Home / Charity Reviews /

‘Australian Presbyterian World Mission’: 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Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 Presbyterian World Mission’ 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. They continued their practice of not responding.


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 Presbyterian World Mission’[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 no registered charity in that name.

With an abbreviation of ‘Australian’ to ‘Aust’, there are two registered[4] charities that have that name included in theirs:

Comparing the website linked from Missions Interlink, and the websites given on the Register, it is the second of these charities that is the Missions Interlink member, ‘Australian Presbyterian World Mission’.

Neither the name ‘Australian Presbyterian World Mission’, nor ‘APWM’, have been registered as business names.

_ ________________________________________________________

2.  There is nothing to indicate that APWM 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]]. PayPal is used, so your information should be secure.


4.  APWM’s ABN record says that it is not entitled to receive tax-deductible gifts. The website supports this.


5.  The use of your donations

There is no information given on this.

PWMC is controlled by The Presbyterian Church New South Wales Property Trust. Because of that relationship it is a member – along with 10 other charities[6] – of the ACNC reporting group, Presbyterian Church (New South Wales) Property Trust ACNC GROUP. This means one Annual Information Statement and one Financial Report covering all 11 charities. So, legally, no information about APWM (money received, money spent, impact) is required. None is offered.

If you are willing to rely on the Group Financial Report 2018 for your accountability, be careful: if you are somebody who would have Buckley’s chance of being able to get APWM to produce a financial report just for you, then the Report is not written for you. This is because it is a ‘special purpose’ report, and you need a ‘general purpose’ one[7].

To produce the kind of financial statements that imply that any stakeholder, past or prospective, can get a body controlling 11 charities, earning $18.39 million, and with 334 staff, to tailor financial statements to their needs, is ridiculous.

Even if APWM wasn’t a member of an ACNC Group, their status as a ‘basic religious charity’ would mean that they didn’t have to submit a financial report. The legislators responsible for the ACNC Act apparently thought – I’ve not been able to find the reasoning – that there was enough accountability and transparency for you in the requirements of the religious system to which these charities belonged. Is that the case for Presbyterians? Over to you.



  1. See here for the previous review.
  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. Up two from last year.
  6. From Objective of General Purpose Financial Reporting (SAC2), www.aasb.gov.au:http://tedsherwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/word-image-15.png