Sydney Missionary & Bible College: charity review

This is a charity review of Sydney Missionary & Bible College (SMBC), an organisation that seeks donations on the internet, and is a member of Missions Interlink.

The Australian charities regulator, the ACNC, in their Factsheet: Making sure your donation gets to where it needs to, gives “some steps to consider to help make sure your donation is going where it is intended.”

  1. Check the organisation’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 are the answers for SMBC[1]:

1: Checked. It is a registered charity.

2. NA

3. SMBC’s “web address begins with ‘https’ and…there is a closed padlock symbol next to the website’s URL in the address bar”. A secure way to give to SMBC.

4. You can get a tax deduction. But four of the seven options are donations to another charity, SMBC Foundation Limited. There is still no explanation of the relationship between the Foundation and SMBC, either on the website or in either charity’s Financial Report 2017. End of review[2].

(Think this a bit tough? Proceed to the fifth of the ACNC’s steps, and you’ll probably make the same decision. For there you will find that the directors of SMBC, supported by the auditor, C I Chandran of Pitcher Partners, have once again made two highly questionable decisions about the reporting of SMBC finances: 1. They still maintain that, despite revenue of $7.14 million and having 71 staff, that they don’t need to produce financial statements that comply with all the Accounting Standards[3] and (2) $550K of borrowings that have no set repayment date can be classified as non-current rather than current, thereby greatly reducing the existing challenge to validity of the going concern assumption. Romans 13:1-7. James 3:1.)

 

  1. I sent them a draft of this review. In not responding, they continued their practice of the previous two years.
  2. Involved with this charity and want to know more? See last year’s review – not much has changed.
  3. This means that they are saying, in effect, that any of the present and prospective stakeholders can get SMBC to prepare financial statements tailored to their needs. Ludicrous.

 

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