5 Ways Charities Use Social Media To Increase Donations During Holidays

Social media is not only for keeping up with your friends, now charities are using them as well to increase donations. From the Salvation Army to Meals on Wheels, your preconceived thoughts of these charities will change.

During tough economic times not only does your wallet suffer, but so does the wallet of many charities. When times are difficult we must innovate and charities are turning to social media to find a new stream of donations.  Here are 5 ways many charities you might know are reaching out to find new sources of donations:

Online Red Kettle –

The Salvation Army has been collecting donations by ringing bells in front of stores alongside the red kettle starting back in 1891. Donations have declined over the past 10 years due to the increase use of debit and credit cards causing a lack of pocket change. This has forced the Salvation Army to rethink their marketing strategies.  The Salvation Army has started to recruit virtual bell ringers on Facebook and Twitter.  Once someone has donated they receive a virtual kettle with their name on it that can then be blanket emailed to all of their contacts.  The virtual kettle is shown with no color on it, as it fills up the kettle turns red and shows the percentage of how full it is.  Over the past few years this marketing strategy has generated an average of $3 million a year.  The Salvation Army also offers people the option to donate via text message by simply texting “DOGOOD” to 90999 which sends a $10 donation to their local branch.  Another option via text message is to text “BELL” to 50555 which will send a ringtone to the phone.  The ringtone is of a bell ringer which than can be sent to collect donations from one’s friends and family.

Like, A Community-

Walmart has joined the social media charity movement as well.  Walmart has set up an End Hunger page on their Facebook page.  On the End Hunger page communities are encouraged to press the “like a community” button to become the most liked community in the country.  Walmart is giving away $1 million to the most “liked” community in the country and $100,000 to the next five most liked communities.  The donation of money is being used to help fight hunger.  Currently the most liked community is Fresno, California with 12,236 supporters.  The total supporters for all communities are 59,087.  Once a person has liked a community in their area, there is a list of organizations that need help.  Walmart is assisting those wanting to help find a place to lend a helping hand

YouTube Videos-

The YMCA in Fort Worth, Texas used an emotional YouTube video to inspire people to donate to their organization.  The video features the story of a young boy named Matthew.  Matthew has had a difficult life; he was born 1 pound, 3 ounces and spent his first 9 months in the hospital.  At the age of 7 the YMCA has helped teach him how to swim. This short video plucks at everyone’s heart strings helping to increase donations toward the YMCA.

Angel Giving Tree-

Once again the Salvation Army has capitalized on the power of social media.  Instead of filling up a virtual red kettle now they have joined with JCPenny to be part of the Angel Giving Tree.  The Angel Giving Tree is a program that allows shoppers to purchase gifts to provide children and seniors who would not receive a gift with a present this holiday season.  The program works by loging on to jcp.com/angel where the user is allowed to choose an Angel online.  Once an Angel is chosen, the wish list is sent by email along with information on where to ship the gift.

Christmas Cards purchased through Facebook-

Meals on Wheels are using social media to its full potential as well.  Meals on Wheels are offering to mail all of your Christmas cards. Simply supply the organization with the names and addresses to who you want to send the cards to.  Then choose your favorite design, chose the message you want inside with a small donation of $5 by the person receiving the card.  Another option is to send away for inserts to place in your own cards that inform the person receiving the card that a $5 donation has been made in their name.  Meals on Wheels also offers a similar program as the Angel Giving Tree program.  Meals on Wheels has a list of people in your area who have a wish list, the list is than posted on the Meals on Wheels website.  A person can chose a wish to fulfill and will be contacted with the information needed to fulfill the wish.