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‘Christian & Missionary Alliance’: charity review

Their is a later review, published 30 October 2021.

This is a review[1] in the series ‘Members of Missions Interlink’, Missions Interlink being ‘the Australian network for global mission[2][i] (and a means for a Member to get income tax exemption when it might not otherwise be available[3][ii]. ‘Christian & Missionary Alliance’ is one such Member.


Nothing on the website.


The name in the membership list links to the website for ‘The Alliance/The Christian and Missionary Alliance of Australia’. Here they seek donations from the public.

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 ‘The Alliance/The Christian and Missionary Alliance of Australia’, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[4]

 1.  There’s no charity registered in the name ‘TheAlliance’. Nor is there a business name, so they cannot legally trade under that name. A search on ‘The Christian and Missionary Alliance of Australia’ gives an almost identical charity, The Christian and Missionary Alliance of Australia Inc. [The Alliance]. Again, no business name, so they should be including ‘Inc.’/’Incorporation’ on the end of the website name (and elsewhere).[5]

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2.  There is nothing on The Alliances’ website to suggest that they use either volunteer or professional fundraisers door-to-door or in the street.


3.  The web address begins with a closed padlock symbol, so the website is secure [the ACNC article above]. But there is no mention of the security of your information on the giving pages.


4.  The Alliance’s ABN record says that it is not entitled to receive tax-deductible gifts. The giving pages support this.


5.  The use of your donations

As context, read here what The Alliance does.

The audited account of how a charity uses donations is the Financial Report on the ACNC Register.

Directors/committee members have a choice between two kinds of reports, special purpose or general purpose. The requirements of the former are less onerous than the latter.

The Alliance’s auditor, Bhaumik Bumia is a partner in the firm Hardwickes. This is what his professional body, Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand, has to say about the choice between the two types of reports[6]:

With a diverse range of donors all over Australia providing (either directly or indirectly[7]), $1.22 million revenue, operating in five States and nine overseas countries, and eight full-time equivalent employees, it is hard to see how a special purpose report is the right choice. But that is the choice that the committee members of The Alliance made.

And the auditor, a Chartered Accountant, agreed with them.

One of the implications of their choice is that you can ring The Alliance’s office and request that they prepare financial statements that answer the question or questions you have about the charity. I strongly doubt that they will agree[8]. And if they don’t then the accounts presented by the committee members are not for you. In fact, they say that you don’t exist:

Preparing special purpose reports means that charities do not need, among other things, to consolidate (produce a combined picture if they control over entities), and do not need to disclose related parties and transactions with related parties.

Information on the ACNC Register gives good evidence[9] that The Alliance controls the following three charities:

The Trustee for Cama Services Overseas Aid Fund

The Christian And Missionary Alliance Development Fund

The Christian And Missionary Alliance of Australasia Property Trust

You are therefore not getting the full picture of the resources under the control of The Alliance’s committee.

These are the committee members who were responsible for the reporting decision:

Ken Graham

Patrick Suen

Chanh Doan

Dr Peter Laughlin

Daniel Yeung

Aman Gupta

Franko Chen

Russell Holmes

Simon Russell-Brown

Jennifer Fung[10]

The ACNC Register shows that Chanh, Chen and Holmes have since been replaced by Nelson Koh, Tam Tran, and Kelvin Kam.

The use of your donations

If you are still willing to consider donating to The Alliance, here is how your donations were used:

Cash spent

From the Statement of Cash Flows (with last year in the second column):

No further information is given on this figure. So, we don’t have enough information to understand where the cash went.

Resources consumed (i.e. accrual)

This, from the Statement of Profit or Loss and Other Comprehensive Income, is how the activities translated into expenses (with last year’s figures in the second column):

This is the only information about these items; for instance, we don’t know the destination of the money sent overseas (or locally).

There is nothing in the Financial Report 2019 on how The Alliance ensures that (a) the money reaches the overseas organisation (or the Australian ministries, and (b) it is used for the purposes given.

Charity response

The tax exemption that being a Member of Missions Interlink confers is one reason why Members have to accept a set of standards. The introduction to these includes this statement:

We sent a draft of this review to The Alliance on 4 April 2020. At the time of publication, nearly three weeks later, they had not responded.


  1. See here for the previous review.

  2. https://missionsinterlink.org.au/about/

  3. 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?

  4. Associations Incorporation Act 1991:

  5. Enhancing Not-for-Profit Annual and Financial Reporting, March 2013, accessed from their website March 2020.

  6. Maybe the unexplained ‘General income’ comes from churches rather than individuals.

  7. The accounting profession says that you are therefore ‘potentially interested in the information provided in general purpose financial reports’. [From Objective of General Purpose Financial Reporting (SAC2), www.aasb.gov.au].

  8. See the previous review.

  9. The committee members are accountable to the members. The number of members is not disclosed.