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YWAM Townsville Assoc. Inc.

This is an updated review of YWAM Townsville Assoc. Inc. (YWAMT).

Donations are still sought via the same page as before, a page on the website for another charity, YWAM Medical Ships – Australia Ltd (Ships). Five of the eight directors of Ships make up the board of Townsville. However, perhaps control is the other way round (see below).

Donors

The charities’ regulator, 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 organisation’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.
  5. Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.

Here’s the results for ‘YWAM Townsville Assoc. Inc.’, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[1]

Question 1

A search of the Register of charities for ‘YWAM Townsville Assoc.Inc.’ shows a charity still registered in that name (YWAMT).

Question 2

There is nothing to suggest that YWAMT uses door-to-door or street fundraisers.

Question 3

The web address begins with a closed padlock symbol, so the website is secure. However, the ‘Donate/Pay Fees’ page says nothing about the security of your personal and credit card information.

Question 4

YWAMT is a Deductible Gift Recipient (DGR)[2], so you can get a tax deduction for a donation. The website information supports this.

It also has a fund that is a DGR, YWAM Reef to Outback School Building Fund. However, there is no mention of this fund on the website (including on the ‘Donate/Pay Fees’ page).

Question 5 How donations are used

The context

From YWAMT’s Register entry:

Note that ‘Medical Ships’ (i.e., Ships) is one of YWAMT’s three ‘focus areas’.

Sharing the Gospel?[3]

Not by Ships, but by those in the other two areas, most likely yes.

How activities translated into dollars spent

The audited account of how donations are used is the Financial Report 2019 on the ACNC Register.

Included in that Report is a signed declaration by the Committee of YWAMT that the accounts

But the Committee (see below for who they were) have made a false declaration (and the auditor has given an inappropriate opinion):

  • Two of the four required financial statements are missing.
  • The Profit and Loss Statement (sic) is in a long-outdated format (and consequently omits an important section).
  • The size and complexity of YWAMT means that their choice of the lower standard special purpose financial statements was inappropriate[4].
  • The Committee doesn’t mention their relationship with Ships. Who controls whom?
  • The presentation of both the current assets and the current liabilities is incorrect.
  • Most of the Notes (Notes to the Financial Statements) are missing.
  • The disclosure of revenue is incorrect[5].
  • They are owed $16K by related entities, and owe 557K to related entities[6]. The entities are named, but the relationship is not described[7].

In addition

  • The auditor was not qualified to do the audit.

The auditor

Despite the above deficiencies, the auditor, Greg Redington, of Coutts Redington, gives a ‘clean’ opinion. It is therefore hard not to conclude that this opinion is incorrect.

People responsible

From the Committee’s Report [Financial Report 2019], these were the people responsible for the accounts:

Ken Mulligan[8]

Robyn Mulligan

Jared Hoover

Rebekah Hoover

Jennifer Rentsch

Philip Rentsch

Anna Scott

Matthew Scott

Hannah Peart

These four couples plus one are all staff members of YWMN. The Committee is responsible to the members of the association. The number of members is not disclosed.

This lack of accountability is typical for YWAMs, documented by us in reviews, and recently by Ministry Watch.

Question 5: How their money is used

As can be seen from the above, the YWAMT Committee don’t give you a report on which you can rely.

Impact

Nothing on impact was found.

YWAMT’s response

We sent them a draft of this review. They sent this response:

We have received the copy of your updated draft review and have passed it on to our auditors, who are currently in the process of reviewing your claims.  Upon the completion of that review in due course, we will consider any issues raised and make relevant changes if appropriate. 

We invite anyone with bona fide interest in our charitable work to contact us directly.

Reviewer’s comment

An invitation to contact the charity does not invalidate the need for that charity to comply with the law, including the requirements of the charity regulator.

 

 

 

 

  1. 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? [A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering].
  2. ‘Will my donation be tax deductible?’ YWAMT’s Register entry.
  3. ‘When Helping Hurts by Brian Fikkert and Steve Corbett says this about sharing the Gospel: ‘A host of contextual issues determine the best manner and the appropriate time to present the gospel verbally, particularly in militant Muslim or Hindu settings. But without such a presentation, it is not possible for people to be personally transformed in all their relationships, which is what poverty alleviation is all about [Kindle Locations 1262-1264, Moody Publishers].
  4. The evidence for that conclusion is their turnover of $7.02 million (including donations), DGR status, operating overseas, controlling Ships (and possibly four other charities – see below), and having over 500 volunteers (AIS 2019).
  5. No. of boardsYwam Townsville Assoc. Inc.Ywam Medical Ships – Australia LtdYWAM City Ventures LtdCity Ventures LtdYWAM DURHAM LTDYWAM PNG Ship LimitedTownsville Christian Broadcasters IncYWAM SURREY HILLS LTDYouth With A Mission Melb Inc
    Anna Scott3XXX
    Matthew Scott1X
    Hannah Peart1X
    Jared Hoover8XXXXXXXX
    Rebekah Hoover8XXXXXXXX
    Jennifer Rentsch5XXXXX
    Jeremy Schierer1X
    Jeremy Humphreys1X
    Ragnhild Elea Humphreys1X
    Philip Rentsch4XXXX
    John Brokenshire2X
    Kenneth Mulligan9XXXXXXXXX
    Robyn Mulligan3XXX
    Rabbie Langanai Namaliu1X
    Melissa Kauk1X
    Nathan Randell1X
    Nicholas Matthews1X
    Stephen Aherne2XX
    Thomas Hallas2XX
    Megumi Watts3XXX
    Fay Collins1X
    Olivia Lula1X
    60
    Number of directors601184475579

  6. Ken is a director of nearly a third of the 29 registered YWAM charities. See the previous footnote.
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