This is a review of 99.9 Live FM, a radio station closely associated with ‘YWAM Medical Ships’, an Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Member, based in Townsville. You can see the latest review of that charity here.
99.9 Live FM seeks donations from the public.
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 organisation’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.
A search of the Register of charities for ’99.9 Live FM’ gives no result. Nor does an ASIC search. Although there’s also no ABN for such an organisation, that search does reveal ‘Live FM’ registered as a business name by ‘Townsville Christian Broadcasters Assn Inc’. Back to the Register, and there is a registered charity in that name.
There is nothing to suggest that Live FM uses door-to-door or street fundraisers.
Live FM is not itself a deductible gift recipient but a fund that it operates, Live FM Development Fund, is. However, the ‘Donate’ page is not consistent with this, implying that anything that you give to Live FM will get you a deduction:
Nowhere on the website is the Live FM Development Fund mentioned.
Sharing the Gospel?
How activities translated into dollars spent
The audited account of how donations are used is the Financial Report 2020 on the ACNC Register.
Included in that Report is a signed declaration by the Committee of Live FM that the accounts
- They have omitted one of the four required financial statements.
- The Statement of Profit or Loss uses a long-outdate format (and consequently omits important information).
- The Committee discloses 90% of the expenses merely as ‘Other expenses’.
- Yes, there is a Detailed Profit and Loss Statement, but this is not audited. And the figures do not match those in the audited statement.
- They have omitted a significant number of the required Notes (Notes to the Financial Statements).
- The Statement by Members of the Committee does not meet the ACNC’s requirements.
- The auditor is not qualified to perform the audit. Nor, it appears, is his firm.
- The auditor does not reference the ACNC Act.
From the Committee’s Report [Financial Report 2020], these were the people responsible for the accounts:
At least four of these five people are staff members of YWAM. The Committee is accountable to the members of the association. The number of members is not disclosed.
Question 5: How their money is used
As can be seen from the above, the Live FM Committee don’t give you a report on which you can rely.
Nothing on impact was found.
Live FM’s response
We sent them a draft of this review. They…did not respond.
- ACFID ‘is the peak body for Australian non government organisations (NGOs) involved in international development and humanitarian action.’ It requires Members to adhere to a Code of Conduct. ↑
- 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]. ↑
- To operate legally, they need to register all names they use with the public. ↑
- ‘Will my donation be tax deductible?’ Live FM’s Register entry. ↑
- ‘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]. ↑
No. of boards Ywam Townsville Assoc. Inc. Ywam Medical Ships – Australia Ltd YWAM City Ventures Ltd City Ventures Ltd YWAM DURHAM LTD YWAM PNG Ship Limited Townsville Christian Broadcasters Inc YWAM SURREY HILLS LTD Youth With A Mission Melb Inc Anna Scott 3 X X X Matthew Scott 1 X Hannah Peart 1 X Jared Hoover 8 X X X X X X X X Rebekah Hoover 8 X X X X X X X X Jennifer Rentsch 5 X X X X X Jeremy Schierer 1 X Jeremy Humphreys 1 X Ragnhild Elea Humphreys 1 X Philip Rentsch 4 X X X X John Brokenshire 2 X X Kenneth Mulligan 9 X X X X X X X X X Robyn Mulligan 3 X X X Rabbie Langanai Namaliu 1 X Melissa Kauk 1 X Nathan Randell 1 X Nicholas Matthews 1 X Stephen Aherne 2 X X Thomas Hallas 2 X Megumi Watts 3 X X X Fay Collins 1 X Olivia Lula 1 X 60 Number of directors 60 11 8 4 4 7 5 5 7 9