Moore Theological College Council: charity review

This is review in the series ‘Members of Missions Interlink, Missions Interlink being ‘the Australian network for global mission[1] and a means for a Member to get income tax exemption when it might not otherwise be available[2].

Moore Theological College – Centre for Global Mission is an Associate of Missions Interlink, and an organisation that seeks donations from the public.

Both Members and Associates have to accept a set of standards, the introduction to which includes this statement:

[3]

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 Moore Theological College – Centre for Global Mission[4], with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[5].

1.  There is no registered[6] charity in that name.

There are three with ‘Moore Theological College’ in their name, but Moore Theological College – Centre for Global Mission isn’t one of them:

The Missions Interlink name is a combination of two business names held by the middle charity above, Moore Theological College Council (Moore).

The website, though, is in a different name, ‘Moore College’. This is a third business name.

There is no explanation of the relationship between the three charities. Moore does not include the other two in its accounts.

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]. The Westpac and VeriSign logos are on the page where you enter your credit card information, but VeriSign’s recognition of Moore is not offered.

4. The ‘Donate’ page says that all gifts (over $2) are tax deductible, which fits with the ‘Deductible gift recipient status’ shown on the Australian Business Register.

5.  The audited account of how the donations are used is the Financial Report 2017 on the ACNC Register. Within that there are two statements that give information on how the donations were used. Most donors think in terms of cash, so if that’s you, you might turn first to the Statement of Cash Flows. What you might not know though, is that you first should turn to the Notes to the accounts (Notes to the Financial Statements in this case) to check out the ‘Basis of preparation’.

Here the directors say that they have produced the lower standard special purpose financial reports because ‘there are no users dependent on general purpose financial reports’. In other words, all ‘resource providers’, ‘recipients of goods and services’, and ‘parties performing a review or oversight function’[7], both present and prospective, are able to ring Moore’s office and request that they prepare financial statements that answer the question or questions they have about the charity, For an organisation that had an income of $25.50 million (including from donors), and 102 employees (AIS 2017) [insert word or phrase of your choice].

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Moore has the backing of the Anglican Church and is a major educator of the future leading lights in the Christian community, so it may well still be in the running for your business. So here is some further information for No. 5 in the ACNC’s list (above):

  • The auditor, Joseph Santangelo of Nexia Australia, agrees with the decision that there are no users who are dependent on general purpose financial statements.
  • At the time of donating, these are your options:

There is no mention of the spending of this money, that is, there is no information that gives you comfort that the money you give will be spent on the purpose you gave it for.

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Contact me if you need a more in-depth review.

 

 

  1. https://missionsinterlink.org.au/about/
  2. I sent a draft of this review to Moore. In my response to the reply by Martin Sumpter, the Risk and Compliance Officer, I asked him to tell me what the Council wanted published as their response. No reply did I receive.
  3. See here for last year’s review.
    • 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. The ACNC implies, therefore, that it is a ‘legitimate’ charity. But this is not correct – as the ACNC itself points out, registration is voluntary.
  5. From Objective of General Purpose Financial Reporting (SAC2), www.aasb.gov.au: http://tedsherwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/word-image-15.png  

 

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