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Youth for Christ Australia: 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Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 Youth for Christ Australia (YFC) as an organisation that seeks donations online. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

Are they responsive to feedback?

I sent them a draft of the review on 1 February. On 7 February, we negotiated a delay in publication to 21 February. On 27 February, having not heard from them, I emailed. Included in their response was a request to publish this comment: ‘we are undergoing both structural and strategic changes at present.’

Is YFC registered?

  • There are two registered charities with the name Youth for Christ Australia:
  • There are also two other charities that (appear to) [added 28.03.17] belong to YFC:
  • YFC has not taken advantage of the ACNC’s group reporting concessions.
  • The donation request does not distinguish between the four charities, so when you find which charity it is that you wish to support, read the applicable entries below.
  • Other registrations – YFC-Inc:
    • A Victorian incorporated association (VIC A0031888F).
    • It has the registration required because it operates interstate (ARBN 079 775 296).
    • It operates in five states that have a fundraising licence regime, but has a licence in only NSW[1]. (It also has a licence in a state in which it does not operate, the ACT.)
  • Other registrations – YFC-Ltd:
    • A public company, a company limited by guarantee.
      • It does not have the provisions in its constitution to allow it to omit ‘Ltd/Limited’ from the end of its name.
    • It operates in five states that have a fundraising licence regime, but has no licences[2].
  • Other registrations – YFC-PBI: None
  • Other registrations – YFC-OAF: None

What does YFC do?

  • Currently, the website only has ‘Home’, ‘Contact Us’, and ‘Donate’ – a new one is coming – but this is how they reported 2016’s ‘activities and outcomes’ in their Annual Information Statement 2016 (AIS 2016):
    • YFC-Inc:
      • ‘YFCA Inc conducts programs for neglected, troubled and other youth. Our counselling services for troubled youth are unique in that they are mobile and meet young people where they are including in schools, cafes or at home. We conducted programs in juvenile detentions centres, giving support to young offenders. We ran camps for young people, particularly those at risk or disadvantaged with the aim of helping them to adjust to their social environment. Our school programs have been targeted to prevent delinquency, suicide and other self-destructive behaviour.’
    • YFC-Ltd:
      • ‘YFC Australia focusses on youth (12-24 yrs). The purpose of YFCA is to share the gospel with young people. We did this through activities we ran this year including camps, sports and recreation programs, youth gatherings, teen mums support groups, various ministries to specific demographic groups such as surfers, skateboarders, and hip hop dancing groups and afterschool programs. We shared the gospel with hundreds of young people who in turn have shared this message of hope with their friends. In addition we provide support to churches in how to minister and share the gospel with young people.’
    • YFC-PBI: Reports due 31 January 2016 (not 2017) have yet to be submitted.
    • YFC-OAF: ‘To raise funds for the improvement of the health and education of people in developing countries.’

Do they share the Gospel?

  • YFC-Inc: From the above, it appears not. (Which would fit with their ability to give you a tax deduction.)
  • YFC-Ltd: From the above, it appears so.
  • YFC-PBI: (Reports due 31 January 2016 (not 2017) have yet to be submitted.)
  • YFC-OAF: No information available. (As an organisation giving a tax deduction, it shouldn’t be sharing the Gospel.)

What impact are they having?

  • No information found.

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

  • YFC-Inc: The expenses are not classified to allow this calculation.
    • There is an item ‘Administration expenses’, but no explanation for how this differs from, for instance, ‘Office overheads’.
  • YFC-Ltd: The expenses are not classified to allow this calculation.
    • There is an item ‘Administration expenses’, but no explanation for how this differs from, for instance, ‘Office overheads’.
  • YFC-PBI: No Financial Report lodged
  • YFC-OAF: They spent $8K to send $114K overseas. (Do they bear all their own expenses though?)

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • YFC-Inc: Yes
  • YFC-Ltd: No
  • YFC-PBI: Yes, the fund Youth Guidance Fund.
  • YFC-OAF: Yes. (It is a public ancillary fund.)

Is their online giving secure?

  • There is no mention of security.

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

  • None shown on the website.

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • YFC-Inc: Yes (five months after their year-end).
  • YFC-Ltd: Yes (five months after their year-end).
  • YFC-PBI: No. (At the time of publication, 12 months overdue.)
  • YFC-OAF: Yes (AIS 2016 not due until 28 February 2017, and due to the size of the charity, no Financial Report is required.)

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • YFC-Inc:
    • AIS 2016: No
      • No outcomes
      • Some financial figures do not match those in the Financial Report.
      • No trading names.
    • Financial Report 2016: No – No Notes to the accounts.
  • YFC-Ltd:
    • AIS 2016: No
      • No outcomes
      • Not a ‘Basic Religious Charity’
    • Financial Report 2016: No
      • No Directors’ Declaration
      • No Notes to the accounts
  • YFC-PBI: No – nothing submitted.
  • YFC-OAF:
    • AIS 2016: Apart from the lack of outcomes, yes.
    • Financial Report 2016: Yes. (Their size means that one is not required, and they did not submit one voluntarily.)

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • YFC-Inc:
    • Last year’s deficit of 8% of revenue blew out to 28% this year.
    • ‘Accounting and audit fees’ were $111K, or 5% of expenses.
    • 57% of the expenses were for ‘Employee benefits expense’.
    • Working capital (current assets less current liabilities) is strongly positive.
    • There are minimal long-term liabilities.
  • YFC-Ltd:
    • A deficit of 10% of revenue was recorded. (This was their first year.)
    • There is no accounting and audit expense as there is for YFC-Inc.
    • 58% of the expenses were for ‘Employee benefits expense’.
    • Current liabilities exceed current assets (that is, negative working capital) by 22%.
    • There are no long-term liabilities.
  • YFC-PBI: NA – no Report lodged.
  • YFC-OAF:
    • A deficit of 10% of revenue was recorded.
    • No liabilities.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • YFC-Inc:
    • He was not able to give a ‘clean’ opinion. This was because he was ‘unable to express an opinion as to whether the donations of Youth For Christ Australia Inc is (sic) complete’.
  • YFC-Ltd:
    • He was not able to give a ‘clean’ opinion. This was because he was ‘unable to express an opinion as to whether the donations of Youth For Christ Australia Inc is (sic) complete’.
  • YFC-PBI: NA – No Report lodged.
  • YFC-OAF: NA – No Report lodged.

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

  • YFC-Inc: No
    • ACNC says that the selection of an Entity Subtype is overdue.
    • Trading names are missing.
    • ‘Website’ is blank.
  • YFC-Ltd: Yes
    • But it’s not, as is claimed, a ‘Basic Religious Charity’
  • YFC-PBI: No – much information is missing.
  • YFC-OAF: No
    • ACNC says that the selection of an Entity Subtype is overdue.  [2.03.17]
    • ‘Website’ is blank.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • YFC-Inc:
    • Not mentioned on the website.
    • From ‘Responsible Persons’ on the ACNC Register:
    • The board is one short of the number required by the constitution.
  • YFC-Ltd:
    • The same as for YFC-Inc, except ‘Christopher’ instead of ‘Chris’.
  • YFC-PBI: There are none listed on the ACNC Register.
  • YFC-OAF: The same as for YFC-Inc, except with Lisa Bell and Katherine Ruonala instead of Stephen Grocott and Daniel Muggeridge. That is, four out of six in common with both YFC-Ltd and YFC-Inc.

To whom is YFC accountable?

  • One of the organisations – it is not clear which one – is accountable to Missions Interlink[3] via its an Associate membership. (A membership that’s in the name of a YFC program, not an organisation, Youth for Christ – Senior Servants.)
  • All four charities are accountable to the ACNC.

 

 

  1. The law in this area is not straightforward – is an internet invitation ‘fundraising’ for instance? – and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
  2. The law in this area is not straightforward – is an internet invitation ‘fundraising’ for instance? – and advice varies, so check with the charity before drawing any conclusions.
  3. For one opinion on the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.
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