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Advisory Organization Hub

Discover resources available to support your Salvation Army Advisory Organization's journey towards success and growth.

Commissioner Kenneth Hodder's Welcome Message

"I am absolutely confident that the National Advisory Organizations Hub will prove to be a valuable resource to officers, development staff and advisory organization leaders alike."

LEAD Learning

We understand the pivotal role Advisory Organizations play in providing valuable insights and strategic guidance. That's why we've developed this comprehensive video library, a centralized hub filled with a wealth of knowledge, expertise, and best practices. 

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Create and Grow Your Board

Access a range of valuable resources to enhance your effectiveness, including informative PDFs, comprehensive presentations, and a wealth of historical data to provide context and insights. 

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Board Management Software

Boardable facilitates seamless communication, meeting information, and document sharing for effective teamwork among stakeholders, ultimately enhancing the efficiency of your advisory organization. Many Salvation Army Advisory Organizations already use Boardable to manage their board, including the National Advisory Board. Click the button below for a free Boardable demo.

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Become Nationally Recognized

Getting your Advisory Organization certified with our Standards of Excellence demonstrates a commitment to transparency, accountability, and continuous professional development, enhancing the board's effectiveness and building trust with your community and key stakeholders.

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LEAD Learning Library



Part 1 - Overview


Part 2 - Purpose & Function of a THQ


Part 3 DHQ Structure


Part 4 - Q&A






Chapter 1


Chapter 2


Chapter 3


Chapter 4


Chapter 5


Chapter 6



Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Part 5

Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4

Resources to Create and Grow your Board

The Brand Strategy

Brand Vision - Doing the Most Good

Brand Personality - Passionate. Compassionate. Brave. Uplifting. Trustworthy.

Brand Positioning - To those who want to positively affect their world, The Salvation Army is the charity that maximizes contributions. 

Brand Affiliation - Informed individuals who want to positively affect their world. 

The Manifestio
Doing the Most Good Presentation Template


Co-Director, Salvation Factory [Innovation Department & Heritage Museum]
The Salvation Army, USA Eastern Territory

In August 1865, only one month after the Booths had determined to begin an initiative in East London, the British MP for Nottingham, Samuel Morley, requested a meeting. Upon meeting, William Booth shared the novel and unconventional ideas he and Catherine had to serve the people of this community and increase interest. Morley fully embraced this vision and provided both advice and support, remaining a close advisor until the end of his life. Others soon joined including Henry Reed, who supported the ever-expanding East London Christian Mission.

In 1867, the Booths organize the “East London Mission Council” which consisted of ministers, local philanthropists, publishers, businessmen, and political leaders. The “council” was made up of "members" and "referees." By 1870, the East London model was replicated into other urban contexts throughout the United Kingdom. This expansion included a short-term experiment in the American city of Cleveland, Ohio in 1873. Shortening the name to “Christian Mission,” this growing initiative required the continued support of advisors to aid these scaling needs. Catherine Booth would regularly speak to the West End of London while traveling far-and-wide throughout the nation, building a broad base of support in each area where the mission landed. She would share the vision and present the need with such convincing logic that one impressed hearer declared, “If I am ever in trouble with the law – don’t get me a lawyer, get me THAT lady!”

As relentless innovators, the Booths continued to iterate their movement, refining methods to discover the best way to reach the largest number of people in the shortest period of time. Motivated by the love of God, they innovated at the point of human need, adapting their measures to the times and circumstances in which people lived so that they could effectively reach the forgotten masses. Rooted in the Evangelical Methodist tradition, they combined what John Wesley called "acts of piety" and "acts of mercy" by recruiting an army of volunteers who embraced a practical religion that would one day be dubbed, “Christianity with its sleeves rolled up!” This attracted other advisors like the famed mudracker journalist W.T. Stead (who eventually died on the Titanic) and the “pork philanthropist,” T.A. Denny – whose Irish bacon industry helped finance the dramatic expansion.

Following a serious study of organizations like the innovative railway industry and the restructuring of the British military, the Booths realized that they needed a more effective organizational infrastructure to scale their mission to ensure the efficiency and effectiveness of its mission. The best way to remain both aligned to their essential purpose while adapting and innovation into relevant expressions was to become a "Salvation Army." One of the Booth's earliest advisors was Admiral Fishbourne, who oversaw research and experiments for the British Navy. While others would attack this organizational redesign as being "a rope of sand," Fishbourne would put in writing his defense of these innovations. This change led to an exponential acceleration and expansion in the reach of The Salvation Army. Initiatives began to

spring up in hundreds of locale and quickly to the four corners of the world. Advisors and supporters helped this small regional mission quickly scale into an international organization. By 1890, Sir Garnett Wolsely would declare William and Catherine two of the greatest geniuses of the Victorian Age. They did so with the support of great advisors!

In 1880, The Salvation Army officially came to America following the “advance” pioneer work of a young teenage “Hallelujah Lass” named Eliza Shirley. Quickly, the Army spread throughout the states being led the first year by the first Commissioner, George Scott Railton, who had been the right-hand of the Booths. Following this pioneering year, the American Army expanded and retracted as it struggled through the growth pains of becoming an international movement. Embracing frugal innovation principles, every initiative needed to be sustainable – which required a creative solution. In 1883, the second leader of the Army in America, Commissioner Thomas Moore, pioneered the “Auxiliary League.” While this was the right idea, it only expanded in 1887 when Ballington and Maud Booth enlisted these Auxiliary Leagues to support new social initiatives. The Salvation Army published The Conqueror to be shared with members to help share these needs and recruit others to join. This League helped to fund the growing work of the Army in America.

In 1920, the Booth’s daughter, Evangeline Booth – who served as the National Commander of the United States for thirty years – established the local “Advisory Board System.” Dr. Ed McKinley in Marching to Glory states that these were:

...designed to enlist local professionals and business and civic leaders to provide the Army’s field officers with advice on local business decisions and useful contacts for fund-raising purposes. Board members were usually willing contributors themselves as well. The advisory board system was well suited to channel community support for The Salvation Army, and it rapidly developed into one of the most important of all Salvation Army support systems.

Within one year there were advisory boards in 1,500 counties in 24 states; Army leaders decided at their first commissioners’ conference in January 1921 that the advisory board “in principle was generally conceded to be good as in practice the institution has proved its value.” By 1925 Colonel Richard Holz was happy to declare that there was ‘an army of not less than 20,000 business and professional men... linked to The Salvation Army’ as advisory board members (p.173).

By the 1960s, parts of the global Salvation Army replicated this innovative business model in other Territories. In 1976, Commissioner William Chamberlain, the 15th American National Commander formed the “National Advisory Council” (renamed “National Advisory Board” in 1982), which would bring to national leadership the same counsel, experience, and financial resources that local advisory boards had provided. By 1983, the first “National Advisory Organization Conference” (N.A.O.C.) took place in St. Louis – an experience that continues into the present.

So from the very beginnings in 1865 in East London to the 21st century, Advisory Boards have been an army of volunteers who have been pivotal partners in realizing our mission, “to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.”

Salvation Army Domestic Abuse Hotline Helps Saves Lives
Salvation Army Harbor Light Centers Offer Strength, Support & Acceptance
Salvation Army Youth Intervention Shelter Program
Salvation Army Summer Camps Provide Refuge of Love
Salvation Army Youth Intervention Program
Salvation Army Family Shelters
The Salvation Army's GED Program
Salvation Army After School Program
Harbor Light Center
Ray And Joan Kroc Centers
Doing the Most Good: Serving God by Serving People in Need
Financial Gifts: Did you know?
Missing Persons Service: Did you know?
ARC: A Second Chance
ARC: Not Wasted
ARC: Not Wasted
Emergency Disaster Services: Joplin
Salvation Army Tornado Disaster Relief
Wildfire Disaster Relief
Disaster Relief "The End"
Christmas: Bringing Joy to Those in Need

Echelon seeks to mobilize the next generation for The Salvation Army by providing opportunities for young adults to engage with the organization through fellowship and networking, donations and fundraising, and service and volunteering.

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Standards of Excellence

The Salvation Army has created a national recognition program to honor Advisory Organizations (Board/Councils, Auxiliaries, Standards for excellence application Chapters) that meet and exceed national standards of excellence. You are invited to apply for the appropriate certification for your Advisory Organization.

Please review the guidelines below for more information to ensure your understanding of the expectations, opportunities, and process. For your convenience, template documents are also provided below, which should be complete and submitted with your application. 

 Standards for Excellence Overview
 Apply for Standards of Excellence


All Salvation Army Advisory Councils, Boards, Echelon Chapters and Women Auxiliaries are eligible to apply.

Early bird enrollment begins on September 1, 2023. Please note that from the following year onwards, the application portal will be open from January 1 – June 30th of each year for renewals.

Standards of Excellence certifications are good for three years.

The application portal will open on September 1, 2023. Upon approval, a certificate will be provided for you to proudly present to your Advisory Organization members publicly and for display.

Receiving The Salvation Army National Advisory Organizations Standards of Excellence certification demonstrates a commitment to transparency, accountability, and continuous professional development, which enhances the advisory organization's effectiveness and builds trust with your community and key stakeholders. Feedback from Corps Officers has shown that a concise and standardized framework for how advisory organizations should effectively function is needed. These new Standards of Excellence meet this need, making it easier for the Officer and Advisory Organization leaders to understand how to operate, thus helping advance The Salvation Army mission.

Meets Standards

Must meet 9/10 standards to receive Silver award
  1. Advisory Board/Council follows the Manual of Advisory Organizations and Articles of Organization.
     Advisory Board Member Expectations 2023 Template
  2.  Membership includes at least 9 members for advisory boards, 6 for advisory councils.*
    Download Template (Roster Contact Info Tab) 
  3. Advisory Board/Council meets a minimum of 4 times per year and each member attends a minimum of 2/3 of the meetings.*
    Download Template (Tracker Tab)
  4. Advisory Board/Council executes quality onboarding practices for new members, and continuing development including the use of The Salvation Army’s nationally-produced training resources.*
    Template coming soon
  5. Advisory Board/Council annually reviews and recommends the budget for approval to Divisional Headquarters.*
  6. Advisory Board/Council has at least three active committees with one of the committees as the Executive/Nominating that meet at least monthly, and each member is expected to serve on at least one committee.*
    Download Template #1 (Committees Tab)
    Download Template #2 (Word Documents)
  7. Nominating efforts have diversity as one intentional goal for recruitment (diversity goals include- gender, ethnicity, skills, industry).
  8.  Advisory Board/Council members are actively engaged in Christmas, programs, and/or fundraising events.
  9.  100% of Advisory Board/Council members personally contribute financially on an annual basis.
  10. Advisory Board/Council has a rotating membership structure whereby members serve and are evaluated in three-year increments in terms of involvement and contribution.*
    Download Templat (Tracker Tab)

Exceeds Standards

Must qualify for Silver award (obtaining 9/10 Meets Standards) and 3/4 Exceeds Standards to receive Gold award.

  1. Advisory Board/Council members annually solicit at least one individual or corporate donation for The Salvation Army outside of personal giving.
  2. Advisory Board/Council completes a self-evaluation at least every three years to determine strengths and areas of improvement.*
    Template coming soon
  3. Advisory Board/Council has adopted a strategic plan and has integrated goals and action steps of the plan into committee work. Progress updates are provided at regular meetings. The plan is refreshed or reconstituted at intervals not more than every three years.*
    Download Template
  4. The board/council has adopted and follows a leadership succession plan.*
    Download Template (Succession Plan Tab)

*document upload required

Meets Standards

Must meet 7/8 standards to receive Silver award
  1. Membership includes at least 12 members*
    Download Template (Roster Contact Info Tab)
  2. Board meets at least once each quarter
  3. Posts on social media at least once each month from a chapter account*
  4. Keeps an updated website on the national Echelon platform
  5. Plans and carries out at least four events each year that include a combination service, fundraising, networking, and/ or education.*
  6. Maintains a budget and provides quarterly reports to the Echelon Leadership Council*
  7. Adopts and disseminates chapter Articles of Organization including Member Expectations, as guided by the Echelon Standards template.*
  8. Has an Echelon President that is at minimum an ex-officio member of the local Salvation Army Advisory Board/ Council and the President also provides Chapter updates as part of their attendance.*

Exceeds Standards

Must qualify for Silver award (obtaining 7/8 Meets Standards) and 5/6 Exceeds Standards to receive Gold award.

  1. Membership includes at least 20 members*
    Download Template
  2. Board meets at least six times per year*
    Download Template
  3. Posts on social media at least weekly from a chapter account*
  4. Plans and carries out at least six events each year, comprising of service, fundraising, networking and/or education.*
  5. Actively works to recruit a membership base that is reflective of the local community and prioritizes incorporating diversity in its membership
  6. Participates in the annual Echelon Kettle Takeover and/or other national Echelon initiatives*

*document upload required

Meets Standards

Must meet 6/7 standards to receive Silver award
  1. Uses the established and approved set of bylaws to govern the Women’s Auxiliary in accordance with The Manual of Advisory Organizations.
     Member Expectations 2023 Template
  2. The following officers are elected annually or biannually by the membership: president, vice-president, treasurer and secretary.*
    Download Template (Succession Plan Tab)
  3. There is an orientation in place for all new members, to include program facility tours and a meet-and-greet with local Corps officers.*
    Template Coming Soon
  4.  At minimum, there are at least four general membership meetings per year.*
    Download Template (Committees Tab)
  5. The president and/or the executive committee and The Salvation Army Representative should meet monthly.*
    Download Template (Tracker Tab)
  6.  There are at least five established committees which meet on a regular basis: Executive, Nominating, Membership, Finance and Publicity.*
    Download Template (Committees Tab) 
  7. Nominating/Recruiting efforts have diversity as one intentional goal for recruitment (diversity goals include age, ethnicity, skills, industry).

Exceeds Standards

Must qualify for Silver award (obtaining 6/7 Meets Standards) and 6/7 Exceeds Standards to receive Gold award.

  1. The Women’s Auxiliary has membership requirements as designated in the bylaws in place and are being followed. The number of members is unlimited.
  2. There is at least one annual membership event to drive recruitment efforts.*
  3. Job descriptions must be used for all elected officer positions.*
    Download Templates (Word Documents)
  4. A self-evaluation is completed annually by Women’s Auxiliary officers to determine strengths and identify areas of improvement.*
    Template Coming Soon
  5. There are more than five active committees that meet regularly.*
    Download Template (Committees Tab)
  6. There is an established succession strategy in place.*
    Download Template (Succession Plan Tab)
  7. There is an established mentorship program in place for new members.*
    Template Coming Soon

*document upload required