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MMM International Alliance Incorporated.: mini charity review

Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 ted@businessbythebook.com.au.

Mini charity review of MMM International Alliance Incorporated (MMMI), an organisation that seeks donations online, and is exempt from Australian income tax via its membership of Missions Interlink. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

For the previous review, see here.

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • I sent them a draft of this review on 16 August 2017. They…did not respond.

Is MMMI registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • MMMI is a Victorian incorporated association (No. A0053789S).
    • To the extent that it is not always using its full name (for instance, on its website), MMMI appears to be in contravention of its enabling legislation (section 23, Associations Incorporation Reform Act 2012).
  • MMMI operates, per the ACNC Register, in all states except the Australian Capital Territory.
    • I could find no obvious reason for the inclusion of other than Victoria in this list.
    • If it is carrying on business outside Victoria, it does not have the necessary registration (as a registrable Australian body).
    • 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.

What do they do?

  • In the AIS 2016:
    • 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.
      • This is identical to what’s in the AIS 2015.
      • The website does include Thailand in the list of offices.
      • China and Fiji are also missing compared to the list on the ACNC Register.
  • 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?
  • I could not find a report on the International Director’s activities equivalent to the one about 2012 that is lodged under Charity’s Documents on the ACNC Register.

Do they share the Gospel [1]?

  • No

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing found.

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

  • The expenses are not classified to allow this calculation.

Do they pay their directors?

  • It appears not.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No

Is their online giving secure?

  • PayPal is used, so yes.

Where are your (net) donations sent?

  • There is no indication that the few donations that were received were sent anywhere.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (four and a half months after their year-end, two months earlier than last year).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: Except for the absence of outcomes, yes.
  • Financial Report 2016: NA
    • Although not required to submit a financial report to the ACNC (because of its size), MMMI has submitted one anyway.  Because it was a voluntary submission, the Report does not need to comply with the ACNC’s requirements.
    • But MMMI, as a member of Missions Interlink, is required to ‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial  statement which has been approved by its auditor’ [Standards Statement, 4.1].
    • If ‘appropriate’ has any reference at all to what professional accountants do (at least should do), then this Financial Report falls well short of the Missions Interlink requirement:
      • It is missing:
        • Two of the four mandatory financial statements.
        • A responsible persons’ declaration.
        • Notes on the financial statements.
      • The Profit & Loss uses an outdated format, one that has separate profitability calculations for ‘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.
        • ‘Bank’ has not been included in Current Assets.
      • There is no mention of MMM International Development Fund.
    • There is no audit report. (Were the statements even audited?)

What was the financial situation shown by that Report?

  • They made a loss equal to 14% of revenue. Up from 8% last year.
  • After adjusting for the incorrect calculation of Current Assets, both short-term and long term financial structure are sound.
  • MMMI is run totally by volunteers.
  • It reported (AIS 2016) that its accounting method was ‘Cash’, a method that doesn’t generate liabilities; therefore, they had to record these outside the double entry system.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • NA.
    • Their membership of Missions Interlink (see above) means they should have one though.

If a charity, is their information on the ACNC Register complete?

  • Yes
    • MMM International Alliance is not a registered business name.
    • The website address is still incorrect: ‘net’, nor ‘org’.

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

  • None

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • There is no mention of the board on the website.
  • Here they are from the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’):

To whom is MMMI accountable?

  • Nothing claimed on the website.
  • Because of its income tax exemption, MMMI is accountable to Missions Interlink.
    • For one view on the strength of this accountability, see the section Activities in this review.
  • As a registered charity, MMMI is accountable to the ACNC.
  • And to the Victorian regulator of incorporated associations.

 

 

  1. 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. 
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