Gateway Baptist Church: mini-charity review

The charity's Annual Information Statement current at the time of this review has since been superseded.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 January 2018, and come back to this one as needed.

Mini charity review of Gateway Baptist Church (GBC) as an organisation that seeks donations online. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • They did not respond to the draft I sent on 16 February.

Is GBC registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
    • But Gateway Baptist Church Ltd is not its correct name; immediately upon registration its name was changed to Gateway Baptist Church.  [Update, 2.01.18: This is incorrect. It is allowed to trade without ‘Ltd’/’Limited’]
    • To add to the confusion, GBC is still registered as the charity it was before the company took over its activities: Gateway Baptist Church (GBC-old)
    • Not to be confused with Gateway Baptist Church And Community Centre.
      • Especially as GBC has a fund called the Gateway Community Fund (see below).
  • GBC has two Australian wholly-owned subsidiaries
    • the charity Bloom Asia Inc. (BAInc) (registered in 2012)
    • the charity Bloom Asia Ltd (BALtd) (registered in June 2016)
      • Because GBC has not taken advantage of the ACNC’s group reporting concessions, these charities, and GBC-old, must report separately.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a public company, a company limited by guarantee.
    • GBC does not have a fundraising licence in the state, per the ACNC Register, in which it operates[1].
      • BALtd: licensed to fundraise only in Queensland.
      • BAInc: no fundraising licences.
      • GBC-old: no fundraising licences.

What does it do?

  • GBC: other than obviously being a church, there’s no direct statement saying what it does; its activities are shown here.
  • GBC-old: replaced by GBC.
  • BAInc: no website; Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015) says ‘As a Christian ministry aligned with Gateway Baptist Church, raised funds and awareness of charity work in Cambodia’. (There are no countries listed under ‘Where the Charity Operates’ on the ACNC Register.)
  • BALtd: See here.

Do they share the Gospel?

  • GBC: Yes
  • GBC-old: NA (replaced by GBC).
  • BAInc: No information available.
  • BALtd: No mention of the Gospel, Jesus or Christ on the website; tax deductibility (see below) would suggests not.

What impact are they having?

  • GBC: No information found.
  • GBC-old: No information found.
  • BAInc: No information found.
  • BALtd: No information found.

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

  • GBC: Even though they have been going since August 2015, the ACNC does not require any information until 30 June 2017; no financial information on the website.
  • GBC-old: Because it is a ‘basic religious charity’, no financial information has to be submitted to the ACNC.
  • BAInc: All expenses were classified as ‘Other expenses/payments’ in the AIS 2015 (no Financial Report 2015 required because of its size).
  • BALtd: Even though they have completed their first year, the ACNC does not require any information until 30 June 2017; no financial information on the website.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • GBC: No
  • GBC-old: NA (replaced by GBC).
  • BAInc: No
  • BALtd: No
  • Both GBC and BAL are able to offer tax-deductibility for ‘Bloom’ because they are collecting for a project run by Global Development Group, a secular overseas aid and development organisation.
  • But nowhere is there an explanation for their ability to offer tax-deductibility for an unregistered entity called Gateway Community Fund.

Is their online giving secure?

  • GBC: Online giving is offered for five of the six choices. All five use PayPal, so yes, giving is secure.
  • GBC-old: NA
  • BAInc: NA – not offered.
  • BALtd: For the options other than BAL, PayPal is used, so yes. The BAL option transfers to the Global Development Group site, and the page says ‘Make a secure donation now’.

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

  • GBC:
    • General giving – Mackenzie campus
    • ‘General giving – Ormeau Campus’
    • Gateway Beyond’
    • ‘Bloom (tax-deductible)’
    • ‘Gateway Community Fund (tax-deductible)’
    • ‘Call to Build Giving’ (not an online option)
  • GBC-old: NA
  • BAInc: No website
  • BALtd:
    • Donate (Without a Tax Receipt)’
    • ‘Donate (With Tax Receipt AUS)’
    • ‘Donate (With Tax Receipt USA)’

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • GBC: Yes (none has been required yet).
  • GBC-old: Yes (five and a half months after their year-end).
  • BAInc: Yes (five and a half months after their year-end).
  • BALtd: Yes (none has been required yet).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • GBC:
    • AIS 2015: NA – none required yet.
    • Financial Report 2015: NA – none required yet.
      • But their membership of Missions Interlink requires them to have one available, so just ask.
  • GBC-old:
    • AIS 2015: Apart from the absence of outcomes, yes.
    • Financial Report 2015: As a ‘basic religious charity’, they weren’t required to submit one. Nor financial information in the AIS.
  • BAInc:
    • AIS 2015: Not quite – no outcomes are given and the business name is missing.
    • Financial Report 2015: NA – none required (because of their small size).
  • BALtd:
    • AIS 2015: NA – because they only started in June 2016, not required yet.
    • Financial Report 2015: NA – as for the AIS.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • GBC: NA
  • GBC-old: NA
  • BAInc: NA
  • BALtd: ‘Other Income/Receipts’ $24K, ‘Other expenses/payments’ $19K, ‘Net surplus/deficit’ $5K, ‘Net assets/liabilities’ $13K.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • GBC: NA
  • GBC-old: NA
  • BAInc: NA
  • BALtd: NA

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete?

  • GBC: No countries shown under ‘Where the Charity Operates’.
  • GBC-old: No countries shown under ‘Where the Charity Operates’, and ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank.
  • BAInc: ‘Email’, ‘Phone’, ‘Website’, and ‘Other Name(s)’ are blank.
  • BALtd: Yes

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • GBC:
    • The ‘Board of Elders’ is not shown on the website, but
    • These are the people declared to be ‘responsible persons’ (on the ACNC Register):
      • David Angell
      • Paul Bakes
        • Is it this Paul Bakes?
      • Luke Campbell
      • Anne Cock
      • David Eames
      • Jason Elsmore
      • Josha Hanna
      • Derek Peters
      • Andrew Ross
      • Trevor Shinners
        • Is it this Trevor Shinners?
  • GBC-old:
    • Not shown on the GBC website.
    • These are the people declared to be ‘responsible persons’ (on the ACNC Register):
      • All the above except the last two.
  • BAInc: From the ACNC Register:
    • David Angell (see above)
    • Derek Peters (see above)
    • Glenn Valentine
      • Is it this Glenn Valentine?
  • BALtd:
    • The ‘team’ is shown on the website, but are these the directors?
    • These are the people declared to be ‘responsible persons’ (on the ACNC Register):

To whom is the charity accountable?

  • GBC:
    • To Missions Interlink[2] via their Associate membership.
    • They are also accountable to the ACNC, and ASIC as the companies’ regulator.
  • GBC-old: To the Queensland associations regulator.
  • BAInc: To the ACNC and the Queensland associations regulator.
  • BALtd: To the ACNC, and to the companies’ regulator.

 

 

  1. The law in this area is not straightforward – is an internet invitation ‘fundraising’ for instance? – and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
  2. For one opinion on the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

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