Youth With A Mission – Tasmania Inc: charity review

This is a charity review of Youth With A Mission – Tasmania Inc (YWAMT) an organisation that seeks donations online[1], and is exempt from Australian income tax via its membership 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.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • The box for comments on the ‘Give’ form says ‘Notes/feedback’.
  • They don’t mention their own accountability on the website they share.
  • I sent them a draft of this review. For the third year running, they… didn’t respond.

Is YWAMT registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • YWAMT is a Tasmanian incorporated association (No. 01883C)[2].
    • Not an ‘Other Incorporated Entity’ as they still show on their ABN record.
  • No registered business names, so YWAMT therefore cannot legally trade under any other name than its legal name.
    • Despite this, it appears to be a department of Southlands YWAM on this website, it is called Southlands Tasmania by YWAM Australia, and YWAM Southlands Tasmania on one of its Facebook pages.
  • YWAMT operates, per the ACNC Register, only in Tasmania. But it has an online invitation to give. It doesn’t explain why it no fundraising licences.

What do they do?

  • See their page on the shared website.
  • The ACNC Register says that they do not operate overseas.

Do they share the Gospel[3]?

  • It is a ‘foundational value’ of theirs, so one would expect so.
  • But from the description of what they did in 2017 (AISA 2017), and the fact that donors can get a tax deduction for their donation, perhaps they don’t.

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 financial statement that gives this information has not been included in the Financial Report, and the summary in the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2017 is not structured to allow even an estimate to be made.

Do they pay their directors?

  • Same answer as immediately above.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Yes

Is their online giving secure?

  • The potential donor is told to ‘…use the secure form below to process your Credit Card or PayPal payment. However, there is no support for the statement that giving is secure.

Where were the (net) donations sent?

  • The AIS 2017 says that no grants or donations were made.

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

  • From the website:
    • General Donation (Tasmania)
    • ‘School Building & Maintenance Fund (Tasmania) [AU Tax Deductible]
    • ‘School Fees (Tasmania)
    • ‘Seminar / Outreach (Tasmania)
    • ‘Staff Donation / Payment (Tasmania) [AU Tax Deductible]
    • ‘Other – Please Specify Below’
  • What makes some tax-deductible, others not?

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (five and a half months after year end, a month earlier than last year).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2017: No
    • The description of their activities is almost identical to last year’s.
    • The accounting method was ‘Cash’, yet a balance sheet was provided.
    • The Annual Report is just an audit report.
    • The audit report is not included in the Financial Report.
    • No outcomes are reported.
    • They have an online invitation to give but say that they are not intending to fundraise.
    • The declaration of zero employees is contradicted by the presence of ‘Employee expenses’ in another section.
  • Financial Report 2017: Yes, but only because YWMT’s size has dropped below the threshold for a Medium charity.
    • This report is still grossly deficient. It is missing
      • three of the four financial statements
      • the Notes to the accounts
      • a directors’ declaration, and
      • an audit report.
        • An audit appears to have been performed, but it is not included in the Financial Report. Instead, it is attached separately in the place where an Annual Report can be attached.
        • Its condition is as woeful as that of the Financial Report – see below.
    • The only thing that is included in the Financial Report, a ‘Balance Sheet’, is not in the proper form and shows much questionable accounting.
    • Apart the ACNC’s requirements, the Report falls far short of (a) YWAMT’s own requirements in the constitution, and (b) Mission Interlink’s requirements.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • Given the issues above, no comment.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • Despite the parlous state of the Financial Report, and a ‘limitation of scope’, the auditor, Rendell W. Ridge, of Max Peck and Associates, gave a ‘clean’ opinion.
  • Even without this clearly unsupportable view, the material and frequent divergence of his report from the Auditing Standards means that no reliance should be placed on it.

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

  • No
    • The selection of a subtype – under ‘Entity Subtype’ – is long overdue (30 June 2015), but are the ACNC just taking a very long time to fix a system error?
      • The current subtype, ‘Public benevolent institution’ does not seem consistent with the primary purpose in the constitution:
        • To advance the Christian Faith (sic) in all parts of Australia and the rest of the World (sic) by such means as the committee of the Association may determine…
    • ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank, but neither are compulsory.
      • The phone number on the website is 03 6265 2108.
      • The website linked from the Missions Interlink list of members is a website in the name of an unregistered Youth With A Mission organisation covering YWAMT and two other Youth With A Mission charities.
    • ‘Who the Charity Benefits’ is blank.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • The directors are not shown on the website.
  • From the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’):
    • Timothy Coates
    • Tracey Coates
    • Matthew Colwell
    • Raymond Lind
    • Shiree Lind
    • Robert Lucerne
    • Amy Thompson

To whom is YWAMT accountable?

  • As a charity, to the ACNC.
  • And to the Tasmanian regulator of incorporated associations.
  • Not mentioned on the website, but YWAMT is a member of Missions Interlink.
    • For one opinion of the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

 

  1. On the website that is linked in the Missions Interlink membership list.
  2. The official name is slightly different to the one on the ABN register/ACNC Register, and both are slightly different to the one in the constitution.
  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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