Australia blogger Ted Sherwood has filed a complaint with the Australian Charities and Not-for Profits Commission regarding Gospel for Asia Australia’s contributions to India. Money GFAA claimed went to GFA in India also went to Believers’ Church. Sherwood’s disclosure is in a footnote to a detailed analysis of GFAA’s financial reports.
In the analysis, Sherwood says:
I have confirmed, from Indian government records (go here and select the year and Kerala), that approximately $2.1 m arrived in India.
- The expense recorded below is $2.2 m, but without the exact transfer dates and translation rates, I cannot be more accurate.
- But, equally as important, the same records show that not all this $2.1 m was sent to Gospel for Asia as Monica says here – 52% went to Believers Church[x]
This is a similar issue in the American audit. GFA-US said they sent $58.5 million to GFA-India in 2013 but only $6 million showed up on records filed by GFA-India. Another $22.5 was sent to Believers’ Church and two other NGOs affiliated with BC.
In his analysis, Sherwood raises many questions about the use of funds in India and how Australian donors can trust that their funds are being spent as intended. For instance, Australian donors aren’t told that a substantial portion of funds are being sent to Believers’ Church. Rather, GFAA says:
As with the U.S. audit, GFA doesn’t tell donors that the lion’s share of the donations actually go Believers’ Church. In India, GFA says it is “a community development arm of Believers’ Church.” Why is the role of Believers’ Church obscured?
There may be good reason to wonder if BC or GFA-India will spend funds as intended. BC and GFAI have faced scrutiny in India over use of funds with one Indian court asserting that
It is not in dispute that substantial income of the assessee trust was not used by both the assessees for the purposes for which they were formed.
It is a huge red flag when audits and organization documents fail to include material information and when a court says an organization isn’t spending donation for the intended purpose. It is even more troubling when an organization refuses to comment or clear up what appears to be discrepancies in public records and their claims.