God’s Dreaming Inc: charity review

This is a charity review of God’s Dreaming Inc (GD), 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 the situation last year, see here.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • I sent them a draft this review. Like last year, they… did not respond.

Is GD registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • GD is a Victorian incorporated association (A0094980S).
  • It has no business names.
  • GD operates in Australia, per the ACNC Register, in six states.
    • It still doesn’t have the necessary registration to conduct business interstate (an ARBN).
    • AIS 2017 says they don’t intend to fundraise, and as they probably have not considered their online invitation as fundraising, the absence of fundraising licences is understandable.

What do they do?

  • In general.
  • More specifically.
  • The ACNC Register says that GD doesn’t operate overseas.
    • Does their membership of Missions Interlink – ‘We exist to connect Australians with a passion for global mission’ – indicate that they had an intention to work overseas?

Do they share the Gospel[1]?

  • Yes

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?

  • The only financial information available is what’s included in the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2107. And this shows all the expenses as ‘Other expenses/payments’.

Do they pay their board members?

  • The constitution is silent on paying board members.
  • From the financial information available (see above), it is not possible to tell if they pay them or not.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • At step 3 of the giving process it says that ‘Transactions are secure and encrypted’, but no support is offered for this assertion.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (lodged three months after their year-end, one and a half months earlier than last year).
    • 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 nearly seven months ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2017: Almost – no outcomes are reported.
  • Financial Report 2017: Yes
    • Because of its size, GD does not have to lodge a Financial Report with the ACNC. And even though they are a ‘Christian’ organisation, they chose not to lodge one voluntarily.
    • However, the terms of its incorporation as an association require it to prepare a full set of financial statements, and their Associate membership of Missions Interlink requires them to “have available for [their] members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor.”  It’s not offered on the website, so just ask.

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • Not from the Report but from the AIS 2017: a surplus of $7K on turnover of $14K, and with liabilities of $46, equity was $12K.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • An audit is required, but if one was completed, it has not been made public.

If a charity, is their information on the ACNC Register complete/correct?

  • Yes

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

  • None

Where were your (net) donations sent?

  • The AIS 2017 says neither grants nor donations were made.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • These people.
  • Per the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’) it is Annette Simpon and Francis Clancy instead of Grace Henshaw and Viv Latham:
    • Francis Clancy
    • Roger Latham
    • Jadah Pleiter
    • Annette Simpon
    • Julie Strack
    • Sondy Ward (the CEO)
    • Karen Williams
    • John Williams
      • Is it this John Williams?
      • The name ‘John Williams’ appears on the register for 30 charities. And the register only covers charities, not all not-for-profits, and of course doesn’t include for-profit organisations.  If after eliminating the charities for which GD’s John Williams is not a director, you are left with the total being more than a handful, it would be legitimate for you to question whether his ability to discharge his fiduciary responsibilities is threatened.
  • The board is responsible to the members. The number of members is not disclosed.

To whom is GD accountable?

  • The claimed membership of Missions Interlink is confirmed.
    • For one opinion on the strength of this accountability, see the section Activities in this review.
  • GD is also accountable to the ACNC.
  • And to the Victorian regulator of incorporated associations.

 

  1. 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.

 

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