SALVATION ARMY RED KETTLES SET NEW RECORD
$139 Million Donated to Nation’s Longest Running Annual Fundraiser
Alexandria, VA (March 16, 2010) – Despite the continued economic recession, U.S. donors contributed a record-breaking $139 million in nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars to The Salvation Army’s iconic Red Kettle Campaign, which now includes an increasing Internet presence, in addition to traditional kettles and bell ringers. The results were a seven percent increase over 2008’s $130 million record, and were especially needed as demand for social services skyrocketed. The Salvation Army embraced several new outreach methods in 2009; again relying heavily on volunteers, celebrity endorsement and corporate partners for the nation’s longest running annual fundraising campaign.
“America is an incredibly generous nation and philanthropy is alive and well, despite the current economic conditions impacting so many,” said Commissioner Israel L. Gaither, National Commander of The Salvation Army. “We are grateful for every donor, volunteer and corporate partner for supporting The Salvation Army’s mission by giving more than ever during a time when some have so little to give.”
The Red Kettle campaign was launched on Thanksgiving Day, during the Dallas Cowboys nationally televised football game, with a performance by rock band Daughtry. Red Kettles were set up in front of retail stores and in shopping malls in an estimated 25,000 locations across America. Bell ringers encouraged donors to support a broad array of programs and services for people in need, including providing food, shelter, rent, substance abuse treatment and Christmas assistance for more than 28 million Americans The Salvation Army serves each year.
“Our local Corps units are reporting demand for social services that is more than 400 percent above normal in some cases,” said Commissioner Gaither. “We needed help this year and Americans, as well as corporate partners responded in a big way.”
Hundreds of other retailers allowed Salvation Army bell ringers to set up kettles in front of their stores, including several corporate partners. Red Kettles located at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores accounted for as much as 29 percent of the total given to Red Kettles. The Walmart Foundation also made a direct donation of $1.25 million to the Red Kettle Campaign.
Kroger stores also hosted Salvation Army Red Kettles at nearly 2,000 stores in 2009. Donations at Kroger stores raised approximately $11.3 million or eight percent of the campaign’s physical Red Kettle total.
Target continued its support for The Salvation Army by donating more than $1.25 million to the organization in the form of cash and in-kind donations during the Christmas season. New to its support, Target collaborated with Hasbro, Inc. for a special promotion with Hasbro giving five percent of the purchase price of select Hasbro toys bought exclusively at Target from December 6 to December 12 directly to the Army.
In addition to hosting kettles at its stores, JCPenney in partnership with The Salvation Army, launched the first-ever Online Angel Giving Tree Program, at www.jcp.com/angel. The program allowed individuals to “adopt” Salvation Army “Angels” from across the country and deliver their requested gifts via the Internet.
Through the first year of implementing this online program, more than tens of thousands of children and seniors in need were adopted.
In addition, The Weather Channel promoted a compilation CD featuring a Salvation Army-themed single entitled, “Please Don’t Forget,” performed by Grammy Award winner Aaron Neville.
“Christmas wouldn’t be the same without this element of compassion and charity towards others,” said Commissioner Gaither. “And, we simply couldn’t help millions of Americans during the season without the support of so many people and organizations.”
The Salvation Army also developed a free application for the Apple iPhone that featured a virtual Red Kettle bell. More than 59,000 applications were downloaded in 47 countries, allowing users to ring a digital bell in a variety of tones by shaking their phone.
In Detroit, an anonymous donor sponsored, “Coin Catch,” a web-based video game that made micro-donations to the organization based on player’s success. It was available to anyone around the world at: www.salarmycoincatch.com.
For the fifth year, The Salvation Army empowered donors to raise money with family, friends and colleagues through an Online Red Kettle (www.onlineredkettle.org) system. More than $1.9 million was donated through this method, a 100 percent increase over 2008. This amount is in addition to the money raised in physical kettles at retailers. Other online donations in November and December, not through the Online Red Kettle system, totaled $9.6 million, a 5.6 percent increase over the $9.2 million raised in 2008.
Across the Internet, The Salvation Army took advantage of Facebook, Twitter and other popular social networks to promote volunteerism and encourage giving.
“By improving our digital outreach strategy, The Salvation Army is adapting to the changing ways in which people interact,” said Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary for The Salvation Army. “The Red Kettles have been a remarkable success for more than a century, and we are building on that for a new generation of donors,” he said.
From its humble beginnings as a fundraiser started by a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco in 1891, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable outreach efforts in the United States.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 129 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.