$147.6 million: A new giving record!
The Salvation Army releases its national total for the 2011 Red Kettle Campaign.
Americans donated $147.6 million to The Salvation Army’s 2011 Red Kettle Campaign—a 120-year-old tradition—setting a new fundraising record for the seventh straight year. The total is a 3.4 percent increase from 2010, and highlights the support of American donors who gave generously despite a continued slow economy.
The West’s total, a 4.38 percent increase over last year, was $26,209,780.
In 2011, The Salvation Army expanded on the campaign by incorporating new technologies at kettles and hosting national events to inspire giving.
“In troubling times, we are truly grateful for the generosity of the American donor to support the traditions of the campaign and help The Salvation Army carry on its mission,” said Commissioner William Roberts, national commander of The Salvation Army. “We have been working to expand the Red Kettle Campaign to reach new and young donors, and with continued support, we are able to meet human need in his name during the winter months and year round.”
The Salvation Army’s partners—vital to the campaign’s success—include the Dallas Cowboys, who hosted (for the 15th year) the National Red Kettle Kickoff during their Thanksgiving game; Sky Blue Group, Swift Entertainment and Universal Studios CityWalk, who held the second annual “Rock the Red Kettle Concert” to encourage young Americans to support charitable causes; corporate sponsors Walmart and Sam’s Club, who have partnered with the Army for nearly 30 years; Off the Field, a professional football players’ wives association, who hosted the fifth annual Dream Drive; Kroger and Big Lots.
“We are ever grateful for the charitable support and compassion of all our corporate partners,” Roberts said. “Through their big-heartedness, along with the generosity of the millions of Americans who gave, The Salvation Army is able to continue its work to help those in need.”
This year, to make donating easier for people who only carry credit cards, The Salvation Army partnered with Square, which donated credit card readers for the Army to use in test markets. Sprint donated smartphone devices to mobilize the credit card application.
Online donations, including those from Online Red Kettles, grew in 2011.
In addition to the kettle fundraiser, The Salvation Army partnered with jcpenney for the third year to bring Christmas gifts to children and seniors through the online Angel Giving Tree program.
“Technology is changing the way charities raise money,” Roberts said. “Whether through a credit card at a kettle or online, we’re making an effort to reach the next generation of donors and make it convenient for people to support the campaign.”
In 2011, to help raise awareness and support people in need, The Salvation Army hosted the inaugural World Record Bell Ringing Contest. Twenty-four volunteer bell ringers set out to surpass a benchmark of 36 hours of continuous ringing of a hand bell at street corners and in front of local partner store fronts. Three bell ringers, Caleb Stokes and Leilan McNally in Indianapolis, Ind., and Darrell Tureskis in Springfield, Ill., surpassed the record, ringing a bell for 60 hours straight.