Juggling and the Fine Art of Fundraising
For the 2010 campaign, the Salvation Army expanded its direct-marketing scope for the Red Kettle. It continued to employ traditional efforts with volunteers, celebrity endorsements and corporate partners while integrating new technology and social-media tools. For the 14th year in a row, the Dallas Cowboys hosted the National Red Kettle Campaign Kickoff at Cowboys Stadium on Thanksgiving Day. In 2010, country singer Keith Urban officially launched the campaign with a live performance at the game. The Salvation Army also incorporated its first ever "Rock the Red Kettle" concert, a special event to raise more awareness and donations for the red kettles. And another event, the fourth annual Dream Drive by the Salvation Army, Sam's Club and professional football players' wives association Off the Field helped 10 needy families in 10 cities across the country as part of the Red Kettle campaign.
The largest marketing technique was the face-to-face aspect that the Red Kettle campaign has employed since day one: bell-ringers manning red kettles at approximately 25,000 locations nationwide.
Online technologies were also more prevalent this past year than they've ever been for the campaign. The Salvation Army integrated e-mail, personal fundraising websites via an online peer-to-peer fundraising campaign, social media and mobile. For the sixth year in a row, donors could raise money through the Salvation Army's Online Red Kettle. The Salvation Army developed free applications for the iPhone, including the brand-new Online Red Kettle iPhone app, to go along with the second year of its virtual Red Kettle Bell app that allowed users to ring a virtual bell on their phones.
Additionally, the Salvation Army launched its first national text-to-give program to support the red kettles. So as you can see, the Salvation Army may not have to work hard to get the word out for the Red Kettle Campaign, but it still does.