Gospel for Asia (Australia) Inc.: charity review

This is review in the series ‘Members of Missions Interlink’, Missions Interlink being ‘the Australian network for global mission[1].

‘Gospel for Asia Australia Inc’ is one such Member, and an organisation that allows donations online.

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

This Member did not respond to a draft of this review.

The charities’ regulator, 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 ‘Gospel for Asia Inc’[2], with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[3].

1. A search on the ACNC Register of charities gives a charity, with the addition of brackets around ‘Australia’, in that name (GFAA).

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].

Other than the phrase ‘Secure Checkout’, there is no mention, on the first page of the giving process, of the security of your information.

4. The Australian Business Register (linked from GFAA’s ACNC Register record), says that the charity is not entitled to receive tax deductible gifts. We have seen above, however, that GFAA is a ‘legitimate charity’.

5. Activities

There is no information on what GFAA does on the ‘Australia office page’ of the website.

In their AIS 2018 this is what they say they do:

However, this is not what GFAA does; it merely raises money for one or more organisations that do these things overseas.

Donations sought by GFAA

They seek money in the following groups:

‘Tools for Missionaries’

‘Major Ministries’

‘Empower the Poor’

‘From the Stable’

‘Compassion Services’

‘Women’

‘Where Most Needed’

‘Home Team’

‘Manage Existing Sponsorship’

‘Christmas Catalogue’

Only two of these match lines in the disclosure of the year’s revenue[4].

Donations received by GFAA (i.e. in Australia)

The audited account of donations in and out is the Financial Report 2018 on the ACNC Register. Within that there are two statements that give the required information. But you should first turn to the Notes to the accounts (Notes to the Financial Statements in this case) to check out the ‘Basis of preparation’.

Do you provide or give things to, receive things from, or have oversight of, or review, of GFAA[5][vii]? Perhaps you intend to donate or are one of the donors who gave $2.00 million last year [Financial Report 2018]. If so, can you ring GFAA’s office and request that they prepare financial statements that answer the question or questions you have about the charity? I doubt it. You are therefore ‘potentially interested in the information provided in general purpose reports[6].

You are therefore in the wrong place – I only have access to the published accounts of GFAA, and the directors[7], with the agreement of the auditor[8], in preparing special purpose statements, have effectively declared that you don’t exist.

If GFAA is still in the running for your donation (or business), here’s how they used the revenue they earned.

Donations used by GFAA (in Australia)

  • GFAA claim that “100% of donations preferenced for use on the field is sent to the field.

  • The only donation category that does not appear to be for ‘the field’ is ‘Home Team’. The amount given for this is not enough to cover the 13% of expenses appears to be non-field expenses, so the claim is not supported by the figures.
  • 87% of the expenses went to ‘Donations expense’.
  • This is the breakup for that expense:

  • There is no information on the relationship between these expenses and the ten giving options (above). Nor with the revenue items.
    • But from the additional information in the ‘100% Policy’ statement (above), there is no guarantee anyway that your choice is honoured.

Where overseas?

  • This footnote to Note 3 is the only disclosure about the destination of this money:

  • Believers Eastern Church may be a registered NGO but without a FCRA licence, it cannot legally receive money from overseas. And it lost this licence in 2017. So where has the money gone?
  • There has been no organisation named GFA India since at least October 2016. Sometime before that date it changed its name to Ayana Charitable Trust.
  • Neither GFA India or Ayana Charitable Trust are FCRA registered organisations.
    • What is the relevance of the auditing of GFA India when it is not the one receiving the money?
  • No donations were declared to the Indian Government by any of the three organisations in 2016-17 or 2017-18. So where have the donations gone?

The situation above has only got more unsatisfactory for potential donors since my last review. See the posts by Warren Throckmorton.

There is no systematic information on the impact of the charity’s activities – the change created in the people they help.

 

Please contact me if you need a more in-depth review.

 

 

 

  1. https://missionsinterlink.org.au/about/http://tedsherwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/word-image-21.png
  2. See here for my last review.
  3. 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].
  4. [vii] From Objective of General Purpose Financial Reporting (SAC2), www.aasb.gov.au: http://tedsherwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/word-image-15.png  
  5. From Objective of General Purpose Financial Reporting (SAC2), www.aasb.gov.au
  6. GFAA is still at least one short of the required number in its constitution. And still has a board composition that is highly questionable (and therefore arguably in contravention of the Mission Interlink Standards)
  7. Jim Rawlings CPA, of Hooper Accountants. Without the discretion exercised by the ACNC Commissioner, Jim, because he is not a registered company auditor, would not be qualified under the ACNC Act to do this audit.

 

1 Response

  1. godaddy.com 07/02/2019 / 11:29 pm

    Having read this I believed it was really enlightening.
    I appreciate you spending some time and energy to put this information together.
    I once again find myself spending way too much time both reading and
    commenting. But so what, it was still worthwhile!

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