What are the External Conduct Standards and why are they important?
In 2019, the Australian Government introduced legislation regarding churches and other charitable organisations and their funding of work overseas. This includes all incorporated churches and those listed as charities with the Australian Charity and Non-Profit Commission (ACNC). This legislation is called the External Conduct Standards (ECS).
In a nutshell, the ECS requires donating organisations to be compliant with the standards regarding sending funds overseas and holds them accountable if funds sent overseas are misused. Misuse can include fraud, financial mismanagement, abuse of children and vulnerable people, crime and misconduct. Your organisation or church is obligated to ensure funds sent overseas are not misused. This includes funds that are sent to missionaries’ Australian bank accounts and then withdrawn overseas, as well as funds sent to them by international transfer.
What does AMT offer donors?
AMT is compliant with the ECS and has agreements with both individuals and organisations that we send money to overseas. Thus, if your church or organisation sends money to AMT to forward to missionaries or organisations overseas, you can be sure that you are no longer responsible if issues arise.
Is there a cost involved?
Being compliant with the ECS costs money, as does the actual sending of funds overseas. For many years it has been AMT policy to deduct 8% from gifts to cover operational expenses for the AMT office and wages. Running a compliant organization demands good administration and stewardship. Paying AMT team members wages for their work is the Lord's provision for them. Additionally, any operational surplus is used to supplement the gifts for listed missionaries. The fact that AMT takes 8% is occasionally a source of concern amongst some donors; however, it is important to note that most mission agencies recover their operational expenses, one way or another. AMT chooses to be very transparent and limit the amount of funds we use for this purpose. AMT welcomes discussion with churches and donors regarding the percentage. If you would like further information, please do not hesitate to contact us.
If you have any questions, please contact us at:
PO Box 565
Mt Gravatt QLD 4122
+61 7 3219 1800