Does Traditional Bell-Ringing Still Work For Salvation Army?

Dec 14, 2017

As the Salvation Army holds its largest fundraiser of the year, known as the Red Kettle Campaign, a spokeswoman for the Salvation Army of Central Arkansas says the holiday bell-ringing tradition remains effective, despite many consumers carrying less cash.

Michelle Scroggins, director of community relations, says they haven't been seeing a negative impact on donations locally. In other parts of the country, donations to red kettle campaigns have declined.

"We are actually ahead from this time last year, so as far as I can tell people are definitely giving more. I know people don't always carry cash. I'm one of them," Scroggins said.

She said this year's goal is $450,000.

Scroggins added that, in her opinion, face-to-face contact still seems to attract people and she thinks the kettle campaign remains a good fundraising strategy.

"They can see that it's volunteers and employees [asking for donations], so they know their donation is safe," Scroggins said.

Scroggins said holiday music and younger bell ringers usually lead to more contributions.

Some Salvation Army commands around the nation are experimenting with red kettles that have credit card readers to adapt to the changing habits of shoppers.