The Salvation Army is using technology to make it easier for shoppers to donate to their iconic red kettles.
As the hustle and bustle of the holiday season begins, the Salvation Army wants to provide more ways of giving through your mobile device just in case you don’t have cash.
“We’ve come up with what we call a kettle base where you can use your phone and either tap for google pay or you can scan the QR code with your camera,” said Major Gregory Hartshorn. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to spread the cheer a little a little bit but also engage in opportunity to give.”
The Salvation Army has placed smart chips and QR codes on Red Kettle signs across the country, allowing shoppers to simply “bump” or scan their phones to make a digital donation.
After scanning or bumping, shoppers will be directed to a custom donation page that accepts Apple or Google payment options. The funds will then be distributed to local Salvation Army units based on the donor’s billing zip code, and an email receipt will be sent directly to their phones.
Caroline Rodman says the new push to online giving benefits the Salvation Army.
“Everyone is switching to mobile and I think that people would do it more if it was in their hands,” said Rodman. “I think it would be more effective if it’s online because more and more people who don’t carry cash.”
Not everyone is planning to take advantage of the new technology including Marie Sokoloski.
“I’m more apt to just put some money in the bucket but I know my children love the idea,” said Marie Sokoloski.
Sokoloski says while she won’t be donating with her phone, she understands the non-profit’s push to provide more ways of giving.
“I think it’s wonderful because I think a lot of people who are technological savvy are much more apt to donate if they have the capabilities.”
In its 129th year, the red kettle campaign is one of the oldest and largest charitable campaigns in the world.
Donations are accepted at any of the more than 25,000 traditional Red Kettles found on street corners, in front of stores, online.