Malyon College (Queensland Baptists): charity review

This is a charity review of Malyon College (MC), an organisation that seeks donations online[1], and is a member of Missions Interlink. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

For the previous review, see here.

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • There is no invitation on the website to give feedback, nor an invitation to submit a complaint other than if you are a student, and no discussion of accountability as an organization.
  • I sent them a draft of the review. Like last time, they… did not respond.

Is MC registered?

  • Although MC is a charity, it is not a charity registered with the charities regulator, the ACNC. It would no doubt argue that this is the reason for the lack of registration:

  • Although they have omitted it from their ABN record, ‘Queensland Baptists’ is a registered business name of The Baptist Union of Queensland (BUQ), which is a registered charity.
  • MC presents to the world as a separate entity – own website, own premises – so you might expect that it has its own ABN (and then uses that to register as a charity). The fact that it doesn’t is OK so long as it operates under the same ‘business structure’ as The Baptist Union of Queensland:

  • So, MC has no separate legal identity – it is not incorporated. Instead, it is a department or division of BUQ.
    • BUC is incorporated though – under an archaic mechanism called ‘letters patent’. Its letters patent is under an old Act, The Religious Educational and Charitable Institution Act of 1861 (Qld).
  • For BUQ to be able to operate under a name Malyon College (that is, a name other than its own (full) name), it must register a business name. It’s got 27 names registered, but Malyon College – The Queensland Baptist College of Ministries is the closest it’s got to Malyon College. This means that MC not entitled to trade under the names it uses, on both its website and Facebook, Malyon College and Malyon[2].
  • BUQ (and therefore MC) operates, per the ACNC Register, only in Queensland. It said in its AIS 2017 that it did not intend to fundraise. It therefore ignored the fact that MC (and maybe other departments) have an online invitation to give. If it believes that it meets the definition of a ‘religious order’ in Queensland, or that it is a body that has ‘an authority to marry people’ in Victoria, then its lack of a fundraising licence anywhere in Australia is explained for those two states, but what about the others?

What do they do?

  • We provide world-class, accredited theological education and train our students in practical ministry, so they can serve God effectively wherever God places them[3].
  • BUQ operates overseas, per the ACNC Register, only in Solomon Islands. There is nothing on the MC website to suggest that it is MC that is in this country.
  • MC doesn’t have a constitution to check for objects or purposes, but BUQ’s By-Laws tell us that a ‘Purpose Statement’ for MC should have been developed. There is one reference to such a statement on the website, but the document is not there or elsewhere on the internet.

Do they pay their board members?

  • MC should have a Charter. It’s not available publicly so I can’t check for a provision about paying board members.
  • There is insufficient public financial information to say.

Do they share the Gospel[4]?

  • Yes, but you would expect their audience to already be believers.

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing systematic found.

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

  • There is insufficient disclosure to even estimate this.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No, you can’t for a donation to BUQ itself, only its two funds. So that means that you can’t get one for a donation to MC either.
  • But this does not match the information on the website:

  • As it says further down that page, this is via a donation to The Malyon Foundation.
    • The Trustee for the Malyon Foundation is a registered charity, not a department of BUQ. It is a public ancillary fund, with three individuals as the ‘trustee’.
    • It can only give gifts to an organization that has deductible gift recipient status. MC doesn’t have this, so why is MC collecting directly for its own operations?

Is their online giving secure?

  • It is not offered.

Where were your (net) donations sent?

  • No information is available.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (via BUQ) (over eight months after their year-end, five weeks late, and six weeks later 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 11 months ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2017: NA – MC is not a registered charity.
  • BUQ AIS 2017: No
    • All but one of the business names is missing. And the name The Malyon Foundation.
    • The activities are not specifically those of 2017.
    • No outcomes are reported.
    • It would be surprising if the number of employees were exactly 800, 300, and 100.
    • They will be fundraising next year.
    • It is surprising that there was no ‘Other income’ in $110.84 m of income.
    • ‘Other comprehensive income’ is incorrect.
  • Financial Report 2017: NA – MC is not a registered charity.
    • But as a member of Missions Interlink MC is required to ‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor [Standards Statement, 4.1].
      • There is no evidence that MC produces such a statement.
      • Even if a financial statement for the organization of which MC is a department, BUQ, is acceptable to Missions Interlink, that financial statement needs to be ‘clear and appropriate’.
  • BUQ’s Financial Report 2017, like last year, is neither ‘clear’ nor ‘appropriate’.
    • To claim that there are no users, present or prospective, who are dependent on a regulator to get the financial information that might need to make decisions about an organization that has multiple public-facing departments, and 3200 staff, is…ludicrous.
    • The directors still behave as if they believe that they are above the law – for an organization of this size and complexity run professionally it must be this rather than mere ignorance – in that they continue to
      • omit one of the required financial statements,
      • produce a Statement of Profit or Loss and Other Comprehensive Income that is materially non-compliant with the Accounting Standards, and
      • consolidate one charity they control yet leave another out (without mentioning consolidation).
      • do several other things that are contrary to a true and fair view.

What was the financial situation shown by that Report?

  • Given what is reported above, no comment.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • There are no separate financial statements of MC available. So, no audit.
  • The auditor of BUQ, Glen Klein CPA, of Audit Right Pty Ltd, issued a ‘clean’ opinion[5]. Looking at what is reported above, one must ask ‘Why?’

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

  • NA – MC is not a registered charity.
  • For BUQ, no, it’s not:
    • All but one of the business names is missing. And the name The Malyon Foundation.
    • ‘Who the Charity Benefits’ is blank.
    • ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank (but neither is compulsory).

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

http://malyon.edu.au/about-us/support-malyon/

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

To whom is MC accountable?

  • As a department of BUQ, MC is accountable to BUQ.
  • MC doesn’t mention it, but it is a member of Missions Interlink.
    • See the section Activities in this review for one opinion on the strength of this accountability.

 

 

  1. For another charity, The Trustee for The Malyon Foundation.
  2. Although BU has another 26 business names, it does not show any business names on the Australian Business Register. Nor does it have its four ‘centres’, the Malyon Centres, registered.
  3. http://malyon.edu.au/about-us/
  4. 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. 
  5. Read here and here to draw the right conclusions from such an opinion.

 

If you have found a spelling error, please, notify us by selecting that text and pressing Ctrl+Enter.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *