Innovation That Matters

Salvation Army's collection kettles now take credit cards

Nonprofit & Social Cause

Where Nadanu‘s online giving platform was designed specifically to mimic the experience of dropping coins into a real-world collection box, the Salvation Army has begun tweaking its traditional red kettles to accommodate digital payments. The Salvation Army is by no means new to online giving. For about six years, it’s been operating its Online Red Kettle program to let fans collect on its behalf as “online bell-ringers.” Last year, in fact, nearly USD 2 million were raised for the charitable organization that way. A new iPhone app for the same purpose is expected to increase that this year, as is a new national “text-to-give” program enabling donations via text message. Specifically, through Dec. 24, donors can text “GIVE” to 85944 to make a USD 10 donation to the Red Kettle Campaign. Perhaps most interesting of all, though, is that the charity has been experimenting with new cashless kettles featuring an attached credit card reader that accepts credit and debit cards and prints a receipt. When the new program launched late last year, cashless kettles were available at more than 300 locations in more than 120 cities across the United States. Even better than the convenience factor for consumers is that in pilot tests in Dallas, Los Angeles and Colorado Springs, the average donation increased from USD 2 when payments are made using cash to about USD 15 when credit or debit cards are being used, the Salvation Army says. Charities around the globe: take note! (Related: Donated guerrilla campaign promotes the Salvation Army.) Spotted by: Chicago Sun-Times via Jim Stewart


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