Non Profits Going High Tech as Charitable Giving is Declining and the Need Increases

by harringtola at NowPublic

NEW YORK (RushPRnews)12/05/08-Most importantly, for me, at this time of year is the ability for me to give to charities that insure that even those who can not do it alone, have a happy holiday. It is sad to know that as the need is increasing, in this declining economy, the base for giving is declining. I believe that is because much of the charitible gifts to groups like these come from the middle class, not from the elite.

It is ecouraging to know that the group organizing and coordinating the support to families and individuals who need it, are resourceful enough to adapt to a changing communication and transactional environment. Two very powerful examples of how the charitable organizations are resourceful are exemplified below with Salvation Army and Toys for Tots.

Contributions to the thousands of iconic red kettle donation stations that dot the nation each holiday season are slowing, officials say, and demands for help are rising.

To boost donations, the Salvation Army is expanding its fundraising campaigns from traditional shopping centers and direct mail to cell phones and Internet social networks like Facebook and Twitter.

Source: cnn.com

Hoping to harness the generosity of millions of online social networkers, the Salvation Army now has a Twitter feed for so-called “tweets” about its Red Kettle Campaign. “Chris Rock and his wife were at The Salvation Army / Target event today!” wrote a Twitter user named “bansheewigs” on November 12.

Text Message Donors

Donors can use cell phones to text $5 to the Salvation Army in Atlanta, Georgia; and Columbus, Ohio.
Atlanta: Text the letters “TSA” (The Salvation Army) to 90999
Columbus: Text KETTLE to 90999

Source: cnn.com

The charity also has enlisted the National Hockey League, the NFL’s Dallas Cowboys and the Jonas Brothers as partners in the Online Red Kettle campaign.
Source: cnn.com

Fundraisers are hoping these nontraditional methods can stave off a slowing donation trend that began in 2007 — “the first year in eight years that the donations slowed down,” Temme said.

The Red Kettle Campaign brought in $118 million in 2007, a .7 percent increase from the previous year, Temme said.

Source: cnn.com

I have utilized the electronic means of donation over the internet for some time now, with year round collection programs, such as those for March of Dimes and St. Judes. I am heartened to see that other groups with programs with significantly shorter windows are finding innovative ways to quickly adapt .

NOTE: Toys for Tots similar program; In response to this urgent need, Toys for Tots has launched a simple and affordable way to help the organization respond. By simply texting the word TOY to 90999, anyone can make a $5 donation to Toys for Tots. These donations will be used to purchase and distribute toys to the growing number of economically disadvantaged children across the country.