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Archived: Youth With A Mission (Perth) Incorporated: 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Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 With A Mission (Perth) Incorporated (YWAMP) an organisation that invites the public to donate to it, and that is a member of Missions Interlink, ‘the Australian network for global mission’.

(Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

To see the situation last year, read this review.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • When sent a draft of this review, on 3 April 2017, they…did not respond.

Is it registered?

  • Yes, as a charity.
  • It also controls another charity, Youth With A Mission (Perth) Incorporated As the operator of a PBI (YWAMPBI)
    • Here’s the ACNC’s explanation:
      • Organisations that are the operators of a Public Benevolent Institution (PBI) or Health Promotion Charity (HPC) were provided with a new ABN to make clear which part of the organisation is a registered charity and which part is a PBI or HPC. As both are registered entities with the ACNC, they have their own reporting obligations. You can choose to lodge separate annual reports via the ACNC Charity Portal or you can apply to group report by submitting Form 4B: Request group reporting.
        • Distinguishing PBIs (and HPCs) from charities does not fit with what the ATO says.
      • YWAMP has not taken advantage of group reporting.
      • There is no mention of ‘public benevolent institution’ or ‘PBI’ on the YWAMP website.
  • Other registrations:
    • As a Western Australian incorporated association (A0822268A).
    • YWAMP uses the names Youth With A Mission Perth and YWAM Perth. It has neither registered as business names.
      • YWAM has a trademark for the first name.
    • It operates, per the ACNC Register, in Western Australia. It also raises money on the internet. It has no fundraising licences[1].

What does YWAMP do?

  • Described here.
  • The ACNC Register says that YWAMP operates in ten overseas countries. It made no overseas grants, but perhaps these are the countries to which ‘mission trips’ were made?
  • YWAMPBI: I can find no information on the PBI.
    • Its Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015) has the same description of activities as YWAMP’s.

Do they share the Gospel?

  • Yes. See the section just above.
  • YWAMPBI: Being a PBI, I suspect not.

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing systematic found.
  • YWAMPBI: Nothing found.

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

  • The financial statements that were lodged have been withheld from the Register by the ACNC at YWAMP’s request.
    • There is no reason given for the suppression, and the reason is not available to the public. This just leads us to speculate as to the nature of the information that has caused the ACNC to decide that the harm that may be caused by its publication ‘outweighs the public interest in publishing the information’.
    • The loss of transparency is mitigated by the fact that the statement withheld relates to a year-end that is now over two years ago.
    • Their membership of Missions Interlink requires them to “have available for its members and supporters a clear and appropriate financial statement which has been approved by its auditor [Standards Statement, 4.1]. So just ask.
    • The ‘Financial Information’ section in the AIS 2015 has all zeros.
    • The Financial Report is YWAMP’s Financial Report.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Yes, both for YWMP as an organisation (since 22.09.2016), and for a donation to its fund, Youth With A Mission Western (Perth) Inc School Building and Maintenance Fund (since 1.07.2000).
    • How did such an overtly evangelising organisation like YWAMP get endorsement as a Deductible Gift Recipient?
    • How was the DGR status granted when YWAMP doesn’t have the required revocation clause in its constitution?
    • There is no mention of the Fund on the website.
  • YWAMPBI: Yes, if you give to its fund, Youth With A Mission (Perth) Inc Donation Account.

Is their online giving secure?

  • Security is not mentioned.
  • YWAMPBI: NA – no separate website, and no option on YWAMP’s website to give to the PBI.

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

  • ‘Donation or Gift’
  • ‘Student’
  • ‘Staff’
  • ‘Other’

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes
    • But three months late.
    • And, at the request of the ACNC, for the year-ended 31 March 2015, not 2016 as is normal for other charities.
  • YWAMPBI: Yes
    • But three months late.
    • And, at the request of the ACNC, for the year-ended 31 March 2015, not 2016 as is normal for other charities.

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015): No
    • Three important figures in the ‘Financial Information’ section do not match those in the financial statements.
    • The activities are not specific to 2015.
    • No outcomes are reported.
  • Financial Report 2016: No[2]
    • It stretches credulity for the directors of a charity with a turnover of $6.15 m, multiple training courses, a large staff, 6K followers on Facebook, and a public invitation to give, to conclude that there are no stakeholders, either present or prospective, who are dependent on general purpose financial statements to make decisions about the organisation.
    • Annual Information Statement 2015 (AIS 2015): No
      • The activities are not specifically those of the PBI
      • No outcomes are reported.
      • Their fund is not an ‘Other name’.
      • The financial statements that are attached are not those of the PBI.
      • The ‘Financial Information’ does not match what is shown in the financial statements.
    • Financial Report 2016: No – it is YWAMP’s Financial Report.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • No Report is available via YWAMP’s Register entry – the Report was received but the ACNC, at YWAMP’s request, have withheld the information.
  • However, there is a Financial Report for YWAMP on the PBI’s entry:
    • Income: $6.15 m.
      • Donations 408K
      • Over a million dollars:
        • ‘Outreach Fees’ $1.84 m
        • ‘Tuition Fees’ $1.54 m
        • ‘Staff Fees’ $1.34 m
    • Expenses: $5.09 m
      • Zero ‘Employee expenses’. Elsewhere in the AIS they report zero employees. How does YWAMP do what it does?
      • No ‘Grants and donations…’.
      • Over a million dollars:
        • ‘Outreach Expenses’ $1.67 m
        • ‘Rent’ $1.46 m
    • Assets $19.56 m
      • ‘Cash’ $2.00 m
      • ‘Property, Plant & Equipment’ $17.48 m
        • ‘Land & Buildings at cost’ $15.94 m: why so much rent then?
    • Liabilities $5.87 m
      • ‘Interest Bearing Liabilities’ (due beyond 12 months): $4.49 m
  • YWAMPBI: The report that has been lodged is that of YWAMP.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • He gave a qualified opinion, that is, not a ‘clean’ opinion.
    • The qualification is because the directors of YWAMP have ‘determined that it is impracticable to establish control over the collection of cash donations prior to entry into its financial records’.
      • If most other charities can establish these controls, what stops YWAMP?
  • He also implicitly agreed with the directors’ decision that YWAMP is not a reporting entity, thus allowing them to produce the lower standard special purpose financial statements.

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

  • Yes
  • YWAMPBI: Yes

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • Not shown on the website.
  • The ACNC Register says that YWAMP has a board of one, Caleb Brownhill. However, as he is the Public Officer, it is possible that he is not a responsible person, and therefore should not be listed here.
    • The constitution[3] requires a minimum of three officers.
  • YWAMPBI: Caleb is again the only one listed.

To whom is YWAMP accountable?

  • To the ACNC.
  • And to the Western Australian regulator of associations.
  • YWAMPBI: to the ACNC.



  1. Opinions vary on whether an internet invitation qualifies as ‘fundraising’.
  2. Submitted but not available to the public because they applied, and the ACNC agreed, to withhold the Report. Their Financial Report is available on the Register entry for YWAMPBI.
  3. Marked ‘Information withheld’ on the Register, but available on YWAMPBI’s Register entry.