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This is a review for donors of the charity European Christian Mission Australia Limited (ECM). It uses the information they have put on the charity regulator’s website (the ACNC Register) and the information on the ECM website. (We also sent them a draft of this review – see their response below.)
This is how ECM summarises its activities on the ACNC Register (and in its Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2019):
However, the website, via the ‘Donate Now’ page shows that ECM also has ‘social action projects’. Although these projects are not accessible via the menus, a search for ‘projects’ gives hits that include the current projects. For instance, this one.
This is the stated purpose or mission that is behind ECM’s activities:
Our purpose, or reason for being, is to glorify God by the planting and developing of reproducing churches that evangelise and disciple the peoples of Europe.
Notice that this does not, by itself, support the existence of the ‘social action’ work.
As Christians, we are required to be good stewards of the resources God has provided us (e.g. 1 Corinthians 4:2). To do this, we need to have discernment (e.g. Proverbs 1:5). Therefore, unless we are giving just to make ourselves feel better, we should have an interest in seeing that the money we are giving is likely to be used both properly and effectively.
Everything that ECM is doing may be being done ‘properly’, but unless the money is producing the change in people that ECM intends, that is, an impact, the money would be better used elsewhere. And the same applies if the impact is less than is being achieved by another charity.
Nowhere does ECM acknowledge that the impact, of either its missionary work or its ‘social action projects’, is a relevant question for donors. Consistent with this, there is no information on impact on the website. Nor is any offered. There is a newsletter on the website (a little hidden under ‘Pray’), but there is nothing systematic about success with the mission in the latest one. (There is an invitation to contact them, so you could see if they have any information on impact available.)
ECM did not respond to a draft of this review.