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Youth for Christ Australia Ltd

Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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[1] 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).

Youth for Christ Australia’ is one such member. It seeks donations on the website linked from Missions Interlink.

COVID-19  There’s nothing specifically about COVID-19 on the website.


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, and
  5. Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.

Here’s the results for ‘Youth for Christ Australia’, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[2]

1.  A search on ‘Youth for Christ Australia’ leads to a registered[3]charity in the name Youth for Christ Australia Ltd (YFC).


2.  There is nothing to indicate that YFC uses either door-to-door or street collectors.


3.  The web address begins with a closed padlock symbol, so the website is secure [the ACNC article above[4]]. But there is nothing on the first two pages of the donation process to say that your information will be secure.


4.  YFC’s ABN record says that it is not entitled to receive tax-deductible gifts. However YFC also collects for another charity, YFC Care Ltd, and that charity gives a tax deduction:

YFC Care Ltd is controlled by YFC.


5.  The use of your donations

For context, see here.

The audited account of how a charity uses donations is the Financial Report on the ACNC Register.

Directors have a choice between two kinds of reports, special purpose or general purpose. The requirements of the former are less onerous than the latter. The directors of YFC at the time (see below), decided on special purpose. The auditor, S C Greene, agreed with this decision.

This is what his professional body, Chartered Accountants Australia & New Zealandhas to say about the choice between the two types of reports[5]:

With five employees and 92 volunteers [Annual Information Statement 2019], activities in seven out of eight States of Australia, grants from government, a wholly owned subsidiary turning over $510K, and donors all over Australia giving $314K [Financial Report 2019], the evidence is against YFC being one of the exceptions. But that is the choice that the directors made.

One of the implications of their choice is that you can ring YFC’s office and request that they prepare financial statements that answer the question or questions you have about the charity. We strongly doubt that they will agree[6]. And if they don’t then the accounts presented by the directors are not for you. In fact, they say (in the Notes to the Financial Statements) that you don’t exist:

Because of this decision, the financial statements have a major limitation: they do not include the figures for the charity that the directors of YFC also run, YFC Care Ltd.

If you are still happy to rely on the financial statements, here’s what they say about where the money goes:

There is no explanation of the third largest expense, ‘Office overheads’. This is especially needed because the third largest item is ‘Administration expenses’ – what is the distinction?

The distinction between ‘Employee benefits expense’ and ‘Ministry worker costs’ also not given.

Who’s responsible?

From the Directors’ Report [Financial Report 2019], these are the directors responsible for the reporting[7]:

Cindy McGarvie

James Flynn

Stephen Grocott

Tim Lithgow

Christopher Richards

Anneka Rowe

Peter Bain

Elizabeth Schilpzand

Simon Hill

The ACNC Register shows that the board has since lost, and not replaced, Anneka and Peter.

The board is not shown on the website.

The board is responsible to the members. Directors must be members [the constitution, ACNC Register]. There are nine directors above and there were nine members at 31 December 2019. No accountability.


There is nothing on the website about the impact of the donations.

Charity response

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.



  1. See here for the previous review.
  2. 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?

  3. The ACNC implies, therefore, that it is a ‘legitimate’ charity. But this is not correct – as the ACNC itself points out, registration is voluntary.
  4. The ACNC’s information (in its article above) is not correct for the Chrome browser; it does not have ‘https’.
  5. Enhancing Not-for-Profit Annual and Financial Reporting, March 2013, accessed from their website March 2020. 
  6. The accounting profession says that you are therefore ‘potentially interested in the information provided in general purpose financial reports’, the other kind of report. [From Objective of General Purpose Financial Reporting (SAC2), www.aasb.gov.au].
  7. And also the current directors.