Pipeline Ministries International Incorporated: mini-charity review

Mini charity review of Pipeline Ministries International Incorporated (PMI), an Associate member of Missions Link, and an organisation that provides an online donations facility.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • The draft review I sent on 24 February started a conversation that culminated in a few minor changes and the comments included below.

Is PMI registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a Victorian incorporated association (A0028363C).
    • It has no fundraising licence in its home state, or in any of the six others that have a licensing regime[1].

What do they do?

  • Generally: Under the pictures here.
  • More specifically, from the AIS 2016 (and with no intention of changing in 2017):
    • Pipeline raises funds in Australia through events such as trivia nights and garage sales and also from direct donations and sponsorships. This money is mainly used in the Philippines to support: – child feeding, – education of the less fortunate through child sponsorship and teachers’ salaries, – micros loans for small business, – emergency relief – community workers/pastors Pipeline works with a church organisation in the Philippines to carry these activities out. All work here and overseas is voluntary and sometimes dangerous. We travel to the Philippines at least annually at our own cost to oversee activities. Pipeline has a small activity in Melbourne’s Western suburbs to connect and support local women through a variety of activities

Do they share the Gospel?

  • It appears not.
    • Ministry comment: ‘All activities are humanitarian in nature.’

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing found.

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

  • The expenses are not presented to allow this calculation.
    • Ministry comment: ‘All activities in Australia and the Philippines are carried out by volunteers.  Expenses such as volunteers travelling to the Philippines are paid by the volunteers.  A part time co-ordinator in the Philippines is paid a small allowance, but this money does not come from donations to Pipeline.  All money raised by or donated to Pipeline is used to support others in need.’

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Yes

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA – not offered.

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

  • For a straight donation, no choices are shown on the website.
    • Ministry comment: ‘Please contact Pipeline (see link on website) if you would like to direct a donation to a specific activity.’
  • You can also ‘Sponsor a child’s education or
  • Buy an Amazing Gift Card
    • Schooling and School Supplies…
    • Support a Community Worker…’
    • Women’s Health (sic) Clinic’
    • Livestock…
    • Child Feeding Program’
  • ‘Provide ongoing support to a community worker. Please contact us.’

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (lodged five months after their year-end).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: No
    • ‘Pipeline’ is neither a business name nor a trading name.
    • No outcomes reported.
    • The ‘Expenses/Payments’ do not match those in the Financial Report.
  • Financial Report 2016:  Yes – but only because they don’t have to lodge one.
    • Having lodged one voluntarily, there is no requirement for it to comply with the ACNC’s requirements.
    • Their Associate membership of Missions Interlink requires them to “have available for [their] members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor.”
      • There is no audit report.
      • Even without this omission, it is arguable that a financial report that lacks two of the four financial statements required by the accounting profession, deviates markedly from what is required for the other two, and has no directors’ declaration, is not ‘appropriate’.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • Recognising that the financial statements are unaudited, and that the statements are not compliant with the Accounting Standards –
    • PMIrecorded a deficit, a deficit that was 18% of revenue.
    • The AIS 2016 says that almost 100% of the expenses were ‘Grants and donations…for use outside Australia’, but there isn’t enough to tell which organisations received this money.
    • Zero liabilities.
    • The remaining equity is only 1.5 times the last deficit.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • NA (see above).

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

  • Not quite – ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not shown on the website,
  • But from ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:
    • Glenis Brown
    • Thompson Debra (the wrong way around?)
    • Colin Lesueur
    • Denise Prince
    • Roger Vistarini

To whom is PMI accountable?

  • To Missions Interlink[2] via their Associate membership.
  • Also to the Victorian regulator of incorporated associations.
  • And, as an Australian registered charity, to the ACNC.

 

  1. The law in this area is not straightforward – is an internet invitation ‘fundraising’ for instance? – and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
  2. For one opinion on the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

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