Hope From Above Incorporated: mini-charity review

There is a later review, published 29 December 2018.

Mini charity review of Hope From Above Incorporated (HFA) as an organisation that is a member of Missions Interlink. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • Yes, very. A pleasure to deal with. A couple of changes were made because of their comments, and their comments on what remained are included below.

Is HFA registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Other registrations:
    • HFA is a Victorian incorporated association (A0060670C).
    • Its Annual Information Statement 2016 (AIS 2016) shows that it operates outside its home state, in the ACT (or at least did so in 2016), but it doesn’t have the required ARBN registration to do this.
      • Ministry comment: ‘The ACT box was accidently ticked on the AIS form. The mistake was discovered as a result of this review and has since been addressed with the ACNC for correction.’
    • It doesn’t hold a fundraising licence in either of these states (or in any of the other five states that have a licensing regime[1]).
      • Ministry comment:
        • We are in communication with Consumer Affairs Victoria for a fundraising registration.
        • We do not raise (asking for) funds, but provide the opportunity for donors to give, if they wish to do so.’
    • It uses the name HFA, but does not have it registered.
      • Ministry comment: ‘‘HFA’ has been used as an abbreviation of the registered Name ‘Hope from Above Inc.’

What do they do?

  • See this page.
  • The AIS 2016 describes what they did in 2016:
    • Developed relationships with churches, continuing research of overseas mission needs, supporting mission agencies with technical support and advice….

Do they share the Gospel?

  • No
    • Ministry comment: ‘Indirect Yes. All our activities are for the advancement of the Gospel.’

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing found.
    • Ministry response: They sent me their Annual Executive Directors Report 2016’, a report that they would be happy to share with you. They put forward the following paragraph from that report as demonstrating impact:
      • ‘The relationship with Voice of the Martyrs has allowed us to provide various technology, training and ongoing support, which has since been used to bring over 40,000 Bibles to an isolated country, bringing the total number to over 70,000 Bibles since HFA’s beginnings”.
        • Reviewer comment: HFA explained to me how they knew that these Bibles resulted in change. I am sure that they would be happy to give the same explanation to you.

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

  • The expenses are not classified as to allow this calculation.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • If you use the PayPal option, yes. If you used the credit card option, the form is said to be secure.
    • Ministry comment: ‘The credit card option is operated via Stripe and yes, it is secure.’

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

  • None

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes. (Six months after year end.)

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: Apart from the lack of outcomes, yes.
  • Financial Report 2016: Yes
    • Although they have lodged a financial report, they didn’t have to. And having done it voluntarily, there is no requirement for it to comply with the ACNC’s requirements for Financial Reports that are submitted. (And it doesn’t.)
    • 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 is arguable that a financial report that lacks two of the four financial statements required by the accounting profession, uses a combination of cash and accrual accounting, and has no notes to the accounts or directors’ declaration, is not ‘appropriate’.
        • Ministry comment:
          • As noted above, there is no requirement for our report to comply with the ACNC’s requirements, as a small charity.
          • We submitted our report voluntarily to promote transparency and accountability, although not required by the ACNC.’
      • There is no evidence that an audit was performed.
        • Ministry comment: ‘As a small charity we are not required by the ACNC to conduct an audit.’

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • After a surplus of $10K last year, this year produced a deficit of $1K.
  • Working capital (current assets less current liabilities) is positive.
  • There are no long-term liabilities.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • NA

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

  • Yes

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not mentioned on the website.
  • From ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:
    • Geoff Jones
    • Harry Kranendonk
      • Is he this one?
        • Ministry comment: ‘Our privacy policy prevents from sharing linked-in contacts.’
    • Elke Kummer
    • Hans Kummer
    • Ross Maxwell
    • Richard Schoenmaker
      • Is he this one?
        • Ministry comment: ‘Our privacy policy prevents from sharing linked-in contacts.’

To whom is HFA accountable?

 

 

 

  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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