Juggling and the Fine Art of Fundraising
Campaign strategy and deployment
Typically, the official launch of the Red Kettle campaign happens on Thanksgiving Day during the Cowboys game, but the Salvation Army begins the marketing a little earlier. When the celebrity entertainer is decided, the Salvation Army puts the word out, usually at the end of October or early November. However, bell-ringers don't usually go out until the day after Thanksgiving. In 2010, that changed, as several communities had bell-ringers out beginning Nov. 1 as a pre-emptive strike against the poor economy.
The Cowboys game really got things going, and from there the Salvation Army broadcast Red Kettle messages via e-mail, social media and public relations throughout the drive. The text-to-give campaign — the Salvation Army's first national mobile program — ran Nov. 21 to Dec. 24. Donors were asked to text "GIVE" to 85944 to make a $10 donation to the Red Kettle campaign. The virtual bell-ringers and Online Red Kettle ran in November and December, and the iPhone app was live during that time as well.
There were also the special events that encouraged more donations and raised awareness. The Rock the Red Kettle concert took place Dec. 15 in Glendale, Calif. The Salvation Army partnered with Sky Blue Group and Caruso Affiliated to feature performers including Emily Osment, Ashlyne Huff, New Hollow and Honor Society. The concert was streamed live online as well. The Off the Field event was held Dec. 16. Corporate partners J.C. Penney and Hanes ran Red Kettle campaigns with the Salvation Army as well. J.C. Penney hosted the Salvation Army Angel Giving Tree online, where customers could adopt, shop and ship their gifts to Salvation Army beneficiaries at jcp.com/angel. Hanes incorporated an online in-kind gift drive for the Red Kettle via Facebook. For every person who "liked" Hanes on Facebook and clicked "Help Hanes Donate," Hanes donated a pair of actual socks to the Salvation Army.