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Global Mission Partners: 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Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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[1] in the series ‘Members of Missions Interlink’, Missions Interlink being ‘the Australian network for global mission[2]’. ‘Global Mission Partners’ (GMP) is one such member[3].

Charity response

I sent them a draft of this review.

Both Members and Associates have to accept a set of standards, the introduction to which includes this statement:


GMP welcomes feedback:

The Executive Officer, John Gilmore, replied to the draft with some comments. I made two minor changes for clarity plus took the opportunity to update the review for the recently uploaded 2019 reports on the website. He did not respond to either my explanations in response to his comments or the updated draft.


GMP’ is an organisation that seeks donations online.

Nowhere do they explain how this request fits with the fact that they are keeping nearly three years’ worth of 2019 donations ($6.57 million) in long-term financial assets.

Having got an answer to that with which you are happy, you could then follow the charities’ regulator’s advice. 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 organisation’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 GMP, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[4].

1.   A search on the ACNC Register of charities for ‘Global Mission Partners’ gives this result:

Which one is the Missions Interlink member? From the website address on each Register entry, it appears to be the second – ‘Global Mission Partners’ is one of the business names registered to Australian Churches of Christ Global Mission Partner Ltd.

So, what’s the first? This is a public benevolent institution established in June this year by GMP. It is a wholly owned subsidiary of GMP. It solicits donations separately to GMP[5].

2.   Nothing on the Register or the website indicates that GMP uses door-to-door or street collectors.


3.  GMP’s ‘Donate’ page has ‘a closed padlock symbol next to the website’s URL in the address bar”. Although the page where you fill out your information has a bold ’Secure Checkout’, there is no support for this claim.


4.  The ABN record says that a tax deduction is only available for a donation to a fund operated by GMP, Churches of Christ Overseas Aid. This is consistent with the ‘Give Now’ page[6].


5.  The use of your donations

Objects / Mission /Purpose

The only reference to these on the website[7] leads to the constitution:

  • This, below, is the only other current mention of the second and third funds on the website (in the ‘2018/19 GMP Annual Report’):

_ ______________________________________________________


The Register says that this is what GMP does:

This location map shows how this translates into projects, classified as above.

The website, though, adds another activity, ‘Embody’:

Embody has a separate website.


Sharing the Gospel? [8]

Not directly, but through some of the non-overseas aid partners, yes.


Giving options

From ‘Give now’ on the home page:

It is not possible from these tiles to select the project you want to support.

How the donations were used

For his we would normally turn to the latest Financial Report on the ACNC Register. That’s the 2018 Report. But the 2019 financial statements are available on GMP’s website, so we will use them.

One of the first things you might do with a financial report is to look at what the auditor said. In the case of GMP, you will see that they have continued their long-standing practice of giving a qualified audit opinion:

So, in the first sentence, the auditor, Graeme Rodda (for Moore Stephens), says that GMP ‘maintains effective internal controls over donations and other income raising activities’. Then he immediately contradicts this, saying that ‘it is not practicable to maintain’ some of these controls.

The income raising that lacks controls is the income raising that is conducted by people other than GMP ‘staff or designated volunteers’.

These non-GMP people are not identified.

In their comment on my last review, GMP said that these people were ‘(church) congregations that take up offerings on our behalf’.

Why would GMP need controls over this activity? To think so implies that it is a GMP fundraising activity, that it is GMP revenue while in the church’s hands. For this to be the case though, GMP would have to have control over these donations, an enforceable right to require the church to send the donations to GMP. But they wouldn’t even know that an offering had been taken, let alone how much had been given[9].

So, I can’t see that the audit qualification is warranted.

What is a worry though, is the fact that the auditor says that this issue meant that he had to restrict his audit of all fundraising activity, not just the church-based activity, to what had been entered into the books. Why?

This means that you can take no comfort from the audit that the donations given to GMP were entered into the accounting records. This is a serious limitation.

From the Directors’ Report [2019 ‘Financial Statements’], these are the people who were happy to accept this situation (the qualified opinion and the reduced audit scope):

Barrie Yesberg

Janet Woodlock

Roger Bawden

John Gilmore

Gordon Buxton

Mark Stevens

Sean Kum

Rod Cousins

Sara Tan

Should you still be happy to consider a donation to GMP, let us look at where the donations went.

Where the Financial Report 2018 says the donations went

  • Cash used in operating activities


  • Resources consumed (i.e. expenses)

From the Statement of Profit or Loss and Other Comprehensive Income:

Total expenses 3,762,732

There is no explanation of what is included in each of these items.

Note 17 (Notes to the Financial Statements) gives a breakup of the total expenses:

This breakup matches both the Activities (above), and the basic categories of giving on the website[11].

But there is no information given on the destination of the funds. The fact that GMP consider this information to be useful for donors is shown by the reporting of the country for most of the ‘Program’ funds and the name of the organisation for the ‘Associate Partners[12] in the (other) Annual Report 2018/19:

(The totals in this report do not match the totals in the financial statements.)

There is also no description, in the financial statements, of the measures taken to ensure that the funds (a) reach the intended local partner, and (b) are used for the purpose for which they were given.


For the first time this year, GMP have produced an ‘Impact Report’. However, this is merely an extract of some of the pages from the usual annual report, and that document contains no systematic study of impact as conventionally defined[13].

End of review.





  1. See here for the previous review.
  2. https://missionsinterlink.org.au/about/
  3. The entry in the Missions Interlink register leads to the wrong website: https://www.churchesofchrist-sa.org.au/ministries/global-mission-partners. The link there goes to the GMP website.
  4. 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].

  5. Since GMP have not taken advantage of the ACNC’s group reporting concessions, will have to report separately.
  6. The giving option that is tax-deductible is not labelled ‘Relief & Development’.
  7. The ACNC doesn’t required disclosure of the object, mission or purpose of a charity on the Register.
  8. ‘When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett says this about sharing the Gospel: ‘A host of contextual issues determine the best manner and the appropriate time to present the gospel verbally, particularly in militant Muslim or Hindu settings. But without such a presentation, it is not possible for people to be personally transformed in all their relationships, which is what poverty alleviation is all about [Kindle Locations 1262-1264, Moody Publishers].
  9. See, for example, paragraph 13, Guidance Statement GS 019 Auditing Fundraising Revenue of Not-for- Profit Entities, www.auasb.gov.au, and Example 7A in AASB 1058, www.aasb.gov.au
  10. Although this level of disclosure may be compliant with the letter of the applicable Accounting Standard ( AASB 107), it is not consistent with either the intent of the Standard and paragraphs 14 and 19, or what is reasonable to expect from a major Christ-led charity. 
  11. If you equate ‘ICP’ with ‘International Church Partnership Fund’, ‘COCOA’ with Churches of Christ Overseas Aid Fund’, and ‘IMA’ with ‘Indigenous Partnership Fund, this is a report on the Funds required by the constitution (see above).
  12. 80% ($245K) went to one organisation. The description on the website, the building of a road and an airfield, is not consistent with what is normally done for an ‘Associate Partner’.
  13. It does contain a few anecdotal accounts of beneficial change.