"The Salvation Army is forced to put on their crisis communications thinking caps after a volunteer urges the public to boycott donations to the nonprofit organization."
|Scooped by Jeri Sitze|
For any nonprofit organization across the world today, it is more challenging than ever to gain the public’s attention, as well as persuade them to donate their precious money and possessions for the good of your cause. It is particularly challenging, however, when gossip and false rumors suddenly emerge around your organization, especially when the chatter is regarding one of the most highly debated controversial discussions throughout America.
In December 2012, during the Salvation Army’s busiest period of the year with all the Christmas donations and red kettle bell ringing, the nonprofit experienced an unsettling, foul rumor referring to their views on gay marriage. A disgruntled volunteer publicized throughout Facebook claiming that the organization uses their donations to oppose gay rights. True or untrue, the Salvation Army now had to react quickly and appropriately to diminish the crisis.
As our textbook mentions, even in the best of times, individuals will question one’s motives (Guth & Marsh, pg. 300). During the prodromal stage in which the Salvation Army sensed feelings of tension and animosity from its donors after allegations emerged, the organization had their credible and reliable lieutenant colonel speak on their behalf. I believe he did an exceptional job handling the situation, assuring the public that this is not an untypical instance. He also spoke remarkably to clarify the Salvation Army’s values, their stance regarding sexuality views, and additionally addressed the places in which the money gets distributed.
Recognizing that the disputes of same-sex marriage equality is an extremely hot topic that has been deliberated both currently and for several previous years, the Salvation Army acknowledged the significance of addressing stakeholder needs regarding the rumors by directing their messages to effectively meet the needs of their audience (Guth & Marsh, pg. 300). Instead of instantly responding with pure denial, they discussed how they do not question their employees’ sexual preferences. In addition, they stated that although there may have been previous instances of discrimination within their massive organization of 60,000 employees and 3.5 million volunteers, there is a possibility of discrimination within any largely occupied organization.
With strenuous economic times, individuals are both reluctant and hesitant to dispersing their money frivolously. Because of this, I think it says a lot about the charitable movements and good services the Salvation Army provides. While the Salvation Army is technically a church, I think it creates an even larger challenge for them to compete against other nonprofits. For example, the Salvation Army is a Christian denominational church that follows the mainstream Methodist theology. With hundreds of religious views encompassing the world, the Salvation Army faces the challenging issue of not only demonstrating its views to the public in an appropriate, impartial manner, they also must persuade individuals that may not share similar beliefs to be active donors and volunteers to their organization.
It is simple for individuals opposing the Salvation Army to spread false, vicious accusations about their charity; however, the simplicity is not symmetrical for the nonprofit organization. Nevertheless, the Salvation Army does an outstanding job of staying true to their values. Our textbook highlights the prominence of sticking to your values, especially throughout a crisis. Because the Salvation Army annually experiences false accusations regarding discrimination, they have learned not to succumb to individuals’ desperate attempts at attention as well as preserved their ability to maintain the public’s attention around the relevant, beneficial campaigns they continually advocate.