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Church Missionary Society – Australia: 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Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 review in the series ‘Members of Missions Interlink’, Missions Interlink being the Australian Evangelical Alliance Inc‘s ‘network for global mission‘. We review these charities because their membership means that they must sign up to a set of standards[1], and this, at least on paper, makes them a better bet for your donations.

Church Missionary Society – Australia’ is one such Member.

The charities’ regulator, 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.
  5. Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.

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


1. A search on the ACNC Register of charities gives a charity, in a slightly different name, Church Missionary Society – Australia Limited (CMS-A).


2. There is nothing on the website nor on the ACNC Register to indicate that CMS-A uses door-to-door or street collectors.


3. The “web address begins with ‘https’ and there is a closed padlock symbol next to the web address in the address bar[4], so the website is secure [the ACNC article above].

On the giving page there is no mention of the security of your information.


4. The Australian Business Register (linked from CMS-A’s ACNC Register record), says that the charity is not entitled to receive tax deductible gifts. But two funds that it runs are:


5. The audited account of how donations are used by a charity is the Financial Report, part of ‘Annual reporting’ on the ACNC Register.

But not only is there no Financial Report 2019 on the Register, there are no reports for any of the prior years:

This has been the case since at least 3 April 2020.


From previous experience, we know better than to ask the ACNC for the reason, so we took up the invitation on CMS-A’s website:

The Company Secretary did not respond.

The company does not have financial statements available on its website.



The question of the impact of your donations is not addressed anywhere. (There is no Annual Report.)


Charity response

The introduction to the Mission Interlink standards (see above) includes this statement:

We sent the ‘constituent’, CMS-A, a draft of this review. They received the email, but chose not to respond.



  1. In return for something extremely attractive, an exemption from income tax:
  2. See here for the previous review.
  3. 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? [A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering].
  4. In the Edge browser. For Chrome there is no ‘https’.