This is a review in the series ‘Members of Missions Interlink’, Missions Interlink being ‘the Australian network for global mission’(and a means for a Member to get income tax exemption when it might not otherwise be available). ‘The Salvation Army – Eastern Territory’ ‘is one such member.
The website linked from the Missions Interlink membership goes to a website with a homepage using three slightly different names: ‘The Salvation Army Australia’, ‘The Salvation Army’, and ‘The Salvation Army in Australia’.
Here they seek online donations.
Most people will know that ‘The Salvation Army’ is a charity. ‘The Salvos’.
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”:
- Check the charity’s name.
- Ask for identification from anyone seeking a donation.
- Be careful of online requests for donations.
- No tax deduction doesn’t mean the charity is not a legitimate one.
- Find out more about how the charity says it uses donations.
Here’s the results for ‘The Salvation Army Australia’, ‘The Salvation Army’, and ‘The Salvation Army in Australia’, with #5 supplemented by the essentials of the ACNC’s ‘What should I consider when deciding which charity to support?’ 
Question 1: Check the charity’s name
A search on the ACNC Register of charities for ‘The Salvation Army Australia’ gives two registered charities:
You will notice that the fourth and fifth entries are charities that match the Missions Interlink member. But, as we pointed out in the last review, three years ago, these charities are no longer registered.
Continuing our search for the charities mentioned on The Salvos website, ‘The Salvation Army’ gives a further 28 charities:
(not the complete list)
Finally, searching for the third name used, ‘The Salvation Army in Australia’, adds nothing to the list of The Salvos charities.
That’s 30 charities that could be being served by the website. Which one gets your money when you donate?
The ‘Donate’ button on the home page leads to a single giving option, the Red Shield Appeal. None of the 30 charities match this project, nor is there a charity with ‘Red Shield’ in its name.
The ‘Donate’ button in the main menu leads to a page that has nine giving options.
But no charity is mentioned. Which of the thirty charities gets your donation in each case? Just like with the Red Shield Appeal, we’ve not idea where your money goes.
No transparency, so no accountability is possible.
End of review.
The Salvos’ response
Both Members and Associates of Missions Interlink have to accept a set of standards, the introduction to which includes this:
The Salvos neither invite nor provide a contact for feedback. We sent a draft of this review to the ‘Media’ email on the website, the one for ‘Philanthropy’, and the email address on The Salvation Army Australia Facebook page. They did not respond.
- See here for the previous review. ↑
- https://missionsinterlink.org.au/about/ ↑
- 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?