Care: At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
I sent a draft of the version of this review that was based on the Annual Information Statement 2017 [AIS 2017] to the church. They did not respond.
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”:
- Check the charity’s name.
- Ask for identification from anyone seeking a donation.
- Be careful of online requests for donations.
- No tax deduction doesn’t mean the charity is not a legitimate one.
- Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.
1. A search on the name ‘Fusion City Church’ on the ACNC Register of charities leads to a registered charity in the name Fusion City Church Incorporated (Fusion). The email address given on the Register entry for that charity shows that it is the same organisation.
2. There is nothing to indicate that Fusion uses third party collectors.
3. The web address does not begin with ‘https’, and there is no “closed padlock symbol next to the web address in the address bar”, so the website is not secure [the first ACNC article above]. The donation page does not mention the security of your information. Selecting ‘Pushpay’ takes you to a page which again offers no information about security.
4. The Australian Business Register (linked from Fusion’s ACNC Register record), says that the charity is not entitled to receive tax deductible gifts. It is, however, a legitimate charity.
Although there is no mission directly given on the website, it appears, from this page, that it is ‘Helping people take their NEXT STEP’.
See the main menu item ‘Get connected’.
From the AIS 2018:
Sharing the Gospel?
Fusion operates in Australia, per the ACNC Register, only at 1/85 Hoskins Street Mitchell in the ACT.
There’s nothing on the Register, but if Fusion sends money overseas, then it operates in those countries.
How the mission and activities translated into dollars spent
The audited account of how donations are used is the Financial Report 2018 on the ACNC Register. Can you ring the Fusion office and ‘command the preparation of reports tailored specifically [to] all of …[your] information needs’. For a church with revenue of $461K [AIS 2018], and 40 volunteers, I doubt it. But the committee members, with the approval of the auditor, say, in Note 1 to the financial statements, that you can:
This allows them to avoid preparing the type of financial statements that you need, (general purpose financial statements).
So, the financial statements have not been drawn up to suit you. Why, then, would you rely on them?
There are additional reasons why you should be wary about relying on them:
- Two of the four required financial statements are again missing.
- The reserve that is implied in the Committee’s Report is still missing.
- The Income Statement is still missing a section that has long been required by the Accounting Standards.
- The Notes to the accounts are again incomplete.
- There is still no explanation for the lack of a non-current liability for employee benefits.
- ‘Plant and Equipment’ still includes the unhelpful sub-heading ‘Plant & Equipment’.
- ‘Other Creditors’ is still unexplained, and the big increase this year is unexplained.
- The audit report is again unsigned and undated.
- There is still a building in the Schedule of Property, Plant and Equipment.
- The intangible asset is still incorrectly classified.
However, should you still be willing to rely on the accounts, here’s where the bulk of donors’ money went:
Salaries & Wages 169,604
General & Specific Ministry 35,689
Training, Networking & Conferences 24,445 (up from 10,864)
Superannuation Contributions 15,990
- ‘General & Specific Ministry’ is not explained, including the split between local and overseas.
- ‘Employee benefits’ were $191K [AIS 2018] for 2.43 ‘full-time equivalent staff’ [AIS 2018].
The ACNC Register says that these are the people responsible for the governing Fusion (including the accounts): Anthony Rainbow, Gillian Mcgaw (sic), John Deery, Leo Nicotra, Matthew Mcgaw (sic), and Rhys Anderson. This is the same as is shown on the website.
Two of these people are interstate, which means that there is only one local non-executive committee member.
Whatever the current membership, the Board of Elders is, by virtue of the fact that the elders are also the only members of the association [Governing document, ACNC Register], the only decision-making body. There is no accountability to a wider group.
Only a third of the members of the Board (and therefore the association) is needed for a quorum, and then a majority of those ‘present and voting’ can make the decisions [Constitution, ACNC Register]. This means that any decision for Fusion can be made by a minority of the elders.
Nothing systematic on outcomes or impact was found.
- They lodged, belatedly, their 2018 accounts after I completed the draft. ↑
- 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]. ↑
- As associations may either be incorporated or unincorporated, Fusion’s enabling legislation provides that it must use its full name when dealing with the public:The website contravenes this. (Fusion does not have a business name registered.) ↑
- Whereas it may reasonable to accept that the security of PayPal, is accepted, Pushpay is probably still too new to be in the same category. ↑
- Six weeks overdue – and was after a very generous extension by the ACNC. ↑
- “Good living and social concern are important [to the cause of evangelism], but they are not uniquely Christian graces…I’ve met a lot of fine Hindus, Muslims and atheists. Just living the life is not going to bring someone to Christ. There is much more to it than that. We must help people, certainly, but we must also share with them why we are motivated to do so. We must stand against injustice, poverty and need, but we must at the same time point to the One who brings justice and who can meet the deepest need. Until they know our reasons, how can they come to know our Lord?” [Dan Armstrong, the Fifth Gospel: The Gospel According to You, Anzea Books, pp. 13-14. ↑
- [vii] Jeff Brewer of – although it is not shown on his report – MGI Joyce | Dickson. ↑