P4T Inc: mini-charity review

The charity's Annual Information Statement current at the time of this review has been superseded.  Please start with the updated review published in July 2018, and come back to this one as needed.

Mini 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?

  • I sent them a draft of this review. The Treasurer’s comments for publication have been included below.

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 only describes the ‘Pong’:
    • The Pong is a dynamic and fun twenty-four hour table tennis event that runs in venues across Australia every October. Participants sign up to play for a minimum of three hours of table tennis at their venue of choice and invite their family/friends to sponsor their efforts.
  • The AIS 2016’s ‘activities and outcomes’ is about P4T:
    • 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 2016 we have partnered with 60 community groups across Australia (churches, high schools, sporting groups, and even 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 Pingpongathon website and online fundraising system. Funds raised through the pingpongathon project are distributed to partner organisations that provide on the ground benevolent assistance to the victims of human trafficking. We also ran forums where we brought thought leaders together to discuss ways in which individuals and communities can be more effective in seeing people flourish in their daily lives.

Do they share the Gospel?[1]

  • No.

What impact are they having?

  • Here’s their description of the achievements of the seven organisations that received the proceeds of the 2016 Pingpong-A-Thon.

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

  • If we define ‘direct’ as ‘Beneficiary Support, it cost P4T $113K to make grants of $172K. That’s ‘administration’ of 40%. This is up from 35% last year.
    • Ministry comment: ‘You analysis of “administration” costs is inaccurate in that much of the wages and other costs within the P&L relate to fulfilling our objective of educating Pingpongathon participants and donors about issues of human trafficking as well as assisting our partner organisations in Asia. The nature of these activities are not “ administrative”. Our actual “administration” costs are very low due to the amount of voluntary work done by people supportive of our activities.’
      • Reviewer response: My statements about ‘administration’ costs are consistent with the ACNC information I provide in the link.  Change the definition of ‘administration’, change the result.
  • All the recipients of P4T grants 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.
    • Ministry comment: ‘Board members serve voluntarily. The exception is disclosed in Note 1 f) and also referred to in Note 11.’
      • Reviewer response: Neither of these Notes directly address the question of board member remuneration.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Yes

Is their online giving secure?

  • Security is not mentioned.
    • Ministry comment: ‘Online giving is secure through “Register Now” in 2016 and then “Raisley” in 2017.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (lodged four months after their year-end, the same as 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 12 months ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: No
    • The figure for ‘Donations and grants’ does not match the Statement of Profit or Loss information. It should be $350,491.
      • Ministry comment: The Treasurer told me that the ‘…. Infrastructure Income’ was also a donation.
        • Reviewer response: However, even with this figure included, the AIS figure is still incorrect.
    • The statement that there will be no changes to the activities in 2017 does not match the information in the Committee’s Report.
  • Financial Report 2016: No
    • Despite claiming compliance with the Accounting Standards, P4T continue to produce their own versions of the statement about profit or loss and the statement about changes in equity.
    • The Notes of (sic) the Financial Statements are still missing many Notes.
      • Including a Note on related party transactions.

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • One dollar out of every four raised was not spent, that is, the surplus as a percentage of income was a relatively high 25% (26% last year).
    • Ministry comment: ‘The comment of $1 of every $4 not being spent does not accurately reflect operations as it ignores the timing issues of cashflow disclosed in Note 1e). A better measure of this would be the retained earnings in the Balance sheet, which at June 2016 was $2,604. This reflects the fact that nearly all our resources are allocated towards our objectives.
      • Reviewer response: My comment is on the Statement of Profit or Loss.   An allocation to a reserve is not included in a measure of what is consumed/spent in the year.
    • 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.
  • No issues with either short-term or long-term financial structure.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion.
    • He has again omitted one of the statements from the scope of his audit, yet has included one that shouldn’t be included, the Committee’s Report.
    • To take the right amount of comfort for his finding, please read here and here.

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

  • Except for the misspelling of the business name (Pingpong-A-Thon), yes.
    • P4T themselves use two other variations of this name.

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

  • ‘Donate to a friend’
    • Specify the ‘Player, Team Or Event Name’ (a search box)
  • ‘Or make a general donation’

Where were your (net) donations sent?

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

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. 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.

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