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Mini-charity review of Health Communication Resources Inc (HCR), an organisation that seeks donations online and is a member of Missions Interlink. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)
Is it responsive to feedback?
I sent them a draft of this review. I received the following reply from the CEO, Dane Waters: ‘Thanks for your email and review. We at HCR are continually striving to improve all of our systems. Thanks for the support.’
Is HCR registered?
- As a charity, yes.
- HCR is a Western Australian incorporated association (A0760210K).
- Although not shown on the Australian Business Register, or the ACNC Register, HCR has a registered business name, Radio Training Services International.
- HCR operates in Australia, per the ACNC Register, only in Western Australia.
- They hold a fundraising licence only in their home state. Although they acknowledge that a collections licence is relevant to online requests, they do not explain why do not hold any other state fundraising licences.
- HCR operates overseas, per the ACNC Register, in Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, and Philippines.
What do they do?
- From a description of the projects (above), no.
- HCR has five subtypes under ‘Entity Subtype’ on the ACNC Register, but ‘Advancing Religion’ is not one of them. Christianity is not mentioned in the objects in the Constitution. Someone seeking membership must agree with the HCR statement of faith, but it is not included in the constitution nor is it on the website.
What impact are they having?
- Nothing systematic found.
What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?
- ‘Administration’ in the list of expenses is 26% of the total. However, ‘Depreciation’ and ‘Employment’ are excluded.
- ‘Project expenses’, $54K, which is the same amount as ‘Grants and donations made…’ in the AIS 2017, is 27% of expenses. Which would make ‘administration’ 73%.
Do they pay their board members?
- The constitution is silent on paying board members.
- It is not possible from the expenses information to say whether such a payment was made.
Can you get a tax deduction?
- However, this is contradicted in answer to the question ‘Can we get a tax deductible (sic) receipt for donations to HCR?’:
- ‘Yes, but it is limited to the provision of training activities in Australia. We are not, at this time, able to issue tax deductible receipts for gifts to international projects.’
- The donation page shows, though, that the donation will need to be made to the Australian Centre for Advanced Studies, not HCR.
Is their online giving secure?
- GiveNow is used, but they say nothing about security.
Is their reporting up-to-date?
- Yes (lodged six months after their year-end, the same time as last year).
- But if you are considering a large donation, I would ask for more up-to-date financial information – the accounts are for a year end that is now over six months ago.
Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?
- AIS 2017: No.
- ‘Other revenue’ is wrong in the ‘Financial Information’ (thereby making another three figures wrong).
- Where they intend to fundraise in 2018 is omitted.
- The business name is missing.
- No outcomes are reported.
- Financial Report 2017:
- Yes, but only if you think if feasible that all HCR’s stakeholders, both present and prospective, can command the preparation of a financial report tailored to their needs. For that’s what the directors are effectively saying when they produce special purpose financial statements instead of the kind that must comply with all the Accounting Standards.
- By excluding the capital grant from revenue, revenue is understated by 16%.
- There is no disclosure of related parties and their transactions.
- Two of the reports are duplicated.
What financial situation was shown by that Report?
- Surplus as a percentage of revenue increased dramatically from negative 5% to 22% positive.
- Both short-term and long-term financial structure are, based on this Financial Report, sound.
What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?
- The auditor, Alistair Abbott, gave a ‘clean’ conclusion (it was a review, not an audit).
If a charity, is their information on the ACNC Register complete/correct?
- The business name is missing.
- ‘Date established’ is blank.
- There are three duplicates in ‘Responsible Persons’.
What choices do you have in how your donation is used?
Where were your (net) donations sent?
- Apart from Western Australia, HCR operates in Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, and Philippines. The AIS 2017 says that $14K was used in Australia, and $40K overseas. This matches the $54K shown as ‘Project expenses’ in the Financial Report 2017, but there is no explanation of this figure.
Who are the people controlling the organisation?
- Not shown on the website.
- Per the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’):
- The board is responsible to the members. The number of members is not disclosed.
To whom is HCR accountable?
- Not claimed, but HCR is a member of Missions Interlink.
- For one opinion on the strength of this accountability, see the section Activities in this review.
- HCR is also accountable to the ACNC.
- And to the Western Australian regulator of incorporated associations.
- “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. ↑