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(Half) The Salvation Army (‘the Salvos’): mini charity review for donors

The charity registration of both General Work and Social Work for the Eastern Territory was voluntarily revoked effective October 2020.

The Salvation Army in Australia (‘the Salvos’) is a huge multi-faceted organisation, an organisation that relies greatly on your donation. There are many places and ways that this donation may be requested, and many subsidiary organisations that may be making the request, but ‘the Salvos’ in Australia is divided into just two ‘administrative territories’, ‘Eastern Territory’ (NSW, Qld and ACT) and ‘Southern Territory’ (see ‘Australian Territorial Headquarters’ here).

This review is restricted to The Salvation Army Australia Eastern Territory (Salvos East), the territory that has chosen to be a member of Missions Interlink, “The Australian network for global mission”.

It is organised as a series of questions, including those that the Australian charity regulator, the ACNC, suggests that you ask.

Is Salvos East registered?

  • There is no ABN or ASIC record for Salvos East.
  • There is no such charity in the ACNC Register.
  • Therefore if you are giving to the Salvos in the ‘Eastern Territory’ – NSW, Qld and the ACT – and the particular Salvos organisation says that it is registered, then it is likely to be one of the 13 charities that are controlled from the Eastern Territory’s headquarters at 140 Elizabeth Street Sydney.
    • To see them, go here and type in ‘salvation army” and then, in a second search, ‘salvos’. From each list select those in NSW.
    • You will see from these lists that Salvos East makes a distinction between ‘general work’ and ‘social work’.
      • The annual financial statements of the Eastern Territory, exclude, without explanation, the four charities doing ‘general work’ and one of those doing ‘social work’. This includes the two that are closest in name to Salvos East.
      • The financial statements are consolidated financial statements, without any information on the individual charities comprising the group.
      • There are no financial statements for any of the Salvos East charities on the ACNC Register.

Further questions

  • The lack of information on individual Salvos East charities is complemented by the lack of choice when one comes to donating online.
    • Apart from one – The Salvation Army Community Housing Service Limited – all thirteen charities appear to be served by one website, a website for Salvos East.
    • This website has a call for donations. It is a general call, without any option to specify either the particular Salvos organisation you want to support, or the type of work.

Conclusion

Given the above information, any further questions on Salvos East would not be relevant.

N.B.  Salvos East did not respond to my offer to comment on a draft of this review.

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