC still hasn’t lodged its governing document.
- It has lodged an ‘Overview of the governance structure of Swanston Street Church of Christ’, but this document does not mention the committee required under the associations legislation (nor most other things required by that legislation).
- Chuang Kong is neither a pastor nor, per the ‘Board of Elders Report’, an elder.
To whom is CCC accountable?
- As a charity, to the ACNC.
- And to the Victorian incorporated associations regulator.
- Not claimed on the website, but CCC is also accountable to Missions Interlink via their Associate membership.
- For one opinion on the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.
- The name on the ACNC Register is incorrect: ‘CrossCulture…’, not ‘Crossculture’. ↑
- “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. ↑