Care: At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 in the series ‘Members of Missions Interlink’, Missions Interlink being the Australian Evangelical Alliance Inc‘s ‘network for global mission‘. We review these charities because their membership means that they must sign up to a set of standards, and this, at least on paper, makes them a better bet for your donations (or other involvement).
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, and
- Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.
1. A search on the ACNC Register for ‘WEC International’ leads to a registered charity in a very close name, W.E.C. International (WEC). The website address on the Register, after correction for an obvious error, shows that this is the Missions Interlink member.
- WEC changed its name from WEC International to W.E.C. International twenty years ago.
- Despite this, it
- still uses the old spelling on its website, its Financial Report 2019, and its constitution (dated 2019).
- there is but a single use of ‘W.E.C.’ on the website, on an official banking form.
- WEC refers to itself on its website as WEC Australia. It does not have this name registered.
2. There is no information that suggests that WEC collects donations door-to-door or in the street.
3. WEC’s website begins with a closed padlock symbol, so the website is secure [the ACNC article above]. Your personal information is said to be ‘secured with industry-standard encryption (but there is no reassuring logo of the security provider).
4. WEC’s ABN record says that it is not entitled to receive tax-deductible gifts.
The information at the bottom of the ‘Donate’ page is not consistent with this:
WEC do not explain why some projects are tax deductible.
5. The use of your donations
The ‘About WEC’ section of the website is about WEC internationally, not WEC. But here, from the AIS 2019, are WEC’s ‘activities and outcomes’:
And, from the same report is the changes that they planned:
Where’d the money go?
The audited account of how a charity uses donations is the Financial Report on the ACNC Register.
There are some issues with this Report, issues cumulatively sufficient to challenge the directors’ declaration that a ‘true and fair view’ is shown:
- They do not explain how a charity with a turnover of $894K and offices in four States (and operating in three others), can have no employees [AIS 2019].
- Their explanation for why the transactions and balances of Worldview Centre for Intercultural Studies are not included, when assessed against the guidance given in the relevant Accounting Standard, is not convincing:
- Members of Worldview are required to be members of WEC.
- “The majority” of the board of Worldview are required to be members of WEC.
- WEC approves the appointment of the Worldview principal and ‘leadership team’.
- WEC owns the property on which Worldview is situated.
- That the ‘Worldview Board of Directors is the final legal authority for the company’ is not the criterion for consolidation.
- WEC talks about Worldview as if it were part of WEC. Here are just two examples:
- The directors signed the Report on 13 March 2020 yet the COVID-19 pandemic is not mentioned.
- The Comprehensive Statement of Income omits a Comprehensive Income section, long a legal requirement.
- The auditor says that he audited a ‘consolidated entity’, something that is not supported by the accounts.
- There are several Notes, or parts of Notes, missing.
- The financial effect of new Accounting Standards is not shown.
- ‘Deposits Held’ and ‘Prepayments’ are incorrectly classified as ‘Receivables’.
- There is insufficient disclosure of the $500K ‘Financial Assets’.
- ‘Maxi Accounts’ are probably misclassified; ‘Term Deposits’ maybe too.
- The properties comprising the $31.46 million ‘Freehold Land & Buildings – Fair Value’ are not identified.
- Some of the items included under ‘Payables (Non-Current)’ are questionable as liabilities.
- Without explanation, an unaudited (and unmarked as such) statement of income and expenditure has been included in addition to the audited statement.
If you still want to see where WEC said the money went, have a look at the Comprehensive Statement of Income (and if you don’t mind it being unaudited, the extra statement on page 24, also in the Financial Report 2019).
These were the people responsible for the reporting (including Financial Report and AIS 2019):
Donald George (staff member of WEC)
Coralie Preston (co-National Director of WEC)
Stephen Preston (co-National Director of WEC)
Rachel McNulty (“WEC”, WA)
Chris Laney (part of ‘WEC Leadership’)
James F Lambie (staff member of WEC)
Janette C Boucher (with WEC?)
The ACNC Register shows that Michelle Kallmier has joined since this date.
The directors are responsible to the members. The usual disclosure, in the Directors’ Report, of the number of members, is absent.
There is nothing on the website about the impact of the donations.
The introduction to the Mission Interlink standards (see above) includes this statement:
We sent the member a draft of this review. They received the email but chose not to respond.
End of review.
- See here for the previous review. ↑
- A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering:
- 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?
- The ACNC implies, therefore, that it is a ‘legitimate’ charity. But this is not correct – as the ACNC itself points out, registration is voluntary. ↑
- The ACNC’s information (in its article above) is not correct for the Chrome browser; it does not have ‘https’. ↑
- WEC’s AIS 2019 says that the charity does not fundraise online. It also says that it does not intend to continue to fundraise. Based on the website, both statements are incorrect. ↑
- The charity is this one.WEC do not explain how this work fits with the above activities or its objects (in the constitution). The few references on the website to the work lead to a ‘Page Not Found’ message). ↑
- AASB 10, www.aasb.gov.au. ↑
- The above four points come from Note 17 in the Financial Report 2019. ↑
- There is no mention of this centre on the website. ↑
- The directors are not shown on the WEC website. ↑