How the Salvation Army Finland uses digital channels 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 collection is at the heart of the campaign, which helps so many people & families in need, but over the years, the Salvation Army has had to innovate and increase their 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 a bit more insight into how they are achieving just that.

The Salvation Army’s digital Christmas Kettles
Anne Fredriksson
Head of Marketing and Corporate Relations
Salvation Army Finland
The Salvation Army’s digital Christmas Kettles
The Salvation Army’s digital Christmas Kettles

1. Can you tell us a little a bit 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 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 these options to make a donation: bank transfer, text message, Paytrail, MobilePay app, PIVO app and iRaiser donation platforms (one-time and recurring donations, and peer to peer fundraising). We use social media, digital marketing, mass media and direct mail to reach wider audiences and potential donors. 

The Salvation Army’s digital Christmas Kettles
The Salvation Army’s digital Christmas Kettles

 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 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. P2P is a great option for people who want to fundraise as a group or team. 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 inspiring 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 the iRaiser tool to easily set up our P2P campaign

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, 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.

4If you have one tip you could provide charities 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 food for example, local market 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.

The Salvation Army’s digital Christmas Kettles

Find out how you can still quickly set up a campaign on our solutions in time for Christmas! Reach out to a member of our team today.