Home / Charity Reviews /

Tuggeranong Baptist Church Inc: 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Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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.

This is a review of the organisation ‘Tuggeranong Baptist Church’, principally for existing givers and those considering giving. This church has an invitation to give to it online.

I sent a draft of this review to the church on 15 May 2019. They did not respond.

The charities’ regulator, the ACNC, in their article, Donating to Legitimate Charities, gives “some things to consider to help you make sure your donation is going where it is intended”:

  1. Check the charity’s name.
  2. Ask for identification from anyone seeking a donation.
  3. Be careful of online requests for donations.
  4. No tax deduction doesn’t mean the charity is not a legitimate one.
  5. Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.

Here’s the results for ‘Tuggeranong Baptist Church’, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[1].

1.  A search on the name ‘Tuggeranong Baptist Church’ on the ACNC Register of charities leads to a registered charity in the name Tuggeranong Baptist Church Incorporated (Tuggeranong Baptist). The email address given on the Register entry for that charity shows that it is the same organisation[2].

2.  One would next expect a church to use third party collectors, and there is nothing to indicate that Tuggeranong Baptist does.

3.  The web address begins with ‘https’, and there is a “closed padlock symbol next to the web address in the address bar”, so the website is secure [the first ACNC article above]. The donation page leads to ‘iGive Church Offerings’, a service of ‘Baptist Financial Services’. That page does not mention the security of your information.

4.  The Australian Business Register (linked from Tuggeranong Baptist’s ACNC Register record), says that the charity is not entitled to receive tax deductible gifts. It is, however, a legitimate charity.

5.  Objectives/Mission

Nothing found on the website.

From the Constitution [Governing document, ACNC Register]:


See here.

What they did in 2018 (from the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2018):

Sharing the Gospel[3]?



Tuggeranong Baptist operates in Australia, per the ACNC Register, only at 23 Garratt Street Wanniassa in the ACT.

And overseas, because it sends money to a missionary there, Uganda.

How the mission and activities translated into dollars spent

The audited account of how donations are used is the Financial Report 2018 on the ACNC Register. Are you one of Tuggeranong Baptist’s 21 volunteers [AIS 2018]? Perhaps you intend to donate or are one of the people who gave $236K [AIS 2018][4].  Can you ring Tuggeranong Baptist’s office and request that they prepare financial statements that answer the question or questions you have about the charity?  Highly unlikely.  So, you are a user who depends on general purpose financial statements. Yet the members of the Committee, with the agreement of the auditor[5f], say that you don’t exist:

So, the financial statements have not been drawn up to suit you.  Why, then, would you rely on them? 

Should you still choose to do so, here is where the $515K income went (with last year’s in the second column):

There were two full time equivalent employees [AIS 2018]. That’s average remuneration of $91K.

No explanation is given for the very large increase in ‘Administration expense’ or ‘Maintenance and cleaning costs’. 

How is ‘Tithe expended’ any different from all the other uses of the giving?

In addition to the use of special purpose financial statements, there is an issue with the donations amount: it was what was recorded, not necessarily what was received.  The Committee thought it ‘impractical’ to put in place the internal controls to ensure that the cash that was given to the Church made it into the bank account, and then into the books[8].  So, the auditor was unable to give a ‘clean’ opinion, but qualified the accounts:

The ACNC Register says that these are the people who made this decision (and the one about the type of financial statements):

Craig Leon

Ian Reid

Marian Ashford

Michael Ashford

Mona Young

Paul Massen

Robert James (Ashford and Young are additional to those shown on the website.)


Nothing systematic on outcomes or impact was found.



  1. Focus on the nature of the charity’s work, its beneficiaries and the impact the charity is having in the community.Is it clear what the charity is trying to achieve and how its activities work towards its objectives?Would you like to spend your money, or time if volunteering, to support these objectives?

    Is the charity being transparent about its activities? [A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering].

  2. As associations may either be incorporated or unincorporated, Tuggeranong Baptist’s enabling legislation provides that it must use its full name when dealing with the public:The website contravenes this. (Tuggeranong Baptist does not have a business name registered.)
  3. 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.
  4. From Objective of General Purpose Financial Reporting (SAC2), www.aasb.gov.au: http://tedsherwood.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/08/word-image-15.png
  5. John Beard of John Beard Audit. (It is John who is the Registered Auditor. ‘John Beard Audit’ is a trading name that is not registered when it should be registered.)
  6. There are among the small minority of Committees who think this way.