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MMM International Alliance Inc, charity review

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This is a charity review, a review for those with an interest in the Australian charity MMM International Alliance Incorporated (MMMI).

It is structured according to the charity’s entry on the ACNC Register, and its purpose is to supply some information extra to what is there, information that may be helpful in your decision about MMMI.

It is up to you to decide whether any or all of the information presented here is what you need in order to make that decision, and whether you should seek any other information, either from the charity itself or from other sources.

Ministry response

Prior to publishing this review, I sent my observations to the charity, on 14 May 2016, and invited them to comment. They did not respond.

Organisation of this review

  • The first part of this review is organised according to the headings in the Register entry. This is how to use this section of the review:
    1. For each heading in the register entry, first read the information under that heading.
    2. Then check if that heading is included below. (Headings for which there is no comment are not included.)
  • There is then a more detailed comment on the Financial Report.
  • Lastly, there is a section Membership of accountability organisations

Sources

  • ACNC Register (including links)
  • Google search on the charity’s name.
  • MMMI website.
  • Facebook.
  • State government fundraising licence registers.
  • No reviews on Glassdoor.

REGISTRATION DETAILS

Entity Subtype

  • If this note is not an ACNC mistake then MMMI is well overdue with the selection (it was due by 30 June 2015).
  • ‘Advancing religion’ is one of the possibilities – although it is interesting that this was not MMI’s first preference when they selected before.
  • The purposes in the constitution, surprisingly, do not mention anything about being an organisation that supports national MMM organisations.
    • This approach is continued in the MMI website, where there is little information about the international office’s activities but much on what MMM organisations do.
  • The purposes say that MMMI does not only help Christian organisations, but also those involved in poverty relief. Is this a drafting error?

CHARITY DETAILS

Legal Name

  • MMMI is a Victorian incorporated association (No. A0053789S).

Other Name(s)

  • This is not a business name (or trading name) of MMMI.
  • In not always using its full name (see, for instance, on its website and Facebook page), MMI appears to be in contravention of its enabling legislation (section 23, Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012).

Charity ABN

  • Tax deductibility: No, you cannot claim a tax deduction for a donation to MMMI.

Charity Address for Service

  • I have no reason to believe that this doesn’t work.

Charity Street Address

  • Postal address, from the website:  PO Box 925 Eltham Victoria 3095 Australia

Email

  • I have no reason to believe that this doesn’t work.

Phone

  • This belongs to Ross Henson, the International Director.

Website

ANNUAL REPORTING

  • AIS 2015
    • This is MMMI’s compulsory Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015).
    • It gives basic financial information. If you think that this might be sufficient for you then you should note that
      • MMMI have elected to use the much more basic cash basis of accounting, and therefore, if they are following it correctly, the figures for the Balance Sheet Extract have been produced outside the accounting system.
      • They have not had their financial statements – or at least the portion of the set required that they have produced – audited.
  • Financial Report 2015
    • The Report was signed one and a half months after the year end.
    • It was then lodged four and a half months after that.
    • Although this is a voluntary submission – because of MMMI’s size – their membership ofMissions Interlink requires them to have ‘‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor [Standards Statement, 4.1].
      • However, the Report that they have lodged does not include an audit report. (Were the statements even audited?)
      • Not only this, but if the Australian Auditing Standards had to be followed – a reasonable expectation in this situation – then they would not have got away with producing only two unexplained statements. See Latest financial report – detail, below, for more information.

ABOUT THE CHARITY

  • Statement of Faith
    • None found. Either on the website or in the constitution.

 Date Established

  • No history found.
  • A very short one on MMM, that is MMM Australia and the overseas MMM organisations, here.

Who the Charity Benefits

  • Vision
    • None found.
    • MMM’s here.
  • Mission
    • None found.
    • MMM’s here.
  • Activities (What did MMMI do?)
    • In the AIS 2015:
        • The MMM international office supported MMM offices in Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, Hong Kong, Zambia and South Africa to achieve their goals of providing vocational training and hands on practical work project teams to build, renovate or maintain facilities within their region and other countries as requested.
          • The lack of specifics means that we can’t tell whether this is particularly about 2015.
    • I could not find a report on the International Director’s activities equivalent to the one about 2012 that is lodged under Charity Document (sic) (see below).
  • Outcomes (What did MMMI deliver?)
    • Nothing found.
  • Impact (How were people’s lives improved?)
    • Nothing found.

Size of Charity

  • If there was size smaller than ‘Small’, MMMI would no doubt qualify.

Financial Year End

  • This means that the next financial report is due by 31 December 2016 – or 31 January if the ACNC is generous again. Before that the financial information on the Register will be up to 18 months out-of-date.
    • You may therefore need to ask for more up-to-date information.

WHERE THE CHARITY OPERATES

Operating State(s)[i]

  • I could find no obvious reason for the inclusion of other than Victoria in this list.
  • If MMMI is indeed operating interstate, there is a strong argument that MMMI, as a registrable Australian body, needs an ARBN. It doesn’t have one.
  • MMMI has ‘Donate’ in its main menu.
    • It doesn’t have any fundraising licences.
      • It doesn’t appear to be fundraising in Victoria, so, apart from exemptions, whether it needs a licence depends on whether the authorities think that MMMI, by calling for donations publicly, is ‘fundraising’ in their territory.

Operates in (Countries)

  • Why only Zambia? There are five on the website, and five in the AIS 2015. Is it because that was the only country to which the International Director travelled in 2015?

CHARITY’S DOCUMENT (SIC)

  • An Annual Report/Review can be lodged on the ACNC Register, but MMMI hasn’t done this.
  • Nor is there one on the website.

RESPONSIBLE PERSONS

No. of Australian ‘responsible person’ positions[ii]

Teresa Chai                 This function was not working at the time of publication

Ross Henson

Annette Hill

Stewart Hunt

John King

Felix Muchimba

Ngaire Scott

  • Is Felix Muchimba this one?
  • The directors are not shown on the website.
  • Under ‘Position’
    • The constitution requires a Treasurer and a Secretary
    • The Public Officer, if that is his only position, is not a ‘responsible person’.

(End of review of the ACNC Register information)

Latest financial report – detail[iii]

  • By anything approaching professional standards of reporting, this Report is grossly deficient.
    • It is missing:
      • Two of the four mandatory financial statements.
      • A responsible persons’ declaration.
      • Notes on the financial statements.
      • An audit report. (Was one even performed?)
    • The Profit & Loss uses an outdated format, one that distinguishes, without explanation, between ‘operating’and ‘non-operating’ items, and that omits ‘Other comprehensive income’.
    • The inclusion of a balance sheet, without explanation, is not consistent with the cash basis of accounting.

Membership of accountability organisations claimed

  • None claimed on the website.
  • MMMI, as mentioned above under Financial Report, is a member of Missions Interlink.

(End of review)

 

[i] This is how the ACNC explains ‘operating locations’ in  their application guide: ‘You need to give details about where in Australia your organisation conducts (or plans to conduct) its activities.’

[ii] Because of the possibility of two (or more) directors having the same name on the register of responsible persons, it is not possible to be definitive about the number of directorships held.

[iii] I use the Pinnacle Financial Statements, respected in the profession as providing a very sound basis for producing compliant financial reports.  To this I add an assessment of materiality (both quantitative and qualitative), where the users being considered are donors.

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