Many Salvation Army employees are great supporters of the organisation’s annual Red Shield appeal, which raises funds for Salvation Army social programs. They may not be aware, however, of the annual Self-Denial Appeal that Salvation Army members contribute towards, with proceeds helping to fund humanitarian and spiritual work across the world.
Across the Australia Southern Territory (all of Australia save for Queensland, New South Wales and the Australian Capital Territory), Salvationists donated more than $1, 643,660 – a $42,430 plus increase on the 2011 total of more than $1,601,230.
Donations are made in two categories: tax-deductible and non-tax-deductible. Many people choose to give anonymous donations. In 2012, 40% of donations were made for tax-deductible humanitarian purposes, and 60% of donations were made as non-tax-deductible donations, the better to free up The Salvation Army’s discretionary use of funds.
The percentage of donors’ choices has been reversed in three years: in 2009, 60% of donations were made for tax-deductible use and 40% at the Salvation Army’s discretion (allowing for holistic expressions of mission that are inclusive of spirituality).
‘The standard we traditionally have set is to ask for “one week’s salary on missionary service”,’ explains territorial planned giving director Major Mark Kop.
‘The Salvation Army needs funds for its international work, and our employees may not realise the extent to which we are an international movement,’ says Mark.
‘Some of the countries the Army is working in that we support through the self denial appeal include “new areas” that the Salvation Army may never have entered into before, such as Greece, Kuwait, Nepal and the Solomon Islands.
‘When people give to this appeal they are supporting a sparse, finely-tuned mission that utilises every cent given and leverages every dollar for the greater good.
‘Australia is part of the Army’s engine room, sustaining the worldwide mission of The Salvation Army. Monies are allocated by our international headquarters or by the home territory that donates, as managed by IHQ.’
The benefits of giving to help others, Mark suggests, ultimately outweigh tax deductibility. ‘What we want is for people to be free, not controlled by their money; to be able to use their resources freely and be as generous as they can be. Donating to help people in less-wealthy nations helps the individual become more instinctively generous, increase their self-esteem and builds trust.’
Of The Salvation Army’s 121 territories and regions throughout the world, only 17 are deemed to be self-sufficient. That financially-viable minority includes Salvationists from Australia, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.