W.E.C. International: mini-review for donors

The charity's Annual Information Statement current at the time of this review has since been superseded.  Please start with the updated review published in October 2017, and come back to this one as needed.

 Mini-review of W.E.C. International (WEC) as an organisation that seeks donations. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

  • Ministry ‘bottom line’: ‘we prefer to speak to anyone who wants to know more of our purpose or support WEC in any way, (sic) we like to form long term relationships with supporters’ [see last question below].

Is WEC registered?

  • Yes, as a charity.
  • Also as a public company (a company limited by guarantee).
  • Operating in six states, but not licensed to fundraise in any of them.

What do they do?

  • ‘WEC Australia is made up of 6 teams that are here to help you & us achieve our vision of: Seeing Australians & their churches passionately involved in strategic roles so that multiplying churches are planted among unreached people throughout the world.
    • The six teams are mobilisation, support services, member care, Worldview, and the Australian leadership team [How we work].
    • All working towards this aim:
      • We aim to go to the least evangelised people and give them the opportunity to hear why Jesus came and why He had to die.

Do they share the Gospel?

What impact are they having?

  • A search on ‘impact’ and ‘outcome(s)’ produced no relevant hits.
  • Nor is there anything relevant in the last two quarterly newsletters.

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

  • Excluding ‘Gifts and Donations’ and ‘Events & (the unexplained) Ministry’ from total expenses, the figure is 83%.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No, not according to the ABN record.
    • But that is contradicted, without explanation, on the giving page:
      • Donations to WEC are generally NOT tax deductible, although a few of our ministries are.

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA. (You have to send a completed form to them.)

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes. (Lodged a week before the last day.)
    • 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 seven months ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • Ministry response: ‘Compliant reporting according to Government regulations will never manage to get into the organisations culture as it is at a high level and for general purposes.’
  • AIS 2015: Except for the absence of outcomes, it complies.
  • Financial Report 2015: Questionable compliance.
    • There is no mention of its fully owned subsidiary[2] Worldview Centre for Intercultural Studies.
    • Nor mention of its two ministries, BETEL and Rainbows of Hope.
    • Neither the Directors’ Declaration nor the Independent Audit Report make any reference to the legislation under which WEC report, the ACNC Act.
    • ‘Other Comprehensive Income’ is missing from the Comprehensive Statement of Income (and consequently, the Statement of Changes in Equity.)
    • The treatment of Financial Assets does not comply with the Accounting Standards.
    • There is no explanation why a charity with revenue of $803K, and that is involved only with sending missionaries overseas, would have a $20.42 m property portfolio.
    • Ditto financial assets of $2.16 m.
    • There is no explanation for the absence of employees.
      • Ministry response: Each WEC member is totally self supported by their own gifts and donations or personal jobs, which is why there is no employment status for any of our workers. While this may impose pressures on each worker, it enforces the development of personal relationships with our churches and supporters and releases the organisation to focus on training, sending and member care.’
    • The majority of the $315K non-current Payables should be reserves instead.
    • Note 9 says that there was a revaluation yet there is no change in the Asset Revaluation Reserve.
    • There is no explanation for how the loan, for 15 years, of $250K to Betel Australia Ltd is consistent with the mission.

What was the financial situation shown by that Report?

  • There is nothing obviously threatening either short-term or long-term stability.
    • This is helped by the fact that it has no paid staff.
    • The property holdings (see above) appear to be responsible for over 60% of WEC’s expenses. Is it getting sufficient return on these assets?

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion. To take the right amount of comfort for this finding, please read here and here.

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

  • The claim that it has no overseas operations does not fit with its mission.

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

  • They are shown on the ‘Donate’ page of the website:
    • A general donation to help our Team in Australia Care, Mobilise and send workers to other countries to Reach People and plant Churches (sic),
    • A donation to a team of WEC workers overseas,
    • A donation to a WEC person you know and want to support their ministry [Donate].
  • Ministry comment on income: All money that comets us in (sic) is given, 100%, to the intended recipient and any member who incurs living costs paid by WEC is then required to reimburse WEC, so any WEC member achieves a zero personal benefit from WEC income. Much of the income reported is the reimbursements from WEC members.’

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • There’s a page Meet our team on the website, but it doesn’t even mention the Board.
  • See instead the Responsible Persons section on the Register.

To whom is WEC accountable?

  • Apart from the ACNC, it is a Member of Missions Interlink.
    • WEC doesn’t claim membership of Missions Interlink, but its subsidiary, Worldview Centre for Intercultural Studies does.
    • About the accountability this provides: see the section Activities in this review.

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they responded quickly, challenging many of the comments. However, apart from one minor change, there was no reason to change the review. When I explained how I had come to this conclusion, they sent a general response, the appropriate sections of which have been included above.

 

 

  1. It is required by the first object in the constitution: to promote the speediest possible fulfilment of the command of our Lord Jesus Christ by a definite attempt to evangelise the remaining unevangelised parts of the Earth as enunciated in the Principles and Practice.
  2. Support for this view: (1) the statement on the website: “Worldview is a team of WEC Australia”, (2) the fact that the members of Worldview are members of WEC, and (3) Worldview’s statement that ‘the centre is an integral division of the missionary society WEC…

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