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Australian Missionary Tidings: charity review

Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.  Use the ‘Search charity names’ box to see if there is a later review.  If the latest review has a message like this, you are welcome to make your case for an updated review via email to ted@businessbythebook.com.au.

This is a review in the series ‘Members of Missions Interlink. Missions Interlink is ‘the Australian network for global mission’ and a means for a Member to get income tax exemption when it might not otherwise be available[1].

‘Australian Missionary Tidings’ is one such Member, and an organisation that seeks donations from the public on the internet.

Charity response

Both Members and Associates have to accept a set of standards, the introduction to which includes this statement:

I sent the member a draft of this review. Like last time, they…did not respond.


The ACNC, in their article, Donating to Legitimate Charities, gives “some things to consider to help you make sure your donation is going where it is intended”:

  1. Check the charity’s name.
  2. Ask for identification from anyone seeking a donation.
  3. Be careful of online requests for donations.
  4. No tax deduction doesn’t mean the charity is not a legitimate one, and
  5. Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations

Here’s the results for ‘Australian Missionary Tidings’[2], with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[3]

1.  There is a registered[4] charity in that name (AMT).

_ ________________________________________________________

2.  There is nothing to indicate that AMT uses third-party (donation) collectors.


3.  The web address begins with a closed padlock symbol, so the website is secure [the ACNC article above[5]]. The ‘Donate’ page has a GeoTrust site seal, so you know that your information will be secure.


4.  AMT’s ABN record says that it is not entitled to receive tax-deductible gifts. The website information is consistent with this.


5.  The use of your donations

For context, read here.

The audited account of how donations are used is the Financial Report 2018 on the ACNC Register.  Do you provide or give things to, receive things from, or have oversight of, or review, of AMT? Perhaps you intend to donate or are one of the donors responsible for donations of $2.01 million last year [Financial Report 2018]? Or one of the 158 missionaries? If so, can you ring AMT’s office and request that they prepare financial statements that answer the question or questions you have about the charity? I very much doubt it. You are therefore ‘potentially interested in the information provided in general purpose reports[6][7][x].

You are therefore in the wrong place – I only have access to the published accounts of AMT, and the directors (see below), with the agreement of the auditor, have again said that you don’t exist:

So, the financial statements have not been drawn up to suit you.  Use them therefore with this knowledge.

From the Financial Report 2018, there are only two expense items over 8% of the total: $186K for ‘Employee benefits expense’, and $1.86 million (83%) ‘Missionary expenses’. Just like last year, there is no explanation of this $1.86 million. No breakup. No destinations. Not helpful.

From the Directors’ Report [Financial Report 2018], these are the directors responsible for that decision:

Bob Haskard

David John Ferguson

Elaine Margaret Meers

Gordon Cowell

Juliette Sarka Hackett

Keith Cruickshank

Kenneth John Newton

Peter McCrindle

Robert Sven Anker Ottosson

Shelley Moss

Terrence Baden Parsons

End of review.



  1. For the previous review, see here.
  2. A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering:
    • Focus on the nature of the charity’s work, its beneficiaries and the impact the charity is having in the community.
    • Is it clear what the charity is trying to achieve and how its activities work towards its objectives?
    • Would you like to spend your money, or time if volunteering, to support these objectives?
    • Is the charity being transparent about its activities?

  3. The ACNC implies, therefore, that it is a ‘legitimate’ charity. But this is not correct – as the ACNC itself points out, registration is voluntary.
  4. The ACNC’s information (in its article above) is out-of-date.
  5. From Objective of General Purpose Financial Reporting (SAC2), www.aasb.gov.au
  6. http://tedsherwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/word-image-15.png