Care: At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
This is a review of the organisation ‘Valley Baptist Church, principally for existing givers and those who are considering giving.
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”:
- Check the charity’s name.
- Ask for identification from anyone seeking a donation.
- Be careful of online requests for donations.
- No tax deduction doesn’t mean the charity is not a legitimate one.
- Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.
1. A search on the name ‘Valley Baptist Church’ on the ACNC Register of charities leads to a registered charity in that name (‘Valley Baptist”).
2. One would not expect a church to use third party collectors, and there is nothing to indicate that Valley Baptist does.
3. The web address does not begin with ‘https’, and there is no “closed padlock symbol next to the web address in the address bar”, so the website is not secure [the first ACNC article above]. But this matters not, for the Church does not offer an online giving facility.
4. The Australian Business Register (linked from Valley Baptist’s ACNC Register record), says that the charity is not entitled to receive tax deductible gifts. It is, however, a legitimate charity.
From the website:
And from the footer on the website:
Nothing on the website.
This section from the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2018 is meant to describe what happened in 2018:
Sharing the Gospel?
Valley Baptist operates in Australia, per the ACNC Register, only at 6 Macknight Place Macarthur Dickson in the ACT.
It operates overseas, again per the ACNC Register, in Fiji, Tonga, and Tuvalu.
How the mission and activities translated into dollars spent
Valley Baptist’s size for reporting purposes, ‘Small’, means that it does not need to lodge a Financial Report. It qualifies as a Basic Religious Charity, but is not registered as one. This means that there is financial information in the AIS 2018:
While one might accept the two ‘Grants…’ figures being round amounts, exactly $25K for ‘Other expenses/payments’ is strange. As is exactly $60K for ‘Donations and bequests’ under ‘Revenue/receipts’. And only one volunteer [AIS 2018].
The Constitution [Governing document, ACNC Register] says that the ‘pastor and deacons’ are the people responsible for the decisions, but on both the website and the Register, only one person is mentioned: Frank Tottingham, the Pastor.
Nothing on outcomes or impact was found.
- Focus on the nature of the charity’s work, i+ts 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?
- “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. ↑