Companies Need to Learn From the Salvation Army Suffering From Their Wokeness

(Mark Moran/The Citizens' Voice via AP)

There may be no better example of the mistake of the charity org. bowing to activists.

We have long cataloged the folly of companies and other entities who pander to the activist minority of this country and pay the price for their folly. It is a seemingly never-ending cycle; a social media dust-up occurs; a company panics and overreacts; it broadcasts a ridiculous woke agenda, which results in a far larger segment of the country spurning the company. The examples have been on-going.


Target stores saw quarters of depressed sales after joining in the bathroom controversy, and the NFL allowed on-field protests of the national anthem only to see a drop in attendance and ratings for the first time in a generation.

There were so many others; Dick’s Sporting Goods pandered to gun control groups, Gillette attacked masculinity, Coke and Major League Baseball entered the Georgia voting law debate, and the list continues. You would think at some point a dawning will occur over corporate America; maybe an example from the non-capitalist sector will finally open some boardroom eyes.

One recent example of this signaling foolishness cropped up last month, involving the Salvation Army. It was revealed that the church/charitable organization had produced an internal guide about racism, focused entirely on white privilege and what must be done to correct many ills as a result of systemic racism. As I covered a few weeks ago, the claims by the group’s PR division that they were not targeting whites — and they had not called for apologies for being racist — were completely false, based on the contents of the very guidebook they had produced.

Well, this is the time for corporations to take notice. It’s clear that pandering to the activists by telling the bulk of your donors that they are racist, as you ask them for continued support, is not paying off. In just a few short weeks, we are seeing the direct impact this adherence to a woke agenda has had on the Salvation Army, as across the nation they are reporting that donations are not just lower but significantly down. It is sad and amazing to witness, as a completely unneeded social activist agenda has led to severely depleted levels of support.


I have spoken to a number of people who have significantly altered their giving to the organization. One close friend has been an annual donor, and she steered her giving to other outfits. Another said they have turned to local charities. And as a sign of this not being a seasonal effect, one explained they chose to give to a local group, who told him that they are experiencing a flush donation season and cited the drop in Salvation Army donations means more is coming their way.

But this is far more than anecdotal instances, with details from numerous areas reflecting this behavior with donors. A Seattle news station reports the local SA is depleted in donations — money, toys, and food — as well as seeing a drop in manpower support. “Not only is the nonprofit organization short on donations, they also are in desperate need of bell ringers to staff the red kettles seen at businesses around the country.”

In Michigan, they reported taking in roughly one-third of the amount gathered last year, during a stricter pandemic season. New Jersey is seeing a statewide drop of 30 percent, as is Florida, Alabama is about 50 percent below its goals, and CBS News details that the lack of volunteers has led to a loss of tens of thousands of hours of bell ringer efforts, as red kettles remain in storage. In Pennsylvania, they have become desperate to the point of hiring people to stand outside of stores.


In almost all these reports, the spokespeople attribute the loss of donations and assistance to the pandemic. This seems a stretch when you consider last year the country was in a far tighter lockdown condition, and the drop in donations this year beats those lowered numbers. But the claim is further debatable in light of a survey showing that donors are in fact walking away from the organization.

Rasmussen Research conducted a survey and asked respondents about their views on the charity, before and after learning of the race sensitivity program guide. Initially, the charity had overwhelmingly positive support, with 81 percent favorability to only 11 percent unfavorable. After learning of the racial program in the Salvation Army those numbers shifted significantly, to 41 percent favorable and 41 percent unfavorable.

FILE - In this Nov. 15, 2014, file photo, Salvation Army bell ringer Esther Rahenkamp, of Avon Park, Fla., greets shoppers at NorthPark Mall in Davenport, Iowa, standing next to a 700-p

This needs to be looked at by all of those outfits that are flirting with or outright embracing the virtue-signaling activist set. There are two harsh realities that so many businesses and organizations fail to grasp; social media greatly exaggerates the outrage and passion behind these movements, and those involved in demanding action are a far smaller economic force than the base of your customers and supporters. This has been proven repeatedly, and now the Salvation Army is experiencing this very reality.

Telling your longtime donors they are a problem and need to atone for non-existent sins is a surefire way to repel the very support they were lending you. The simple reality became this — if you accuse them of being guilty of some fabricated racial crime, then your organization clearly has no need for their ill-gotten and immoral funds. 


It is sad that the Salvation Army felt this need to descend into the mire of activist distemper, all in the misguided notion of fixing society. The reality is they could have served society so much better by not taking this step and not opening their mouths. Hopefully, the other charities reaping the benefits this year can fill the gaps the Salvation Army created all on its own.


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