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LTTN Ministries Incorporated: charity review

Charity registration 'voluntarily revoked', effective 30 June 2020.  No ABN at 18 August 2021.

Mini charity review of LTTN Ministries Incorporated[1] (LTTN)

The previous review (in black) is used as a base, with comment only if the situation has changed or extra information would be helpful.

as an organisation that has a public invitation to donate. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

2018 review:

  • There is no ‘Donate’ or similar button, just (a) information about the different kinds of donations that are received, and (b) information to allow you to donate.
  • LTTN is still an associate member of Missions Interlink[2]. Unlike the case with Members, this does not give it an income tax exemption. Members of Missions Interlink have to accept a set of standards, the introduction to which includes this statement:

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they replied the same day. I responded, then later asked whether they would like to amend any of their initial responses because of what I had said. They declined.
  • This was their general comment:
    • ‘LttN Ministries Inc is a fully accountable ministry organization, registered with the ATO, ACNC, NSW Department of Fair Trading as an incorporated association and Missions Interlink.  We do our utmost to provide all reports and statutory obligations well within the time required.‘
  • Their other comments are interspersed below.
  • 2018 review: They did not respond to a draft of this review.

Is LTTN registered?

  • As a charity, yes[3].
  • 2018 review: But the name still doesn’t match either the governing document or the ASIC record.
  • Other registrations:
    • LTTN is a NSW incorporated association (INC9877906).
    • The ACNC Register shows that it is operating outside its home state, in Queensland, but it doesn’t have the required ARBN registration to do this.
    • It doesn’t hold a fundraising licence in either of these states (or in any of the other five states that have a licensing regime[2]).
    • It uses the names LttN, Light to the Nations Ministries Inc, and LttN Ministries Inc on its website, and Lttn Ministries Inc on FaceBook, but does not have any of these names registered. (There are ABNs for other entities called Light to Nations Church Incorporated and Light to The Nations Christian Church.)
    • Ministry comment: ‘LttN Ministries Inc has no connection with either of the above mentioned churches.’
    • 2018 review:
      • On this page there are five different versions of the name: ‘ LttN’, ‘Light to the Nations Ministries Inc’, ‘LttN Ministries Inc, LttN Ministries’, and ‘Light to the Nations Ministries’. None are registered business names, plus there is a company ‘Lttn’, a church with a name that includes ‘Light to the Nations and another with the name ‘Light to Nations…’
      • The Facebook page was not available to check.

What do they do?

  • This is how LTTN’s Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2016 describes the Australian activities and outcomes:
    • Our purpose as an organisation is to Equip (sic) Christian leaders in the Developing World (sic) through the provision of accessible training programs known as SALT Schools. During the year we have facilitated the operation of these training programs in Zambia and Uganda and are working toward the establishment of the programs in the Fiji islands. Our activities also included visitation (sic) of supporters and supporting churches in Australia to inform them of the progress of the work.
  • 2018 review: 2018 AIS ‘activities and outcomes’:
    • ‘We provide resource materials to groups desiring to use our SALT School materials and ongoing mentoring as they implement the strategy. We maintain relationships with a variety of Christian workers serving in many countries for the purpose of encouragement and mentoring. As invited, our representatives speak at conferences, retreats and seminars at the invitation of groups who share our ethos and focus.’
    • From the ‘Annual Report’ on the Register, it appears that, consistent with what it says here, the work is performed by one couple, Gavin and Glenda Williams.
  • The AIS also describes the changes they plan:
    • Changes planned During (sic) the 2017 reporting period (sic) we will progressively withdraw from our work in Africa. We have been preparing African leaders to conduct the training programs and the time has come to entrust the work to them. At the same time we plan to commence the operation of the training programs in the Fiji islands.
    • 2018 review: The ‘Annual Report’ shows that Africa was still being visited in 2018, and there is no mention of Fiji.

Do they share the Gospel?

  • Not to those who haven’t heard it. (Changed from ‘No’.)
    • Ministry comment: ‘YES! The preaching of the Gospel of the Lord Jesus Christ and faithful teaching of His Holy Word, the Bible, are fundamentals of our ministry.
  • 2018 review: From this page, and the Annual Report, preaching the Gospel to non-believers is a minor activity.

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing found.
    • Ministry comment: ‘Since our foundation in 2002, LttN Ministries has been involved in training Christian leaders and cross cultural workers in many nations around the world. By way of example: In Uganda, to date we have more than 450 graduates from our School of Advanced Leadership Training (SALT School). The work continues under the leadership of Ugandan’s whom we have trained.’

What do they spend outside the costs directly incurred in delivering the above impact, that is, on administration?

  • No financial statements have been lodged – they are not required by the ACNC – and the expenses in the AIS 2016 are not classified to allow this calculation.
  • 2018 review: The expenses are not classified so as to allow this calculation.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • NA. (Not offered.)

What choices do you have in how your donation is used?

  • None shown on the website. (Changed from ‘None’.)
    • Ministry comment: ‘When donors specify a particular designation for their donation, 100% of their gifts are allocated to the purpose for which it is designated. We willingly provide donors with details of the use of such allocations should they ask.’

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes. (Three months after year end.)
  • 2018 review: Over four months this year.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: Apart from the lack of outcomes, yes.
  • 2018 review: AIS 2018:
    • The name is incorrect.
    • It might be known as ‘Light to the Nations Ministries Inc’, but the name is not registered.
    • There are a number of figures that do not match the Financial Report.
  • Financial Report 2016: None required.
    • But they lodged one last year.
    • Their Associate membership of Missions Interlink requires them to have one available, so just ask them.
    • 2018 review: Because no Report is required, the Report that has been lodged does not have to comply with the ACNC legislation. The significant errors and omissions should be of concern to Missions Interlink though.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • NA
    • Ministry comment: ‘LttN Ministries Inc satisfactorily met all financial obligations in the 2015-16 financial year.’
  • 2018 review:
    • After ignoring the unexplained ‘Transfers from (to) fund accounts’, the result for the year was a deficit equal to 19% of income. The previous year it was a deficit of 2%.
    • Despite recent losses, both working capital and financial structure are still OK.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • NA
    • Ministry comment: ‘The Audited Financial Statements are available to Association Members and donors on request.
  • 2018 review: The auditor, J.G. Ryan of Thomas Davis & Co, gave a ‘clean’ opinion. However, he
    • accepted the omission of two of the required financial statements, and
    • allowed the material unexplained transfer in the income statement (see above).

If a charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete/correct?

  • Almost. ‘Phone’ is blank.
  • 2018 review: ‘Phone’ is not a compulsory field; four of LTTN’s names are missing.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not mentioned on the website.
  • From ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:
    • Timothy Baker
    • Elizabeth Hancock
    • Nga Kwan
    • Raymond Martin
    • Own McKay
    • Peter Pade
    • Trevor Welsh
    • Andrew Williams
    • Gavin Williams
    • Glenda Williams
  • 2018 review: It’s ‘Owen McKay’, and Timothy Baker is no longer on the Committee.
  • If you ‘search the (ACNC) register by responsible person’, as I did, you will find that, other than ‘Andrew Williams’, these directors have no more than three other charity directorships. There are 14 listed for ‘Andrew Williams’. If, after eliminating the ones that don’t belong to LTTN’s Andrew Williams, more than a handful remain, it would be legitimate for you to question whether his ability to discharge his fiduciary responsibilities to that many charities is threatened.
    • Ministry comment: ‘We believe that there is an error in the ACNC number of directorships allocated to Andrew Williams. So far as we are aware, Andrew is not a director of any other organization.’
      • Reviewer response: ‘No error I expect.  The problem comes when you, and other charities, record your ‘Andrew Williams’ as simply ‘Andrew Williams’.  It is then not possible for the Register user to distinguish between yours and the ones that relate to other charities.  (How you record your ‘Andrew Williams’ is within your control via the ACNC Portal.)’
    • 2018 review: The ACNC have not included this search function in their new website.

To whom is LTTN accountable?

  • Ministry comment:
    • ‘Primarily we are accountable to God for the faithful administration of the affairs of this organization – something we take very seriously. The Management Committee are accountable to the members of the Association for the operation of the Association and report fully at the AGM and by way of regular newsletters. The Annual Audited Financial Statements are available at the AGM and on request to any person who gives to the ministry.
  • They are accountable to Missions Interlink[3] via their Associate membership.
    • Presumably this membership is a result of LTTN’s stated policy that they ‘will seek affiliation with a Christian Financial Integrity group.’
  • They are also accountable to the ACNC.
  • 2018 review: And to the NSW regulator of incorporated associations.

 

 

 

 

  1. But as ‘L T T N…’, i.e. with spaces (no doubt following the ABN record). Which doesn’t match the ASIC record, nor how the charity itself writes it.
  2. The law in this area is not straightforward – is an internet invitation ‘fundraising’ for instance? – and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
  3. For one opinion on the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.

 

 

  1. This is the name on ASIC’s register (www.asic.gov.au). But not quite the name elsewhere.
  2. In the name ‘LTTN Ministries’.
  3. But as ‘L T T N…’, i.e. with spaces (no doubt following the ABN record). Which doesn’t match the ASIC record, nor how the charity itself writes it.

 

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