Youth With A Mission Sunshine Coast Inc: charity review

This is a charity review of Youth With A Mission Sunshine Coast Inc (YSC), an organisation that has an online donation facility, and that is a member 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 is no invitation to give feedback, or to submit a complaint, on the website.
  • Neither accountability nor transparency are not mentioned on the website.
  • When sent a draft of this review, they…did not respond. (Last year, two and a half months after publication, John Faull, one of the Committee members, responded with “Looks good!  Thanks.”

Is YSC registered?

  • As a charity, yes[1].
  • YSC is a Queensland incorporated association (IA28315).
  • They hold one business name, 30 Days International, that they are not using, but are still trading under two names, YWAM Waves and YWAM Sunshine Coast, that are not registered.
  • YSC doesn’t actively seek donations on its website, and in the Annual Information Statement (AIS )2017 said that it didn’t plan to fundraise ‘in the next reporting period’, so this explains its lack of a fundraising licence in Queensland[2].

What do they do?

Do they share the Gospel?[3]

  • Yes, in the ‘Outreach’ component of their ‘DTS’, and in some of their ministries.

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?

  • Some of the expenses are unreadable, others barely so, so no reliable comment can be made.

Do they pay their directors?

  • Some of the expenses are unreadable, others barely so, so no reliable comment can be made.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No.

Is their online giving secure?

  • See the Security Policy at the bottom of the giving page.
    • There is a 2% charge.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes. But because YSC has the wrong ‘Financial Year End’ on the ACNC Register (30 June instead of 30 April), the reports were lodged eight months after their year-end.)
  • If you are considering a large donation, I’d suggest you reconsider. If you still want to after that, I would ask for readable, compliant, and up-to-date financial information (the accounts are for a year end that is now over 12 months ago).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2017: Like last year, no.
    • ‘Other names…’ is blank.
    • The wrong type of financial statements is specified.
    • No outcomes are reported.
    • The website is not, as they imply, the source of an annual report.
    • The association number is missing.
  • Financial Report 2017: Like last year, no.
    • Again, despite having been audited by a chartered accountant, Peter Rule,
      • Two financial statements are missing.
      • The two statements that are included are both incorrect.
      • There is no responsible persons’ declaration.
      • The auditor’s letter accompanying his report is included.
    • Many of the figures are too faint to be reliably read.
    • The absence of any Notes last year has been improved only marginally – now there is one small portion of a policy note.
    • A second letter that is normally private has been, without explanation, included in the Report.

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • Given the deficiencies of the Report, including the limited audit that was performed (see below), it would be unwise to rely on this Report as a description of the financial state of YSC.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • Once again, the auditor, Peter Rule, chartered accountant, of Complete Business Strategies Pty Ltd, has issued a qualified opinion.
    • Read here to see what this means compared to a ‘clean’ opinion.
    • This is Peter’s explanation of his qualification:
      • As is common for organisations of this type, it is not practicable for the Association to maintain an effective system of internal controls over receipts and payments until their initial entry in the accounting records.’
        • This is a huge deficiency in YSC’s practices. What it means is that, for 100% of everything that was given to or earnt by YSC, and for 100% of everything that was spent by YSC, the organisation has no checks to ensure that its transactions were reflected in the accounting records.
      • Why is it not possible for YSC to implement the necessary internal controls?  Other charities can.
      • Why are the directors happy to let this continue?
    • With this size gap in the audit procedures, and the deficiencies described under ‘Financial Report 2017’ (see above), YSC got off lightly – a refusal to issue an opinion seems more appropriate.
    • Peter is only qualified to do this audit because of the ACNC’s transitional provisions for reporting by incorporated associations:  the Queensland regulator doesn’t require the audit of YSC to be performed by a registered company auditor.

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

  • ‘Other Name(s)’ is missing the two names they use and the business name.
  • The year end is still shown as 30 June when it should be 30 April.
  • The description for ‘Annual Report’ does not lead to an annual report.
  • ‘Phone’, ‘Email’, and ‘Website’ are blank (but are not compulsory).

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

  • None.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • They are not shown on the website.
  • The ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’) says that there are three directors:
    • Patricia Hensser
    • Brian Hunsburger
    • Faull John-Daniel (should be the other way around?)
  • The constitution only requires three members for the committee.
  • The committee is accountable to the members of the association. The number of members is not publicly available.

To whom are YSC accountable?

  • As a charity, to the ACNC.
  • And to the regulator of Queensland incorporated associations.
  • Although they don’t mention it on the website, they are members of Missions Interlink.
    • For one opinion on the strength of this accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

 

 

  1. Sometimes the name they use is slightly different: Youth With A Mission (Sunshine Coast) Inc.
  2. None last year in the other states with a licensing regime, so I assume that this has not changed this year.
  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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