The Salvation Army’s signature Red Kettle Campaign set a new record this past holiday season, raising nearly $150 million, up 3.4 percent compared to the previous year. Online donations were up 7.5 percent compared to 2014.
The 2015 campaign, the army’s 125th, collected $149.6 million in all compared with $144.7 million the previous year. It’s the largest total raised since $148.7 million was reported in the 2012 campaign, according to the organization.
Overall donations via red kettles have been up each year since 2008 except 2013:
- 2015 – $149.6 million, +3.4 percent
- 2014 – $144.7 million, +6.5 percent
- 2013 – $135.9 million, -8.6 percent
- 2012 – $148.7 million, +0.75 percent
- 2011 – $147.6 million, +4 percent
Online donations were up 7.5 percent, according to Salvation Army, totaling $34 million, or about 22 percent of the overall sum. Some $4.5 million was donated on Dec. 31 and donations during #GivingTuesday were up 28 percent versus the previous year. Leading up to the national day of giving on Dec. 2, The Salvation Army had national media appearances on the “TODAY” show with Nick Cannon, live on the plaza and in-studio, “Access Hollywood Live” and “The Steve Harvey Show.”
While online donations continued to increase, red kettles located outside of five major retailers continued to raise millions, collectively more than 40 percent of the total:
- Almost 5,000 Walmart and Sam’s Club locations, $44.3 million, 30 percent;
- More than 2,300 Kroger’s locations, $16.8 million, 11 percent;
- About 700 JCPenney stores collected $3 million; and,
- About 700 Big Lots locations raised $1.2 million.
For the 19th year in a row, the the Red Kettle Campaign kicked off on national television during the halftime performance of the Dallas Cowboys football game on Thanksgiving Day. The Alexandria, Va.-headquartered Christian church continued its #RedKettleReason initiative, giving supporters a platform to share their personal connection to the kettles and donate online. Celebrities, corporate partners and donors shared their reasons by tagging social posts with #RedKettleReason.
“Although the retail landscape continues to shift, we’re encouraged to see that Americans are still willing to give at our 25,000 kettles stationed across the country,” Lt. Col. Ron Busroe, community relations and development secretary for The Salvation Army’s National Headquarters, said in a press statement announcing the results. “The 2015 campaign was the largest year we’ve ever had for kettles, helping us lay the groundwork for a strong year of service in 2016.”