Youth With A Mission Sunshine Coast Inc: mini-charity review

Mini-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?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they, like last year, did not respond.

Is YSC registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • As a Queensland incorporated association (IA28315).
  • They are trading under two names, YWAM Waves and YWAM Sunshine Coast, that are still not registered business names.
  • YSC is not registered for fundraising in any of the seven states that have a fundraising licence regime. This includes the state in which they operate[1].

What do they do?

  • They conduct ‘DTS’ and ‘SBS’ (including ‘Titus’) courses for Christians (see the main menu), and have various ministries to non-believers.

Do they share the Gospel?[2]

  • Yes, in the ‘Outreach’ component of their ‘DTS’, and in some of their ‘YWAM 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?

  • The expenses are not classified to allow this calculation.

Do they pay their directors?

  • Although not prohibited by their constitution, there is no evidence that they do.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No.

Is their online giving secure?

  • Westpac’s portal is used, so yes.
    • There is a 2% charge.
  • See the Security Policy at the bottom of the giving page.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • It is now. But for two months it was overdue, and if it weren’t for the Register giving YSC three months longer to lodge than it should (see below), that would have been five months.
    • 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 nearly one and a half years ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: Like last year, no.
    • Under ‘Financial Information’
      • Only two of the figures match those in the financial statement.
      • The wrong type of financial statements is specified.
    • No outcomes are reported.
    • The description of ‘International activities’ is ‘Operating overseas including delivering programs’.
  • Financial Report 2016: Like last year, no.
    • 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 are no Notes to the accounts.
      • There is no responsible persons’ declaration.
      • The auditor’s letter accompanying his report is included.

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[3].
  • The Report shows
    • a ‘Net Profit’ of $356K on revenue of $1.56m. That’s a high 24%.
    • $646K in the bank.
    • $362K owed to them from credit sales.
    • $153K ‘Fixed Assets’ and no liabilities.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • 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.’ So, 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.
    • With this size gap in the audit procedures, and the deficiencies described under ‘Financial Report 2016’ (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 NSW regulator doesn’t require the audit of LP to be performed by a registered company auditor.

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

  • Not incomplete, but incorrect: the year end is still shown as 30 June when it should be 30 April.
  • ‘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 says that there are four directors (which is one more than the minimum required by the constitution):
    • Patricia Hensser
    • Brian Hunsburger
    • Faull John-Daniel (should be the other way round?)
    • Kerie Schaber
  • 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.
  • Plus, they are members of Missions Interlink.
    • For one opinion on the strength of this accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

 

 

  1. 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.
  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.
  3. Confidence in the Report is not helped by the presence of the expense items ‘Cash – stolen 3.021.35’ and ‘Account Corrections 775.66’.

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