The Salvation Army Applauds Americans for Continued Giving During Challenging Year
Public support remains vital to meeting need following second most successful year of fundraising in history
ALEXANDRIA, Va. (March 11, 2022) — More than two years into the pandemic, the American public still prioritizes the needs of their neighbors, highlighted by the fact that 2021 holiday cash donations to The Salvation Army were the 2nd highest in the organization’s history. The Salvation Army, the country's largest non-governmental provider of social services, reports that the public generously donated approximately $520 million from October to December 2021 to support their mission to meet human need in Christ's name, without discrimination. The critical support will allow The Salvation Army to provide food, shelter, and other essential social services to more than 30 million Americans.
From its humble beginnings as a program started by a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco in 1891, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most iconic and effective charitable campaigns in the world. With the help of supporters like the Dallas Cowboys, Luke Combs, Erin & Ben Napier, and Stephen "tWitch" Boss, The Salvation Army invited Americans to help ensure that "Hope Marches On" for those fighting the effects of pandemic poverty.
The Red Kettles, which represents roughly $110 million of the money raised, remain a staple of the holiday campaign, thanks in large part to the support of corporate partners including Walmart and Sam's Club ($35.1 million), The Kroger Co. ($10.5 million), Hobby Lobby/Mardel ($5.1 million), Walgreen’s ($831,000), Macy's/Bloomingdales ($719,000), JCPenney ($683,000), and Bass Pro/Cabela's ($683,000), Food Lion ($540,000), Big Lot’s ($333,000), Boscov’s ($264,000), Rural King ($263,000), and Dillard’s ($104,000). A full list of national Red Kettle partners can be found here.
Following an unprecedented year of support in 2020, The Salvation Army anticipated declines in giving in 2021 and budgeted accordingly to ensure service continued uninterrupted. As of the beginning of the holiday season 2021, The Salvation Army had provided more than 300 million meals and over $200 million in utility, rent, and mortgage assistance at over 7,000 locations across the U.S. since March 2020.
"With the ongoing impacts of the pandemic, turbulent economic factors, and volatile government support, we knew 2021 would be challenging for millions of Americans," said National Commander of The Salvation Army, Commissioner Kenneth Hodder. "But the generosity of Americans has not wavered. We are deeply grateful for their support and will continue doing everything we can to keep families in their homes, bring men and women out of addiction, and create a better future for our children."
While The Salvation Army anticipated a decline in overall donations following the record-breaking fundraising accomplished in 2020, the organization still received the second highest amount of holiday cash donations in its history in 2021. Almost 2 years into the pandemic, the continued generosity of the American public meant they gave to their neighbors in need at a rate 19 percent higher than pre-pandemic levels.
Much of the growth is due to gifts made outside of the physical Red Kettles. To account for changing shopping and donation preferences, The Salvation Army has expanded digital giving methods, introduced cashless in-person giving options, launched cryptocurrency donations, and continues to encourage monthly contributions. As a result, digital gifts have grown by 57 percent over the last five years.
The increased number of giving methods is paired with a more continuous awareness effort to ensure people can donate or volunteer not just at Christmas, but anytime during the year, and those contributions will help to meet the needs of families in their own communities. The Salvation Army recently launched a new message to encourage Americans to "Love Beyond" the holidays and give donations year-round.
"While we have historically focused the majority of our public awareness and education efforts on the Christmas season, need knows no season, nor does generosity," said Hodder. "We operate more than 7,000 centers, 365 days a year in local communities, and we want people to know they can support their neighbors whenever is most convenient for them."