In a recent development, Salvation Army decided to add two more credit card reading machines to accommodate donation givers who do not carry cash with them. The charitable organization decided to lease two hand-held card reading gadgets and have started deploying readers to some key areas.
In a number of occasions, Salvation Army representatives have had people walk up to them saying that they would have donated money if the group just had credit card readers. The group realized that more and more people today prefer carrying credit cards and so they decided to adapt to this shift in purchasing behaviour by getting credit card machines.
The group also noted that when they started using card machines last year, collections improved. This year, they hope to see this trend continue to move upwards. Salvation Army had to lease machines for $55 each per month in addition to a $50 wireless access fee. With gross receipts expected to hit record numbers, they believe that these machines would be able to pay for themselves.
Yesterday heralded the first day on the job for one of these machines and the initial donation it processed amounted to $20. This is a far cry from donations made in traditional red kettles which would normally be just a few dollars worth.
Next week, the machines would be travelling with Salvation Army musicians, touring key strategic cities. On November 20, 2009 one of the hand held devices will be stationed at the entrance of Chesterfield Town Center, while another machine will be positioned at Ukrop's store near Chippenham Parkway.
The Salvation Army has also made inroads in online donation schemes, which would allow people to easily send donations online. For example, their Angel Tree program is now available on the Internet. Donations for this program can now be processed online by purchasing items at JC Penny's website. All proceeds from online purchases would benefit numerous outreach programs of the group.
Currently, Red Kettle drop off stations are present in 70 different locations scattered throughout Richmond. Activity starts to pick up during the holiday season, when almost all stations are active. However, they are currently experiencing a shortfall in personnel and volunteers, with their current manpower of 100 unable to man all depots. They are currently recruiting volunteers to help them rollout some programs that are currently in the backburner.
The group's Red Kettle Campaign began its inaugural run this year last Friday and will continue every day until December 24, with the exception of Sundays and Thanksgiving Day. Salvation Army is planning to raise $260,000 in Richmond area and another $100,000 from Tri-Cities area.
Donations are meant to fund Salvation Army projects for disadvantaged and poverty-stricken families.