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Salvos respond to bushfire donations controversy

Salvos respond to bushfire donations controversy

Salvos respond to bushfire donations controversy

23 January 2020

The Salvation Army has released a statement in response to recent media coverage of its role in distributing donated funds to those impacted by the bushfires. 

The statement reads: 

“The Salvation Army’s response to the national bushfire disaster is in its fourth month. To date, we have distributed 80 per cent ($8.4 million) of the $11 million in funds that has been received. Over $43 million has been pledged to The Salvation Army since launching our Disaster Appeal on 9 November 2019.

“Money that has been raised during this period will be spent or committed by June 2020 to the immediate and longer-term recovery of those affected by the 2019-2020 bushfires.

“The Salvation Army Emergency Services (SAES) teams have been active in the bushfire crisis since September 2019, with more than 3000 staff and volunteers active. We have provided over 250,000 meals and over 240,000 light refreshments and personal packs to first responders and evacuees.

“Our personnel and mobile units continue to remain on the ground, providing immediate financial and emotional assistance, a hand of friendship or a listening ear. Twenty-six staff are currently supervising a dedicated telephone line for financial assistance and have assisted 2850 people.

“We thank the Australian community for its support. Our Community Engagement and Emergency Services teams are continuing to work with federal, state and local partners in disaster response and recovery plans to map out the steps ahead.”


  1. Thank you for clarifying this I will be happy to share this information

  2. Major Robert Mills
    Major Robert Mills

    Could you include what % of donations went to people in need.

  3. ♥️ Thank God for the Salvos ♥️

  4. The Salvos is the ONLY charity that I have and will only ever donate to as I know that the funds will get to the those that need them - it’s NOT squirrelled away, it’s accounted for and it’s managed - I trust them impeccably.

  5. Disgusted at how this was reported by the media as though the Salvos had not donated back what was given to them!
    Money pledged is not what is given- The Salvos cannot spend what hasn’t been given!!
    They have handled their donations responsibly well done!!

  6. Thank you for being honest to the people, god holds us all accountable. Thank you for your integrity.

  7. Sterling Doughty
    Sterling Doughty

    I live in Switzerland and so am unaware about any controversy concerning Salvation Army donations to bushfire relief, but the above statement and the description of help provided seems perfectly acceptable to me. I wonder if the critics would be so kind as to provide details of their own contributions to this effort...

  8. Lyn & Peter Iverson
    Lyn & Peter Iverson

    Thank you Salvo’s we have had great support from you...
    Our donations will be going to you thanks again 🙏

  9. How can someone not trust the Salvos and have any suspicion of any WRONG doing? What they have done, are doing and will do for others in need is FANTASTIC. ♥️ Thank God for the Salvos ♥️

  10. Lorelle Phillips
    Lorelle Phillips

    Geoff Stephenson I doubt you have any actual understanding of the work of the Salvos or you wouldn’t be so rude and offensive. Well done to all involved in the Salvos for your unwavering and non judgemental continued assistance to those in need.

  11. Short memory. The Salvos have been helping out people during the drought and now bush fires. They are now doing both. This is on top helping needy families over Christmas.

  12. Rotary and Lions clubs do not take a cent from donations
    @Peter Collins:

  13. Thanks .I wish more people would get facts before getting angry. Thanks for all the help everywhere

  14. bonnie deverell
    bonnie deverell

    Please report what you consider to be costs and also the actual sum raised and actual sum given to victims.

  15. bonita deverell
    bonita deverell

    Your comment that 80% of funds has already been distributed does not say to who or for what please clarify.

  16. Thankyou for feeding my son on 3 deployments in SA bushfires. He said your meals were great.

  17. Can you advise what percentage of the donated funds went to each state and how this percentage was decided please

  18. Would like to know the breakdown of the monies already distributed. What did the 80% go to and how many people directly benefited and by how much..It would help immensely if the public are kept informed with a transparent spreadsheet so we know our monies are directly helping those involved in this tragic event..

  19. The media do give a very slanted view of what we are doing don't they!

  20. Selfless work by selfless people. Again the example you set to others by the way you handle yourselves is impeccable.

    To the individuals who still aren’t satisfied by their statement... understand that by making them got back and double, triple and quadruple check for you, you waste their resources. My suggestion to you is head down to one of their homeless or bushfire relief centres and see the impact of their work. Then you’ll see where the money is going.

  21. This is a start at transparency but needs more information ,such as, the detail on what has been distributed and what the plan is for the rest of the funds already received. What is the expected rate of receipt from the pledged donations - there appears to be a lot outstanding. What is the 'normal' conversion from pledge to receipt and is there an issue of reporting pledged v's receipts? A lot of questions to be answered across the whole funding spectrum. Salvos appear to be one of the better charities.

  22. @Aaron: That is not an excuse for not applying proper governance and transparency. Good intentions don't replace good governance, they go together.

  23. I have had several conversations which I think might represent overall sentiment of community members and their concerns over proper management of funds given towards the Bushfire Recovery effort in Australia.
    It is due process for a NFP or government department to show how these monies were spent and is not a big ask.
    Due to recent and ongoing fraud by large financial institutions as well as those respected NFP's like Red Cross (Fraud in Hawaii and misuse of funds) and others, the public has a right to know.
    Australia as a nation is a very generous one, donating to both local and national disasters as well as ongoing humanitarian works.
    The concern is well-placed, our nation has a sense of integrity and we want those who hold positions of power, and who is given trust of monies, to be held accountable.
    Fair enough I reckon.

  24. hello all. being a member of my local Salvation Army church in a metropolitan area of great poverty and addiction, i see first hand what God, my church, does do to support our community members of all ages, nations, beliefs and social standing.
    i believe God is my only judge. In him I trust.

  25. Gary Battaglebb NBC e
    Gary Battaglebb NBC e

    I feel for the staff & volunteers at the coal face that are doing the work........ these are the ones that suffer the verbal abuse over this issue.
    Whether through misunderstanding of the facts or belief of the rumours & bad publicity, I think the Salvos & other organisations are going to find it very hard to raise funds for a long time to come.

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