G.L.O. Ministries Limited: mini charity review for donors

The charity's Annual Information Statement current at the time of this review has since been superseded.  Please start with the updated review published in September 2017, and come back to this one as needed.

Mini charity review of G.L.O. Ministries Limited (GLO) as an organisation that seeks donations online. (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?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they…did not respond.

Is GLO registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
      • The company’s name is G.L.O. Ministries Limited, not as it uses it, GLO Ministries Limited.
      • And, as it doesn’t have the necessary provisions in its constitution, it is not entitled to omit ‘Limited/Ltd’ when it uses its company name. See, for instance, the website.
    • A business name GLO College of Ministries for its bible college.
      • But not the name it uses on Facebook for the college, CrossConnect.
    • GLO doesn’t have a fundraising licence in any of the six states in which, according to the ACNC Register, it operates. Nor in the other one that has a licensing regime[1].

What do they do?

  • Generally.
  • For what they did in 2015 see the comprehensive report in the Directors’ Report in the Financial Report (pages 1-2) on the ACNC Register[2].
  • For their general plans, see ‘What choices do you have…?’, below.

Do they share the Gospel?

What impact are they having?

  • The only thing found was some anecdotal evidence in GLO’s magazine, Spearhead. But the latest issue is (still) Spring 2014.

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

  • Because the costs of running the bible college are not separately identified, no calculation is possible.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Contrary to what GLO says at the bottom of its giving page, GLO itself does not have deductible gift recipient (DGR) status. However, you can claim a tax deduction for a donation on this page if you restrict your donation to one of its two building funds, GLO School of Team Ministries Building Fund and Gospel Literature Outreach Training Centre Building Fund. Unfortunately these two funds are not described, nor even named.

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA. (It’s not offered.)

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (lodged four+ months after their year-end).
    • 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 10 months ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: No:
    • No outcomes are given.
    • The business name is missing.
    • Two figures in the Income Statement don’t match those in the Financial Report.
  • Financial Report 2015: Questionable
    • Only if you believe that special purpose financial statements are appropriate.
      • They are appropriate if no user, present or prospective, is dependent on GLO’s financial statements to make decisions. And if GLO is therefore prepared to tailor a financial report for anyone who needs one.
        • GLO is an organisation that operates in six states, runs a bible college, collected $612K in donations, and calls for donations on its website.
        • The directors do not give a reason for their decision.
    • GLO have again included a statement, on the cover page, that the report is not be used by the public ‘unless accompanied with additional information concerning the company or the company’s financial position.’ This is inconsistent with its presence on the ACNC Register.
    • Again, even though not all those working in the ‘home office’ are self-supporting, there are no employee benefits disclosed.
    • Again, it is difficult to reconcile GLO’s claims that
      • it ‘passes on 100% of every gift to the ministry. GLO Ministries trusts the Lord to provide for our overhead costs…’, and
      • ‘our administrative costs are covered through general donations and Course Funds’
      • to the figures in the accounts.
    • Again, the auditor includes a disclaimer about accounting policies from a superseded Auditing Standard.

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • Last year’s surplus of 1% of revenue was turned into a 3% deficit.
  • No obvious concerns about the financial structure.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion. But
    • in accepting the engagement, he implicitly agreed with the directors’ decision to produce special purpose rather than general purpose financial statements (see above).
    • And he again includes these two contradictory statements in his report:
      • No opinion is expressed as to whether the accounting policies used, as described in Note 3 to the financial statements are appropriate to meet the needs of the members’, and
      • An audit also includes evaluating the appropriateness of accounting policies used and the reasonableness of accounting estimates made by the Directors…
    • 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?

  • No:
    • GLO is, at least according to the ACNC, long overdue in selecting an ‘Entity Subtype’.
    • ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank.
    • The business name is missing.

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

  • “Support a Mission Worker
    Partner together with God’s labourers serving in the field by giving a one-off gift or ongoing support. At present we need more support for mission workers in India, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal and the Philippines.
  • Donate to a Ministry Project
    We are involved in exciting mission projects in countries like Afghanistan, Nepal, Philippines and Mongolia that all need extra financial support.
  • Give to a Building Project (Australia)
    Help provide new facilities and improve existing ministry facilities. Donations to GLO building projects in Australia are tax deductible…
  • Sponsor a Scholarship Student
    GLO Ministries is equipping new workers from Fiji, Indonesia, Mongolia, Nepal, Papua New Guinea and South Korea.”

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not shown on the website, but you can see the current list under Responsible Persons on the ACNC Register.

To whom are GLO accountable?

  • Although not claimed on their website, they are accountable as a Member of Missions Interlink[4].
  • They are also accountable to the ACNC.

 

 

  1. The law in this area is not straightforward – for instance, is an internet invitation ‘fundraising’ – and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
  2. Unfortunately the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2015 repeats what was said in the AIS 2014, so is not about 2015 in particular:‘Religious education for students, raised funds for religious activities in Australia & overseas. Raised & distributed funds for typhoon relief in the Philippines . Provided accommodation and catering assistance for children from poor families in Myanmah (sic). Provided admin services for all the above.’
  3. GLO is a Christian Brethren – not to be confused with the Exclusive Brethren – organisation.
  4. For one opinion on the strength of this accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

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