Salvation Army unveils its new digital donation options

Participants ring bells during a ceremony by the Salvation Army to prepare charity pots for a year-end fundraising campaign for the underprivileged in downtown Seoul, South Korea, Friday, Nov. 29, 2019. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

OAN Newsroom
UPDATED 11:18 AM PT — Tuesday, December 3, 2019

The familiar sound of Salvation Army bell-ringers has returned with the holiday shopping season. Those red kettles may no longer be the only way to donate. As fewer shoppers are carrying cash and spare change these days, the international church and charitable organization is now accepting digital donations.

“The current economics require the fact that we are able to let people know that they can help even if they don’t have hard currency on them,” explained Salvation Army commissioner Barry Swanson. “They can make a donation electronically.”

Those who have used the new donate by phone feature have said it was fast and easy, and allowed them to make a donation they would not have been able to make otherwise.

“I don’t carry any cash in the city, I don’t think it’s a good idea for myself with two kids,” said Heather Bishop, who donated via smartphone. “So to be able to give online, it made it possible.

In this Friday, Nov. 15, 2019, photo, bell ringer Carolyn Harper points to two ways to donate via mobile device to the Salvation Army’s annual holiday red kettle campaign on Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. Cashless shoppers have a new option to give to the Army’s red kettle campaign this year using their smartphone. (AP Photo/Charles Rex Arbogast)

Digital donations go to the Salvation Army chapter nearest to the donor’s zip code. Salvation Army leaders also hope the addition of Google and Apple Pay will help the organization reach its $150 million fundraising goal for this year.

“I thought it was fantastic,” said donor Dean Leischow. “I think it’s a real easy way to pay and it doesn’t really give people a way to say (no) that they don’t have any cash.”

RELATED: Chick-Fil-A To Stop Donating To Alleged Anti-LGBTQ Charities