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The Trustee for Crossway Kingdom Fund: 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Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 The Trustee for Crossway Kingdom Fund (CKF), an organisation that is connected, through the cross directorship of John Peberdy, to the CMA Standards C0uncil, Christian Ministry Advancement Ltd‘s  ‘major new initiative, accrediting Christian organisations against a set of standards of good governance, financial oversight, and fundraising ethics.’

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, on 18 June 2017, they…did not respond.

Is it registered?

  • Yes, as a charity.
    • The trustee is Crossway Baptist Church (CBC)
      • For some unexplained reason, the trustee does not consolidate the affairs of the Fund, and has not taken advantage of the ACNC’s ‘Group reporting’ concessions.
  • CKF is a public ancillary fund, a fund that collects tax deductible donations and gives them to funds who have Deductible Gift Recipient status[1].

What does CKF do?

  • The only information available, including on the CBC website, is OKF’s ‘Description of charity’s activities and outcomes’ in their Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2016:
    • Crossway Kingdom Fund distributed funds in the 2016 year to eligible entities for the purposes of supporting – building project for a DGR charity – missionary work – ACCESS Ministries.
      • The ‘DGR charity’ was Crossway Lifecare Ltd, another charity controlled by CBC. It received 96% of CKF’s distributions.
      • Given that ACCESS Ministries has DGR status, that status means that it shouldn’t be doing ‘missionary work’.

Do they share the Gospel[2]?

  • No – and nor should the recipients of their grants.

What impact are they having?

  • No information is available.

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

  • There is no mention of impact in CBC’s publications.
    • Expenses other than ‘Distributions’ were less than one percent of expenses.
      • But ‘Employee expenses’ were zero.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Yes

Is their online giving secure?

  • CKF has no website. (Giving to CKF is one of the options on the CBC website. Giving there is secure.)

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

  • NA (and none when giving via the CBC website).

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (four months after their year-end).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • Annual Information Statement 2016: Not quite
    • No outcomes are reported
    • ‘Interest’ is reported as ‘Other income’.
  • Financial Report 2016:
    • Only if you believe that the decision, by the directors of a ‘Large’ public ancillary fund, to produce the lower-standard financial statements, is correct. (The decision implies that all users, both present and prospective, can command the preparation of a financial report tailored to their needs.)
    • The Report is shy a few of the Notes that are expected.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • The surplus as a percentage of revenue declined from a high 31% to a more typical 9%.
  • Minimal short-term and no long-term liabilities.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a ‘clean’ opinion.

If a (registered) charity, is their page on the ACNC Register complete?

  • Almost: No ‘Entity Subtype’ is given.
  • ‘Email’ and ‘Website’ are blank, but neither are compulsory.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Given that CBC is the trustee I would have thought that its directors would be the directors of CKF. But it’s not quite the same set. From the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’):
    • Matthew Buntsma
    • David Caldera
    • Mark Churchward
    • Edward Harrison
    • Francis Hoe
    • Kok Looi
    • Scott Pilgrim
    • Margaret Spicer
    • Dale Stephenson
    • Beth Strybosch
    • Timothy Wilson
    • Michael Yap
    • John Peberdy
      • John is a director of Christian Management Advancement Ltd, an organisation that believes that ‘Christian organisations should be the standard-setters in terms of impeccable corporate behaviour.’
        • The mission of their committee, the CMA Standards Council, is to ‘help build faith and trust in Christian organisations’, including by allowing organisations who are compliant with a set of standards, formed by the Council, to display the Council’s seal of approval.
    • There are 14 directorships recorded for the name ‘John Peberdy’, and 8 for ‘Timothy Wilson’ (there are 12 but five are for the same charity).  And the register only covers charities, not all not-for-profits, and no for-profit organisations.  Therefore, if after eliminating the charities that don’t belong to the CKF director, you are left with their total being more than a handful, it would be legitimate for you to question whether their ability to discharge his fiduciary responsibilities is threatened.

To whom is CKF accountable?

  • To the ACNC.
  • As a public ancillary fund, to the ATO.

 

 

  1. The ‘Entity type’ they have selected on their ABN record, ‘Discretionary Investment Trust’, is therefore, even though one of the choices recommended by the ACNC, perhaps not the most appropriate one.
  2. 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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