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Mini charity review of People International Australia Inc (PIA), as 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 PIA registered?
- As a charity, yes
- Other registrations:
- From 5 February 2016, a NSW incorporated association (INC1501785). (Previously an unincorporated association.)
- The Australian Business Register was updated for the incorporation on 22 December 2016.
- The ACNC Register has yet to catch up with the name change.
- PIA operates, per the ACNC Register, in New South Wales and Victoria. Their office is in NSW, and they have a representative in Victoria (‘Stuart’).
- If it is carrying on business in Victoria, it does not have the necessary registration (an ARBN).
- It has a fundraising licence in NSW (expiring 25 August 2017), but not Victoria.
- It calls for donations on the website. Whether this means it should register for fundraising in one or more of the other five states that have a licensing regime, depends on whether those states interpret this call as ‘fundraising’.
What do they do?
- The Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2016 says they
- Raised funds to support gospel work in Australia and overseas.
- Last year they raised $164K and sent $27K. $120K went on the two full-time employees.
- ‘About Us’ on the website is about the international organisation.
- Although the first primary objective in the constitution supports it – ‘To take Christ’s love to the people of Central Asia primarily, by establishing and enabling His church, as in the International Covenant of PI’ – PIA don’t do this themselves.
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?
- There are no financial statements, but from the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2016, expenses other than ‘Grants and donations made…’, that is, expenses on ‘administration’, are 84% of the total.
Do they pay their directors?
- There are no financial statements, and it’s not possible to tell from the limited information disclosed in the AIS 2016. But if they did pay them, it wasn’t much.
Can you get a tax deduction?
Is their online giving secure?
Where were your (net) donations sent?
- People International globally is a mission to the twelve countries of Central Asia, but PIA is only involved, per the ACNC Register, in one country, Pakistan.
- We are not told to whom donations are sent in Pakistan.
Is their reporting up-to-date?
- Yes (four months after their year-end, three months earlier than last year).
Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?
- AIS 2016: Yes
- Financial Report 2016: NA
- As a ‘Small’ charity, PIA doesn’t have to submit a Financial Report.
- And it chose not to submit one voluntarily.
- As a Victorian incorporated association, at least financial statements should have been prepared though:
- As soon as practical after the end of your incorporated association’s financial year, the committee must ensure that financial statements are prepared.
- And they ‘must give a true and fair view of its financial performance and position during and at the end of the year.
- As a member of Missions Interlink, PIA is not only required to prepare financial statements, but it must have them audited:
- ‘have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor’ [Standards Statement, 4.1].
What was the financial situation shown by that Report?
- But from the AIS 2016:
- 95% of ‘Revenue/receipts’ was from ‘Donations and bequests’, down from 100% last year.
- ‘Employee expenses/payments’ have risen from 29% of expenses to 70%.
- PIA reported 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?
- Their membership of Missions Interlink (see above) means they should have one though.
If a charity, is their information on the ACNC Register complete?
What choices do you have in how your donation is used?
- If you know their name, you can give to a specific person.
Who are the people controlling the organisation?
- There is no mention of the board on the website.
- From ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’):
- Darryl Anderson
- Rachel Driessen
- Stephen Ellis
- Moussa Ghazal
- David Lewis
- There are 13 directorships recorded for the name ‘David Lewis’. And the register only covers charities, not all not-for-profits, and of course doesn’t include for-profit organisations. Therefore, if after eliminating the charities for which David is not a director, you are left with the total being more than a handful, it would be legitimate for you to question whether his ability to discharge his fiduciary responsibilities is threatened.
To whom is PIA accountable?
- Because of its income tax exemption, PIA 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, PIA is accountable to the ACNC.
- And to the New South Wales regulator of incorporated associations.
- “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. ↑ ↑