LTTN Ministries Incorporated: mini-charity review

The charity's Annual Information Statement current at the time of this review has since been superseded.  Please contact me if you are facing a significant decision with this charity and an updated review would be of help.

Mini charity review of LTTN Ministries Incorporated (LTTN) as an organisation that has a public invitation to donate. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they replied the same day. I responded, then later asked whether they would like to amend any of their initial responses because of what I had said. They declined.
  • This was their general comment:
    • ‘LttN Ministries Inc is a fully accountable ministry organization, registered with the ATO, ACNC, NSW Department of Fair Trading as an incorporated association and Missions Interlink.  We do our utmost to provide all reports and statutory obligations well within the time required.‘
  • Their other comments are interspersed below.

Is LTTN registered?

  • As a charity, yes[1].
  • Other registrations:
    • LTTN is a NSW incorporated association (INC9877906).
    • The ACNC Register shows that it is operating outside its home state, in Queensland, but it doesn’t have the required ARBN registration to do this.
    • 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[2]).
    • It uses the names LttN, Light to the Nations Ministries Inc, and LttN Ministries Inc on its website, and Lttn Ministries Inc on FaceBook, but does not have any of these names registered. (There are ABNs for other entities called Light to Nations Church Incorporated and Light to The Nations Christian Church.)
      • Ministry comment: ‘LttN Ministries Inc has no connection with either of the above mentioned churches.’

What do they do?

  • This is how LTTN’s Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2016 describes the Australian activities and outcomes:
    • Our purpose as an organisation is to Equip (sic) Christian leaders in the Developing World (sic) through the provision of accessible training programs known as SALT Schools. During the year we have facilitated the operation of these training programs in Zambia and Uganda and are working toward the establishment of the programs in the Fiji islands. Our activities also included visitation (sic) of supporters and supporting churches in Australia to inform them of the progress of the work.
  • The AIS also describes the changes they plan:
    • Changes planned During (sic) the 2017 reporting period (sic) we will progressively withdraw from our work in Africa. We have been preparing African leaders to conduct the training programs and the time has come to entrust the work to them. At the same time we plan to commence the operation of the training programs in the Fiji islands.

Do they share the Gospel?

  • Not to those who haven’t heard it. (Changed from ‘No’.)
    • Ministry comment: ‘YES! The preaching of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and faithful teaching of His Holy Word, the Bible, are fundamentals of our ministry.

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing found.
    • Ministry comment: ‘Since our foundation in 2002, LttN Ministries has been involved in training Christian leaders and cross cultural workers in many nations around the world. By way of example: In Uganda, to date we have more than 450 graduates from our School of Advanced Leadership Training (SALT School). The work continues under the leadership of Ugandan’s whom we have trained.’

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

  • No financial statements have been lodged – they are not required by the ACNC – and the expenses in the AIS 2016 are not classified to allow this calculation.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA. (Not offered.)

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

  • None shown on the website. (Changed from ‘None’.)
    • Ministry comment: ‘When donors specify a particular designation for their donation, 100% of their gifts are allocated to the purpose for which it is designated. We willingly provide donors with details of the use of such allocations should they ask.’

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes. (Three 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: None required.
    • But they lodged one last year.
    • Their Associate membership of Missions Interlink requires them to have one available, so just ask them.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • NA
    • Ministry comment: ‘LttN Ministries Inc satisfactorily met all financial obligations in the 2015-16 financial year.’

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • NA
    • Ministry comment: ‘The Audited Financial Statements are available to Association Members and donors on request.

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

  • Almost. ‘Phone’ is blank.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not mentioned on the website.
  • From ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:
    • Timothy Baker
    • Elizabeth Hancock
    • Nga Kwan
    • Raymond Martin
    • Own McKay
    • Peter Pade
    • Trevor Welsh
    • Andrew Williams
    • Gavin Williams
    • Glenda Williams
  • If you ‘search the (ACNC) register by responsible person’, as I did, you will find that, other than ‘Andrew Williams’, these directors have no more than three other charity directorships. There are 14 listed for ‘Andrew Williams’. If, after eliminating the ones that don’t belong to LTTN’s Andrew Williams, more than a handful remain, it would be legitimate for you to question whether his ability to discharge his fiduciary responsibilities to that many charities is threatened.
    • Ministry comment: ‘We believe that there is an error in the ACNC number of directorships allocated to Andrew Williams. So far as we are aware, Andrew is not a director of any other organization.’
      • Reviewer response: ‘No error I expect.  The problem comes when you, and other charities, record your ‘Andrew Williams’ as simply ‘Andrew Williams’.  It is then not possible for the Register user to distinguish between yours and the ones that relate to other charities.  (How you record your ‘Andrew Williams’ is within your control via the ACNC Portal.)’

To whom is LTTN accountable?

  • Ministry comment:
    • ‘Primarily we are accountable to God for the faithful administration of the affairs of this organization – something we take very seriously. The Management Committee are accountable to the members of the Association for the operation of the Association and report fully at the AGM and by way of regular newsletters. The Annual Audited Financial Statements are available at the AGM and on request to any person who gives to the ministry.
  • They are accountable to Missions Interlink[3] via their Associate membership.
    • Presumably this membership is a result of LTTN’s stated policy that they ‘will seek affiliation with a Christian Financial Integrity group.’
  • They are also accountable to the ACNC.

 

 

 

 

  1. But as ‘L T T N…’, i.e. with spaces (no doubt following the ABN record). Which doesn’t match the ASIC record, nor how the charity itself writes it.
  2. 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.
  3. For one opinion on the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.