Care: At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 email@example.com.
This is a review in the series ‘Members of Missions Interlink’, Missions Interlink being the Australian Evangelical Alliance Inc‘s ‘network for global mission‘. We review these charities because their membership means that they must sign up to a set of standards, and this, at least on paper, makes them a better bet for your donations (or other involvement).
COVID-19 NA – no website.
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, and
- Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.
1. A search on ‘Medical Mission Aid’ leads to two registered charities:
The first one appears to be the Missions Interlink member (MMA). The two together form an ‘ACNC Group’ for reporting.
2. MMA has no website, so we couldn’t check whether they collect donations door-to-door or in the street. We doubt it though.
3. GiveNow’s site begins with a closed padlock symbol, so the website is secure [the ACNC article above]. But there is no mention on the donation page about the security of your information.
4. MMA’s ABN record says that it is entitled to receive tax-deductible gifts.
5. The use of your donations
The audited account of how a charity uses donations is the Financial Report on the ACNC Register.
MMA’s Financial Report is seriously deficient:
- Two of the four required financial statements are missing.
- Note 1 to the Notes to an (sic) Forming Part of the Accounts is missing. This is the most important Note.
- Most of the other required Notes are missing.
- The cover says that the Report is a report on the two charities in the reporting group, but both the directors and the auditor say that it is only for MMA.
- There is no explanation for why they are still seeking donations when money with ‘Hewisons Private Wealth’ ($504K) comprises 76% of the assets.
- There are figures for the second charity, the overseas aid fund, for last year in the Statement of Income and Expenses, but none for this year.
- The ‘Hewisons Private Wealth asset existing last year yet there are no figures for it in the Statement of Income and Expenses.
- The Statement of Income and Expenses omits a comprehensive income section (long a legal requirement).
- Directors have a choice between two kinds of reports, special purpose or general purpose. The requirements of the former are less onerous than the latter. The directors of MMA at the time (see below), decided on special purpose. Based on the facts, this decision is questionable.
- Despite all the above, the auditor, Mark John Unwin, gave a ‘clean’ opinion.
If you are still interested in where the money went, have a look at the Statement of Income and Expenses.
We don’t know the composition of the committee at the time of approving the above Report, but here it is now:
Is it this Conrad Parsons?
Is it this Mark Hanson?
Pamela Thyer was on the committee in 2017, so presumably was on the committee that approved the Report. Pamela Thyer is the ex-chief executive officer of Missions Interlink (see above), the organisation that has standards that are meant to avoid breaches of reporting requirements as flagrant as those above. (She is also a director of another Missions Interlink member, Church Missionary Society – Australia.)
There is nothing on the website about the impact of the donations.
The introduction to the Mission Interlink standards (see above) includes this statement:
We sent the member a draft of this review. They received the email, but chose not to respond.
End of review.
- See here for the previous review. ↑
- A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering:
- 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?
- The ACNC implies, therefore, that it is a ‘legitimate’ charity. But this is not correct – as the ACNC itself points out, registration is voluntary. ↑
- The ACNC’s information (in its article above) is not correct for the Chrome browser; it does not have ‘https’. ↑
- This is what the auditor’s professional body, Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealand, has to say about the choice between the two types of reports: ↑