World Team Australia Incorporated: mini charity review

Mini charity review of World Team Australia Incorporated (WT), an organisation that seeks donations online[1]. (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?

  • I sent them a draft of this review on 6 September 2017. Like last year, they…. did not respond.

Is WT registered?

  • As a charity, yes
  • WT is a Victorian incorporated association (No. A0030511U).
  • WT still has no business names. (A trading name, which is what WT has, does not, despite its name, allow WT to do business under that name.) 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 still doesn’t have any fundraising licences[2].
  • WT operates overseas, per the ACNC Register, in Indonesia and Philippines. Papua is still missing from this list (see the AIS 2016).

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 2016:
    • Our main aim is to share the Gospel of Jesus with people by planting churches. Missionaries in Philippines offer English as second language training & computer training and train fishermen to dive safely. Our missionaries also work with locals to preserve the coral reefs. They also commence (plant) churches. In Papua we operate a HIV Clinic in Wamena, provide lecturers to a Bible College in Mamit.
  • ‘International activities’ in the AIS confirms that WT itself operates overseas:
    • Operating overseas including delivering programs

Do they share the Gospel?[3]

  • From the constitution, supported by the information immediately above, it’s not clear that they do this themselves.

What impact are they having

  • Nothing systematic found.
    • WT did not respond, once again, to the request in the AIS for a description of its outcomes.

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

  • There’s no Financial Report, but using the summary figures in the AIS 2016, and defining ‘direct’ as ‘Grants and donations made…’, ‘administration’ is 54% of the expenses.

Do they pay their directors?

  • There is no prohibition on this in their constitution.
  • There is insufficient financial information disclosed to check for 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 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 giving page (see above), but 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 (five months after their year-end, three weeks earlier than last year).
    • This means that the next financial report is due by 31 March 2017. 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 2016: Almost – no outcomes are reported.
  • Financial Report 2016: Yes
    • Because of its size WT doesn’t have to lodge a Financial Report.
    • WT did not choose to repeat what they did last year, and lodge one with the ACNC voluntarily.
    • It was, until recently, a member of Missions Interlink. One of their requirements is that members ‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor [Standards Statement, 4.1].

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • No Report (see above), but from the AIS 2016:
    • WT states in its AIS that they used the cash ‘accounting method’.
    • 87% of the $180K receipts came from ‘Donations and bequests’.
    • ‘Grants and donations made…’ totalled 50% of money spent.
    • The one employee cost 49% of receipts / 40% of payments (there was a large deficit).
      • Are the missionaries not employees?
    • The deficit was 23% of income. This left less than twice this amount in equity.
    • Because the cash method was used, liabilities (and assets if more than cash) must have been calculated outside the accounting system.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • No audit report has been published. (One is required though.)

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

  • No
    • ‘Responsible Persons’ has only two names.
    • ‘Date Established’ is blank.
    • WT is, at least according to the ACNC, (still) long overdue in selecting an Entity Subtype.
    • ‘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 blank.
  • From the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’), these are the leaders:
    • Anthony Lyon (the employee?)
    • Ian Parker
    • This is seven less than the number required by the constitution.

To whom are WT accountable?

  • Accountable to the ACNC.
  • And to the Victorian regulator of incorporated associations.

 

 

  1. If Mission Interlink’s list of members is accurate, WT recently gave up its membership. This means the loss of the income tax exemption provided via that membership.
  2. 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.
  3. 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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