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Red Shield Appeal goes digital

Red Shield Appeal goes digital

Red Shield Appeal goes digital

14 April 2020

This year is the first year in its history that The Salvation Army will not do face-to-face collecting for the Red Shield Appeal.

By Bill Simpson

The national Red Shield Appeal residential collection will be an entirely digital event this year. To comply with health and safety regulations caused by COVID-19, The Salvation Army Australia Territory has had to forgo face-to-face connections with local communities in the raising of Red Shield Appeal funds.

Red Shield Appeal national spokesman Major Bruce Harmer says this means there will be no doorknock, static (e.g. shopping centre) or intersection and other event collections. Instead, collectors will be encouraged to go online during May to seek donations from family, friends and wider contacts. Fundraising dinners among the business and commercial community will also be replaced by digital events.

Bruce says 2020 will be the first time in 50 years of the Red Shield Appeal in Australia that The Salvation Army will not be connecting face-to-face with local communities in the collection of donations to fund the Army’s social services.

“This year, we will need to be agile and creative in our engagement with our local and wider communities in support of what we are calling the Red Shield Appeal Digital Doorknock,” he says. “We anticipate the Red Shield Appeal Digital Doorknock will be very successful. With the full support of our officers, soldiers, adherents, young people and friends of the Army, the digital doorknock will provide each mission expression in the Australia Territory with an opportunity to reach out widely to friends and associates in support of their local mission expression.”

Corps and centres will be eligible to use funds raised locally to fund local projects, as happened last year for the first time. 

“As we have done in previous years, there will be training materials provided to support mission expressions as they prepare to be involved in the Red Shield Appeal Digital Doorknock,” Bruce says. “Already, we have seen a wonderful response through our online Self Denial Appeal this year and the uptake of worship services and small groups. It’s these types of initiatives and online channels that will see us deliver a revitalised Red Shield Appeal 2020.”

Corps and centres will not be restricted by local geographical boundaries in the 2020 digital collection. Geographical boundaries will be replaced by relational boundaries.

“In other words,” Bruce says, “this year collectors will be trained and equipped to ask as many of their relational contacts as possible to consider doing two things to support our Red Shield Appeal Digital Doorknock. Firstly, to donate online, which is very safe. Most people are all right with online donating these days. Secondly, to consider sending on the request for donations to their contacts.”

Bruce says there was a wonderful opportunity for older Salvationists to take part this year. “The digital Red Shield Appeal will suit them perfectly,” he says. “Our older Salvationists have always been great supporters of the Red Shield Appeal residential collection. The digital appeal will give them a perfect opportunity to still play an active part while remaining in the comfort and safety of their own homes.

“Here is a rule of thumb – if you can send an email or connect with friends through Facebook, then you are skilled enough to be fully involved in this year’s Red Shield Appeal Digital Doorknock.”

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