I don’t give money to the Salvation Army because I don’t support their mission. (Quoted directly from the Salvation Army USA website)
The Salvation Army was founded as an evangelical organization dedicated to bringing people into a meaningful relationship with God through Christ. Its doctrinal basis is that of the Wesleyan-Arminian tradition. It is composed of persons who are united by the love of God and man, and who share the common purpose of bringing others to Jesus Christ. The word salvation indicates the overall purpose of the organization—to motivate all people to embrace the salvation provided to them in Christ.
The Salvation Army is a Church first, a Charity second. They do perform charitable deeds, but their primary mission is one of evangelism of a creed I do not follow.
When discussing their Red Kettle Campaign, they say:
Last year, the funds helped The Salvation Army provide food, clothing, toys and other assistance to nearly 30 million Americans in need.
That’s great. Did 1% of the funds help those in need, and the other 99% go to evangelism? It doesn’t say. (1% is still helping, so the sentence wouldn’t be a lie. But I think a lot of people assume all of the money goes to services. Or at least a high percentage. Nowhere can I find a percentage on their website. If they could say something that would impress me, I am fairly certain they would. Therefore, I assume they are hiding that information for a reason.)
There are other agencies that perform similar work without the religious gospel.