P4T Inc: charity review

This is a charity review of P4T Inc (P4T), an organisation that seeks donations online 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 situation last year, read the review here.)

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • There is nothing about feedback, complaints or accountability on the website.
  • I sent them a draft of this review. Unlike last year, they did not respond.

Is P4T registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • P4T is a Victorian incorporated association (A0055403B).
  • P4T operates, per the ACNC Register, all over Australia. Plus they have an internet invitation to give.
    • It has the necessary registration to carry on business interstate (an ARBN), and it is registered to fundraise in all the states that require charities to register.

What do they do?

  • ‘About’ on the website:
    • ‘Ping Pong-A-Thon is a fundraising & advocacy movement, combating human trafficking and exploitation of young people in South East Asia through a series of table tennis events held annually in October’.].
  • But it’s more than this:
    • Engaging and empowering other organisations and individuals to provide benevolent relief is fundamental to the purpose and implicit of our philosophy of “Partnering for Transformation”. These are the words that stand behind our name P4T. We are a small core group but have highly developed skills sets and networks which we leverage to the benefit of the broader community. Our largest project is the “Pingpongathon”, which engages people to volunteer to play table tennis in their local community as a means of raising both awareness and funds for the cause of eliminating human trafficking and sexual exploitation of young people. In 2017 we have partnered with 100 community groups across Australia (churches, high schools, sporting groups, community groups, businesses, and a hotel), who connected with their local community inviting individuals to participate and fundraise. In the process, P4T provides educational material to raise awareness of the existence of the problem of human trafficking and also challenges the attitudes of participants about respect for individual rights. This aspect is also aimed at reducing the incidence of domestic violence in the community. Local participating community groups encourage their participants to register and fundraise through the Pingponga-thon website and online fundraising system. Funds raised through the Pingpong-athon project are distributed to partner organisations that provide on the ground benevolent assistance to the victims of human trafficking[1] [The AIS 2017’s ‘activities and outcomes’].
    • For more detailed information about what they did in 2017, see ‘Principal Activities’ in the Committee’s Report [Financial Report 2017].

Do they share the Gospel[2]?

  • No.
  • Despite P4T’s membership of Missions Interlink, ‘the Australian network for global mission’, there is no evidence that P4T is a ‘Christian’ organisation. The constitution doesn’t mention faith, let alone Christianity. ‘Christ’, ‘Jesus’, ‘the gospel’, ‘Christian’ and ‘Christ-centered’ are not mentioned on the website.

What impact are they having?

  • There is no discussion of the impact that is being sought.
  • Here’s their description of the achievements of the seven organisations that received the proceeds of the 2016 Pingpong-A-Thon. There’s no update for 2017.

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

  • If we define ‘direct’ as ‘Pingpongathon Beneficiary Support[3], it cost P4T $198K to make grants of $358K. That’s ‘administration’ of 36%.
  • P4T says (Note 1 e) that only 65% of the ‘Pingpongathon’ revenue is earmarked for recipients, the remaining 35% being for ‘project operating costs’. If the 35% is not spent, the balance is transferred to a reserve, the Pingpongathon Development Reserve.
  • P4T’s record on the Victorian fundraising regulator’s database says that administration is 20%.
  • All the recipients of P4T grants, except Home of New Beginnings, accept donations from the public (see links below).

Do they pay their board members?

  • The constitution is silent on paying board members.
  • There is insufficient disclosure of expenses to check for a payment.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Yes

Is their online giving secure?

  • Security is (still) not mentioned.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (lodged three months after their year-end, a month earlier 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 over six months ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2017: No
    • The ‘Other name(s)…’ is misspelt.
    • The figure for ‘Employee expenses’ is only the amount for ‘Pingponathon Employment Expenses’.
    • ‘All other expenses’ is incorrect.
    • Contrary to the answer for ‘Annual Report’, there is no annual report on the website.
  • Financial Report 2017: No
    • Despite claiming compliance with the Accounting Standards, P4T continue to produce a statement about profit or loss and the statement about changes in equity without including ‘Other comprehensive income’[4].

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • The surplus as a percentage of income was reduced from a relatively high 25% to 9%.
  • No issues with either short-term or long-term financial structure.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • The auditor, C P Brown, ‘Registered Companies Auditor’, issued a ‘clean’ opinion.
    • But he has again omitted one of the statements from the scope of his audit, and has again included one that shouldn’t be included, the Committee’s Report.
    • To take the right amount of comfort from his finding, please read here and here.

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

  • No
    • The business name is (still) misspelt.
      • P4T themselves use two other variations of this name.
    • Overseas beneficiaries are omitted from ‘Who the Charity Benefits’.

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

  • None – just ‘Ping Pong-A-Thon’

Where were your (net) donations sent?

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not shown on the website, but as shown on the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’):
  • Missing from this list, to match the Committee’s Report [Financial Report 2017], is Matthew Maudin.
  • The committee is responsible to the members. The number of members is not disclosed, so we can’t assess this accountability.

To whom are P4T accountable?

  • As a charity, to the ACNC.
  • Also to the Victorian regulator of incorporated associations.
  • Not claimed on the website, but P4T is a member of Missions Interlink, an organisation that has a general accountability regime.
    • For one opinion on the strength of this accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

 

 

  1. Board member Ian Skurrie has a different idea of what P4T is about:
  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. This includes $21K ‘PPAT Partner Visitation & In Country Support’.
  4. And why is interest not accrued?

 

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