How the Salvation Army Finland uses digital fundraising solutions to boost their famous Christmas Kettle campaign.
The Salvation Army’s Christmas Kettle campaign is world renown, and one of Finland’s largest and most famous fundraising campaigns.
Street fundraising is at the heart of the campaign, which helps so many people & families in need. However, over the years the Salvation Army has had to innovate their approach and invest more in online fundraising and digital channels to engage more donors, and keep the long lasting tradition alive.
In this interview, Anne Fredriksson, Head of Marketing and Corporate Relations of the Salvation Army Finland, gives us some insight into how they were able to boost the results of their famous end-of-the-year fundraising campaign.
1. Can you tell us about your Christmas Campaign?
Our Christmas Kettle (“Joulupata”) campaign has been organised in Finland every year since 1906. The funds raised are used locally to help people and families in need. Internationally, the Christmas Kettle is The Salvation Army’s most famous year end giving campaign. Street collection is at the heart of the campaign, but other options, such as online donating, have been available for many years.
2. What channels do you use to collect donations?
We still have street collection, as it is such a long-standing tradition and the kettles bring great visibility for the cause. However, as people carry less cash and new donating options are available, we have increased our fundraising activities in digital channels.
At the moment, we offer the following payment options to make a donation: bank transfer, text message, Paytrail, MobilePay app, PIVO app. We also use iRaiser’s fundraising platforms for one-time and recurring donations, as well as peer to peer fundraising. We use social media, digital marketing, mass media and direct mail to reach wider audiences and potential donors.
3. How do you utilise digital channels to support your campaign?
Aside from the obvious – raising more funds to accomplish our work – we utilise digital channels to help increase awareness of our fundraising campaign and to recruit new supporters and volunteers. Digital channels are vital for the Christmas Kettle, because without them we would reach a much smaller group of people.
We use different channels for different target groups. Peer to Peer is a great option for people who want to fundraise as a group or team, and appeal to their friends and family to give in their name. Automated monthly donation is an option for those who want to keep donating even after Christmas.
Peer to Peer fundraising suits the Christmas Kettle very well. We call our P2P campaigns “online kettles”. We encourage our social media followers to start their own “online kettle”, thus spreading the word and inspiring their others to take action, and expanding the network of potential donors.
Many associations and clubs have joined us, but companies and private individuals have also noticed the convenience of this approach. It is easy to share your fundraiser or “kettle” and create marketing opportunities, for example. We use iRaiser’s fundraising tool to easily set up our Peer to Peer campaigns.
Through Mobile Subscription we have gained new donors who appreciate how quick and easy it is to make a donation on their smartphones.
All donors are important to us. They are the reason we are able to reach our fundraising goals & help people in need, and we want to serve them well. That means continually developing more secure, and simple options for donating, and MobilePay is a really good tool for this.
4. If you have one tip you could provide other not-for-profit organisations in preparing their Christmas Campaigns what would it be?
You can never start preparing too early. When it comes to B2B marketing, companies often make decisions about their CSR Christmas activities before the summer or even earlier.
5. What do you personally love about Christmas, a type of food for example, or tradition etc?
What I enjoy most about Christmas is when the whole family gathers at a common Christmas table, all the kids are there and we get to spend time together.
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