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Youth With A Mission – Tasmania Inc: 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Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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 – Tasmania Inc (YWAMT) an organisation that seeks donations online[1], and is exempt from Australian income tax via its membership of Missions Interlink. (Including the answers to the questions that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.)

For the previous review, see here.

Is it responsive to feedback?

  • I sent them a draft of this review on 23 August 2017. Like last year, they didn’t respond.

Is YWAMT registered?

  • As a charity, yes.
  • YWAMT is a Tasmanian incorporated association (No. 01883C)[2].
    • Not an ‘Other Incorporated Entity’ as they still show on their ABN record.
  • No registered business names, so YWAMT therefore cannot legally trade under any other name than its legal name.
    • Despite this, it is called Southlands Tasmania by YWAM Australia, and YWAM Southlands Tasmania on one of its Facebook pages.
  • YWAMT operates, per the ACNC Register, in three states: South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria. These states are where the three YWAM partners in ‘YWAM Southlands’ are located, so I suspect that this is a mistake as a description of where YWAMT operates.
  • It does not have a fundraising licence in its home state, or any of the six states where one might be required[3].

What do they do?

  • See their page on the shared website.
  • This is what they did in 2016 (from the Annual Information Statement (AIS) 2016):
    • Throughout the year, we have been engaged in developing Christian (sic) education programs, running seminars, schools and extension course and vocational training. We have encouraged the wider community to be involved in charity work, volunteering, community service, and promoting missionary service. We have also provided emergency care, and housing. We have helped a few people through prayer and practical service.
  • Nothing was found to support the inclusion of Vanuatu under ‘Operates in (Countries)’ on the ACNC Register.

Do they share the Gospel [4]?

  • It is a ‘foundational value’ of theirs, so one would expect so.
  • But from the description of what they did in 2016 (see above), and the fact that donors can get a tax deduction for their donation, perhaps they don’t.

What impact are they having?

  • Nothing found.

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

  • The financial statement that gives this information has not been included in the Financial Report, and the summary in the AIS 2016 is of no help.

Do they pay their directors?

  • The financial statement that gives this information has not been included in the Financial Report, and the summary in the AIS 2016 is of no help.

Can you get a tax deduction?

  • Yes

Is their online giving secure?

  • The potential donor is told to ‘…use the secure form below to process your Credit Card or PayPal payment. However, there is no support for the statement that giving is secure.

Where were the (net) donations sent?

  • There is no information available.

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

  • From the website:
    • General Donation (Tasmania)
    • ‘School Building & Maintenance Fund (Tasmania) [AU Tax Deductible]
    • ‘School Fees (Tasmania)
    • ‘Seminar / Outreach (Tasmania)
    • ‘Staff Donation / Payment (Tasmania) [AU Tax Deductible]
    • ‘Other – Please Specify Below’
  • What makes some tax-deductible, others not?

Is their reporting up-to-date?

  • Yes (six and a half months after year end, two and a half months later than last year).

Does their reporting comply with the regulator’s requirements?

  • AIS 2016: No
    • ‘Type of financial statement’ is incorrect.
    • Two names are missing under ‘Other names…’
    • No outcomes are reported.
    • The declaration of zero employees is contradicted by the presence of ‘Employee expenses’ in another section.
  • Financial Report 2016: No
    • This report is still grossly deficient. It is missing
      • three of the four financial statements
      • the Notes to the accounts
      • a directors’ declaration, and
      • an audit report.
        • Was an audit performed?
    • The only thing that is included, a ‘Balance Sheet’, is not in the proper form and shows much questionable accounting.
    • Apart the ACNC’s requirements, the Report falls far short of (a) YWAMT’s own requirements in the constitution, and (b) Mission Interlink’s requirements.

What financial situation was shown in that Report?

  • Given the issues above, no comment.

What did the auditor say about the last financial statements?

  • No audit report is available.

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

  • Yes
    • The selection of a subtype – under ‘Entity Subtype’ – is long overdue (30 June 2015), but this may be an ACNC system error.
      • The current subtype, ‘Public benevolent institution’ does not seem consistent with the primary purpose in the constitution:
        • To advance the Christian Faith (sic) in all parts of Australia and the rest of the World (sic) by such means as the committee of the Association may determine…
    • ‘Phone’ and ‘Website’ are blank, but neither are compulsory.
      • The phone number on the website is 03 6265 2108.
      • The website linked from the Missions Interlink list of members is a website in the name of an unregistered Youth With A Mission organisation covering YWAMT and two other Youth With A Mission charities.

Who are the people controlling the organisation?

  • The directors are not shown on the website.
  • From the ACNC Register (under ‘Responsible Persons’):
  • This is one more member than is permitted by the constitution.
  • Some may question the wisdom of having three couples in a board of eight for an organization taking public money.

To whom is YWAMT accountable?

  • Not mentioned on the website, but YWAMT is a member of Missions Interlink.
    • For one opinion of the strength of that accountability, see the section Activities in this review.
  • Also accountable to the ACNC.
  • And to the Tasmanian regulator of incorporated associations.

 

 

 

  1. On the website that is linked in the Missions Interlink membership list.
  2. The official name is slightly different to the one on the ABN register/ACNC Register, and both are slightly different to the one in the constitution.
  3. 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.
  4. “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. 
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