World Team Australia Incorporated: charity review

This is a charity review of World Team Australia Incorporated (WT), an organisation that seeks donations online, and is a ‘Member Organisation’ of Missions Interlink. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

For the previous review, see here.

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • There’s nothing on the website inviting feedback or complaints, nor is accountability mentioned.
  • I sent them a draft of this review. Like the last two years, they…did not respond.

Is WT registered?

  • As a charity, yes
  • WT is a Victorian incorporated association (No. A0030511U).
  • WT still holds no business names[1]. Registration is therefore required to continue to us the name World Team (its website), and World Team Australia (Facebook).
  • WT operates, per the ACNC Register, in Victoria (its home state), New South Wales and Queensland.
    • It still doesn’t have an ARBN, a registration required if it is doing business interstate.
    • It said in the AIS 2017 that it intended to fundraise (but didn’t state where). It still doesn’t explain why it has no fundraising licences.
  • WT operates overseas, per the ACNC Register, in Indonesia and Philippines.

What do they do?

  • The About page in the Australian site is not particularly about WT but about World Team as an international group.
  • From the Description of charity’s activities and outcomes in the AIS 2017:
    • We were able to ensure our missionaries on the field received adequate financing to enable them to work in their chosen fields.

Do they share the Gospel[2]?

  • Without knowing what their missionaries do, we can’t say.

What impact are they having?

  • No information found.

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

  • The Financial Report 2017 is not clear about what is sent to missionaries, but the AIS 2017 says that $73K was ‘Grants and donations made…’. That makes ‘administration’ 60% of expenses.

Do they pay their directors?

  • There is no prohibition on this in their constitution.
  • They have no employees (AIS 2017), yet ‘Director expense’ of $58K, so maybe they do make such payments?

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

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

  • ‘World Team Missionaries’
    • No online option
  • ‘World Team Ministry Fund’
    • The link still leads back to itself.
  • ‘Priority Projects’
    • ‘Micro-enterprise/Missionary Training (Africa)’
    • ‘Abra Advance Training Center’
    • ‘Oroko Bible Translation (Cameroon)’
    • ‘Missionary Care’
    • ‘Rain Forest (sic) International School Youth Hostel’
    • ‘Papua Translation and Literacy Project’
    • ‘Mission: Mobilization’
    • ‘Technology’
    • ‘Tribal Ministry (Suriname)’
    • ‘Church Planting (France)’
    • Each of these ten options has a link to a further page. No giving options are shown on those pages.
  • ‘Innovative Giving’
    • The page from the link includes the statement ‘If you from Australia and would like to make a tax-deductible gift, please go here. This takes you to the Australian home page (see above), but, as we have seen, there is no tax-deductible option there.

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA

Where were your (net) donations sent?

  • No information on this is available.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (a week late, over six months after their year-end, and a month later than last year).
    • This means that the next financial report is due by 31 March 2019. Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date. You may therefore need to ask for more up-to-date information.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2017: No
    • WT is not a Basic Religious Charity.
    • No outcomes are reported.
    • The number of employees is zero yet there is a figure for ‘Employee expenses/payments’.
    • The financial statements presented are inconsistent with the cash ‘accounting method’.
    • ‘Employee expenses/payments’ does not match the financial statements.
    • The state where WT intends to fundraise is missing.
  • Financial Report 2017: Yes. But…
    • Because of its size WT doesn’t have to lodge a Financial Report.
    • This year they returned to their previous practice and lodged one voluntarily. A voluntary submission does not need to comply with the ACNC’s requirements.
    • It does have to match the requirements of Missions Interlink though. WT must ‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor’.
    • Apart from it being difficult to read because of a formatting problem, the absence of two of the normal financial statements, many of the normal Notes, and Other Comprehensive Income, makes the Report questionable as something that is ‘appropriate’.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • The employee(s) cost 39% of revenue.
  • Are the missionaries not employees?
  • The deficit as a percentage of income was reduced from 31% to 13%.
  • Both short-term and long-term financial structure are, based on this Financial Report, sound.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • The auditor, Anand Shukla, A One Accountants Pty Ltd, reviewed the financial statements, and gave a ‘clean’ conclusion.  Which, given the fact that he was the one who drew up (‘compiled’) the statements, is not surprising.
    • This conclusion was despite the fact that two of the four required statements are missing.

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

  • No
    • WT is, at least according to the ACNC, (still) long overdue in selecting an Entity Subtype.
    • World Team Australia is missing from ‘Other Name(s)’
    • ‘Date Established’ is blank.
    • WT is not a ‘Basic Religious Charity’.
    • ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank, but they are not compulsory.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • The page on the website for ‘Leadership’ is still blank.
  • From the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’), the charity is run by just two people:
  • This is still seven less than the number required by the constitution.

To whom are WT accountable?

  • As a charity, to the ACNC.
  • As an association, to the Victorian regulator of incorporated associations.
  • As a recipient of valuable benefits, to Missions Interlink.
    • For one opinion on the strength of this accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

 

 

  1. A trading name, which is what WT has, does not, despite its name, allow WT to do business under that name.
  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.

 

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