Juggling and the Fine Art of Fundraising
The creative for the Red Kettle campaign is not as easy to describe as most other fundraising campaigns. There was no specific direct-mail component, and each local chapter created its own marketing for its specific community. Thus the Salvation Army's national creative consisted more of templates than specific messages.
For instance, the Online Red Kettle microsite provided the basic information used for creative. The website used many online fundraising best practices, including several donate calls to action, such as a "Donate Now" button. It kept track of progress; added a national goal of $3 million; had links to top kettles, the teams that raised the most online and the most raised online from individuals.
Personal fundraising pages were set up from the main site as well, with templates similar to the Online Red Kettle homepage.
One of the biggest things on the Online Red Kettle was the ability for donors to e-mail friends and spread the word via blog/Facebook widgets. E-mail templates were provided for individuals to send to their peers. The from line was the person's actual name, sent to his or her friends, with the subject line "Help Fill My Kettle."
The message itself was branded with the Salvation Army logo, followed by a short e-mail. It began with a personal greeting, then went on: "Do you hear that? That's the sound of my 'virtual bell' ringing. I'm hosting a Salvation Army Online Red Kettle and collecting donations to help those in need this Christmas. My Kettle is just like those Red Kettles you see when you're out shopping, but it's online. If you'd like to donate, just click the link to my personal page below, and help The Salvation Army help thousands of people in need."
Besides the e-mails, the Salvation Army used the media sponsorships and events to promote and market the Red Kettle Drive. Also, the iPhone app developed with Charity Dynamics allowed users to access the Online Red Kettle to enhance their experience.