One Foundation International Incorporated: charity review

This is a charity review of One Foundation International Incorporated (OFI), an Associate member of Missions Link[1], and an organisation that asks you, online, to donate to it. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

For the previous review, see here.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • There is no invitation on the website to submit feedback or a complaint.
  • Neither accountability nor transparency are not mentioned on the website.
  • I sent them a draft of this review. Their comments have been incorporated below.

Is OFI registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
    • OFI changed its name this year (April 2018) from International Gospel Centre Incorporated.
  • Incorporated as a South Australian incorporated association (A12906).
  • OFI doesn’t hold any business names.
  • OFI says, on the ACNC Register, that it operates in all eight states.
    • It still doesn’t have the necessary ASIC registration (an ARBN).
    • It has a fundraising licence in South Australia, New South Wales, Victoria and Western Australia. Unable to check Tasmania. Perhaps it has assessed that one is not required in Queensland?
      • Other than in Western Australia, the licences are in the old name.

What do they do?

  • See here. Then here.
  • But they don’t do this – see at the end here.
    • ‘We do this by partnering with “on the ground” organisations around the world and equipping and empowering these organisations.
    • The three partners are:
      • ‘IGC Foundation South East Asia Philippines’
        • No link provided.
        • Your donations go to another organization, Cebu Missionary Foundation.
          • No website, but this appears to be the organization (see slide 2).
          • 84% of the ‘Overseas Mission Distributions’ went to this organization.
      • ‘ABC Children’s Aid Uganda’
        • No link provided, and none could be found.
      • ‘Grace Ministries Zambia’
      • Ministry comment: ‘Websites are being developed independently of ONE Foundation that will be linked to us through our website. As part of our partnership agreements, moving forward, there will be transparency obligations.

Do they share the Gospel?[2]

  • No
    • ‘Advancing Religion’ is no longer an ‘Entity Subtype’ for OFI. It is now simply a PBI.
    • The ‘Purpose’ of OFI in the new constitution does not mention Christianity, Christ, Jesus, or the gospel.
    • Do the partners share the Gospel?

What impact are they having?

  • Still nothing to be found on the website.
    • Ministry comment: ‘We are working with an external consultant to provide meaningful impact statements for new and current supporters.’

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

  • Deducting ‘Donations and voluntary distributions’ from ‘Total Local Ministry and Administration’, ‘administration’ is 37% of the expenses.
    • This is a large increase on last year’s 27%.
      • Ministry comment: ‘Over the last 18 months, we have implemented a change strategy that has incurred additional costs. We do have funds set aside, specifically donated to help us reach out further into the lives of many.’

Do they pay their directors?

  • There is nothing prohibiting this in the constitution.
  • There is no expense that looks like such a payment.
    • Ministry comment: ‘All Directors give their time voluntarily with no compensation given.’

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Yes

Is their online giving secure?

  • No online giving is available.
    • Ministry comment: ‘This will change on our website. All donations have audit trails so secure as far as Australian Banking rules allow.’

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

  • None
    • Ministry comment: ‘Donors specifically state where their donations are to go either through sponsorship or instructions.’

Where were the (net) donations sent?

  • Other the name of the recipient for the Philippines, for the other two expense line items the Financial Report only gives the name of the country.
    • Ministry comment: ‘Don’t know why it’s not specified but will be changed.’
  • Note 1(a) says that IGC (now OFI) ‘ensures that funds are received and expended for designated purposes.’ How this is done is not disclosed.
    • Ministry comment: ‘Our current missional structure is based on child sponsorship. Donors state, through other non sponsorship giving, where they require the money to go.’

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (lodged seven months after their year-end, one day before the deadline, a week later than last year).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2017: No
    • The activities described are those of its partners, not OFI.
    • No outcomes reported.
    • Zero is reported as the number of volunteers. This does not agree with the website.
    • The amount for ‘Donations and voluntary distributiosn (sic)’ has not been included as ‘Grants and donations made for use in Australia’.
    • ‘Workers compensation’ has been included in ‘Employee expenses’.
    • The association number is missing.
    • The ‘NSW Fundraising No.’ is incorrect.
      • Ministry comment: ‘Thank you, take this on notice Ted.’
  • Financial Report 2017:  No
    • Neither the Statement by the Executive Committee nor the audit report are signed.
    • There is no explanation of the new revenue item Partnership fees.
      • The website says that the ‘partners’ are the overseas organisations to which your donations are sent.
    • Like last year
      • The choice of special purpose financial statements over normal statements, a choice that allows less than full compliance with the Accounting Standards, is, given the size and complexity of the charity, questionable.
        • The directors say that the financial statements ‘do not purport to be general purpose financial statements’, but they do not say what they are.
        • The directors don’t say why they didn’t produce general purpose financial statements.
      • The Statement of Comprehensive Income does not comply with the Accounting Standards.
      • Nor does the Statement of Changes in Equity.
      • There is no disclosure of related parties (an ACNC expectation).
        • Ministry comment: ‘I will address with our “Auditors” for all above.’
      • There is no explanation for how an office is run without any non-current assets (including, for instance, office equipment)?
        • Ministry comment: ‘We are supported, non financially, through the loving support of our Chairman.’
      • The distinction between direct and indirect income is not explained. Why would donations be direct but legacies – another form of donation – indirect?
      • The name on the largest ‘mission distribution’, ‘Cebu Missionary Foundation (Philippines)’ does not match the name of the partner elsewhere in the OFI material. (The name is nowhere on the website.)
        • Ministry comment: ‘This is the bank account name that Philippines money is sent too.’
      • Many of the Notes one would expect to see are missing.
      • The explanation for ‘Apostolic Ministry Expenses’ is confusing[3] and not supported by the information on the website.
        • If money is received on behalf of another ministry, it should not be included in revenue. For instance, is it the money that is talked about by Cliff and Helen Beard on their site?
          • Ministry comment: ‘This is a hangover of the past and has now been removed. Monies deposited were direct debit and only depositer are able to cancel.’

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • Last year’s deficit of 7% of income was repeated this year.
  • Minimal liabilities – either current or non-current.
  • No non-current assets.
  • Salaries and wages nearly doubled this year; they are $85K (for two part-time employees [AIS 2017]).
    • Ministry comment: ‘Now have a 4 day a week GM to help impact the lives of many needy children and communities. Increase from a 4 day per week admin manager.’

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • It was a review, not an audit. Which because of OFI’s size, permissible.
  • The reviewer, Mark LeCornu, of MRL Group Pty Ltd, ‘Chartered Accountants’, gave a clean conclusion:
    • ‘Based on our review, which is not an audit, nothing has come to our attention that causes us to believe that the financial report…does not satisfy the requirements of (the ACNC Act)’[4].

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

  • Yes

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Per the website, the people shown here.
    • The fourth is the Public Officer. Such an officer is not a member of the board by virture of that office.
  • The same people are shown on the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’), with Barry Scholz shown twice[5].

To whom is OFI accountable?

  • As a charity, to the ACNC.
  • Also to the South Australian regulator of incorporated associations.
  • Not mentioned on the website, but OFI is accountable to Missions Interlink via its Associate membership.
    • For one opinion on the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

 

  1. In the old name, and no link to their website.
  2. 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.
  3. Transactions described as Apostolic Ministry income and expenditure are made in various forms and include donations received, remuneration payments and benefits to a significant promoter of IGC. These payments are directly funded by donations in support of the Apostolic work of IGC together with direct ministry income that IGC derives from the Apostolic ministry within the organisation.’
  4. As he says in his report, ‘A review…consists of making enquiries, primarily of persons responsible for financial and accounting matters, and applying analytical and other review procedures. A review is substantially less in scope than an audit…and consequently does not enable us to obtain assurance that we would become aware of all significant matters that might be identified in an audit.’
  5. Barry’s first entry is as ‘Secretary’, yet the website shows Steve Buck as the Secretary.

 

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