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Salvation Army International Development: 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Care:  At least some of the information about this charity is no longer current.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.

This is a review in the series ‘Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Members’. ACFID ‘is the peak body for Australian non government organisations (NGOs) involved in international development and humanitarian action.’ It requires Members to adhere to a Code of Conduct. ‘Salvation Army International Development’ is one such Member.


The website linked from the ACFID membership list, ‘The Salvation Army International Development Australia’, seeks donations from the public.

Covid-19 – no information on the website.

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 charity’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, and
  5. Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.

Here’s the results for ‘Salvation Army International Development’, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?[1]

The name

1.  There is no registered charity in the name Salvation Army International Development.

There is no entity or business name Salvation Army International Development on ASIC’s registers.

Salvation Army International Development doesn’t have an ABN.

The name Salvation Army International Development is not registered with ASIC.

So, we turn to Salvation Army International Development’s website for information.

In the footer, it says that, contrary to the ACFID’s member listing (see above), the ACFID member is The Salvation Army Australia:

There is no entity The Salvation Army Australia registered with ASIC. Many with ‘Salvation Army’ in their name though.

The website footer then goes on to say, by citing an ABN, that the website belongs to the registered charity The Trustee for The Salvation Army (Australia) Self Denial Fund (For Overseas Aid).

The information so far suggests that Salvation Army International Development is not an entity that is separate to the charity, not an operation that has its own governance structure.

This conclusion is supported by the language on the home page:

This idea of work, rather than a separate entity, is supported in the footer of the same page:

The ‘Details’ hyperlink leads not just to the name of the charity that owns the website (see above), but three other The Salvation Army registered charities:

Confusing. We can understand another fund for overseas aid being involved, but why the two property trusts?

Giving options

None. Any donation goes towards ‘Overseas Aid’:

This matches the charity identified by ABN in the footer, The Trustee for The Salvation Army (Australia) Self Denial Fund (For Overseas Aid). But not the charities listed under ‘ABNs’ above, for there are two (For Overseas Aid) charities in that list. Does all your donation on the Salvation Army International Development site go to one of these charities, based maybe on something in the information you give on the donation pages, or is it split between the two (For Overseas Aid) charities?

Numbers 2 to 4 in the ACNC’s list above

Until we are sure who is getting your donation, and where the use of that donation is reporting, let’s pass on these.

5.  The use of your donation

Both (For Overseas Aid) charities are members of an ACNC Group, Salvation Army – Social Work_ACNC Group. Two of 14 charities.

The audited account of how a charity uses its donations is its Financial Report on the ACNC Register. For the (For Overseas Aid) charities it is the Financial Report for the ACNC Group. The Report uploaded for the Group is for an entity called The Salvation Army Australia Social Fund. The name is close enough, but the entities covered within that ‘Aggregated Financial Report’ are not the same set of charities. And there are two more (the audit report) or seven more (the Notes to the Financial Statements) that the ACNC Register shows.


Even if we were to rely on this Group Financial Report, there is no disclosure of the ‘international development work’, which is where we started.

Conclusion on the name

This is far too much to put a donor through who is trying to be diligent in their giving. You will have to get the necessary information by contacting….we’re not sure who.

Charity response

We sent a draft of this review to both the Media Officer (as requested) and via the form on the website. By the time of publication, two weeks later, we had not received a response – not even an acknowledgement.



  1. A section in the article, Donating and Volunteering:
    • 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?