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Archived: One Mission Society Australia Inc.: mini charity review for donors

Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 One Mission Society Australia Inc. (OMS) as an organisation that seeks donations online. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

(To see the situation last year, read this review.)

Are they responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, they…didn’t respond.

Is OMS registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a Victorian incorporated association (A0029551N).
    • If it’s ‘carrying on business’ outside Victoria, as it appears to be, then it doesn’t have the required registration (an ARBN).
    • OMS operates in Victoria but doesn’t have a licence to fundraise there[1].
      • Its licence in Queensland is in its old name.
    • OMS doesn’t have the other names it uses, ‘OMS’, ‘OneMission’, ‘OMS Society’ registered.

What do they do?

  • From the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2015:
    • Undertook activities to recruit Australia (sic) people into domestic and overseas missionary roles. These roles include evangelistic, educational and community development and help roles. Managed human and financial resources to be used in these various charitable purposes.
      • This is identical to what they said in 2014.
  • They are on the Australian site, but is unclear to whether the ‘Projects’ and ‘Ministries’ on the Australian site are those of OMS.

Do they share the Gospel?

  • Yes

What impact are they having?

  • No information found.

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

  • If we define ‘direct’ as ‘Grants and donations…’ in the AIS 2015, then it cost $459K to deliver $48K (which is administration of almost 10 to 1).

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • No
    • Although the ABN record for OMS Overseas Aid Fund (still) shows the fund as a charity, and one that allows a tax deduction for your donation, the registration of this fund was voluntarily revoked three years ago.

Is their online giving secure?

  • Security is not mentioned on the first three pages of the donation process.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (four months after their year-end).
    • But if you are considering a large donation, I would ask for more up-to-date financial information – the accounts are for a year end that is now seven months ago.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2015: No
    • No outcomes given.
    • ‘Donations and bequests’ does not match the figure in the Financial Report.
    • And ‘Grant and donations made…’ only matches if you include ‘Project expenses’.
  • Financial Report 2015: Only if you believe that
    • special purpose financial statements are appropriate.
      • They are appropriate if no user, present or prospective, is dependent on standard financial statements to make decisions. And if OMS, an organisation that operates in four states, collected $458K in donations, and calls for donations on its website, is therefore prepared to tailor a financial report for anyone who needs one.

What financial situation was shown by that Report?

  • The deficit was decreased from 2% of turnover to 1%.
  • No obvious concerns with the financial structure.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion. But
    • in accepting the engagement, he implicitly agreed with the directors’ decision to produce special purpose rather than general purpose financial statements (see above).
    • To take the right amount of comfort from a ‘clean opinion’, please read here and here.
  • The mistake I identified in the last review – an opinion template that has not been customised for this client’s Notes – remains.

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

  • Yes

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

  • Missionaries ‘OMS Personnel Appeal’ on GiveNow.
  • Projects also on GiveNow.
    • There are six projects described on the front page; many more when you must select one two pages later.
      • See also ‘Projects’ on the main menu.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not shown on the website, but the ACNC Register lists them under ‘Responsible Persons’.

To whom are OMS accountable?

  • Not claimed on the website, but OMS is a member of Missions Interlink, an organisation that has standards with which it must comply[2].
  • OMS is also accountable to the ACNC.



  1. The law in this area is not straightforward and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
  2. For one opinion on the strength of this accountability, see the section Activities in this review.