Salvation Army Clitheroe.  

  • Salvation Army Clitheroe has special status as a "church".  It isn't required to share it's financial information, and its public financial data gives almost no useful information about where the $4 million in state funding goes.
  • The Salvation Army Alaska Division has declined to share it's financial information with the Better Business Bureau (here).
  • The information publicly available, as well as my knowledge of expenses in Detox and Residential, does not support the general numbers the Salvation army uses. 
  • Federal Grant applications, including a SAMHSA* grant that closed in June, probably contain the statistics that Clitheroe Directors use publicly. They almost certainly also use the claims about "special services" that Clitheroe has used when soliciting funds. 
Lying on federal grant applications is illegal!
 SAMHSA =  Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration,
                      (U.S. Department of Health & Human Services)

Alaska's other main Addiction Services provider, Akeela, has all of it's financial information easily available to anybody who has a computer. Their form 990 in PDF is here

The Salvation Army claims, in it's financial report, that Clitheroe had operating expenses of $5,545,474 last year. It does not give any details whatsoever about that number (which looks very inflated).

The Salvation Army does not give even estimates of revenue sources for Clitheroe.

If you look for the Salvation Army on Charity Navigator you get the following:

"We don't evaluate The Salvation Army.
Why not? Many religious organizations are exempt under Internal Revenue Code from filing the Form 990. As a result, we lack sufficient data to evaluate their financial health."

Charitywatch  has a lukewarm page on the Salvation Army, due to lack of openness with financial information. It has a page from way back in 1998 here  saying that the Salvation Army had agreed to provide them with some financial information.

The  BBB Wise Giving Report says:

This Charity did not provide requested information. As a result, the Wise Giving Alliance cannot determine if it meets standards.       Find out more...

Many donors to charities will check places like GuideStar  to see if an organization is listed. When they see a listing, they will assume the listing is good, without actually looking at the details.    

The only listing on GuideStar that looks like it would include the Alaskan Salvation Army is "Salvation Army Western Division".

However... this "Salvation Army Western Division" on GuideStar is actually not "the" Western Territory Salvation Army (that includes Alaska). It is just an office of a Salvation Army branch in Omaha, Nebraska,  located in the Western Division of the Central Territory of the United States. It looks like it probably is a deliberate deception.

Reputable charities do not hide their finances. Many charities provide much more than the legally required amount of financial information.

The Red Cross takes great pains to spend money wisely and fight internal fraud.
Doctors Without Borders puts donated money to effective use, with financial transparency.

Why would a multi billion dollar organization need to hide it's financial data?

An interesting 2007 legal dispute that brought a lot of money to the Salvation Army is here. Original Seattle Times article here.

Last July a few dozen Alaska Railroad workers were clearing an area on the tracks. It wasn't an unusual job. Just some railroad guys working.
It so happens that a very senior Railroad executive and the top guy in the Alaska Salvation Army were father and son. One called the other. Arrangements were made. here  (second paragraph).

It is funny to note that the last name of the most senior AK Railroad official present was left out of the article, because it is the same last name as the Salvation Army Major receiving the check.

Even if the railroad had somehow miraculously forgotten to send supplies for it's workers...

Some of the workers were making over $50 an hour. They were on the road system. They could have called Dominos and gotten pizza delivered, with some Dom Perignon to wash it down.

The Salvation Army turned a little nepotism into a grand act of heroism.  Thank goodness "The Mat Su Valley Emergency Mobile Kitchen stayed on site until the Alaska Railroad workers got the site under control Saturday evening."

The Railroad executive involved is a great guy. Several years ago he was my boss, and he was one of the best bosses I've ever had. But Alaska is not a hillbilly state.

This is the most recent, most complete financial  information for the Alaska Salvation Army.  pdf


"If there is no Hell, a good many preachers are obtaining money under false pretenses
"William Sunday.