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Tapping into a new way of giving

Tapping into a new way of giving

Tapping into a new way of giving

18 May 2017

Community Fundraising Director Andrew Hill with one of the new Donation Point Tap machines that will be used for the first time in this year's Red Shield Appeal. Photo: Kem Pobjie

By Bill Simpson

The Salvation Army will be the first charity in Australia to use new “paywave” technology for a large-scale national campaign during this month’s Red Shield Appeal collection.

About 350 Donation Point Tap machines – twice the size of a standard mobile phone – will be set up in shopping centres, major hardware stores, railway stations and other community collection points to receive donations.

Each machine will be set at a predetermined amount (maybe $10 or $20). Donors will be able to tap their credit card on the machines to make their donation.

Use of the new technology, says Community Fundraising Director Andrew Hill, is a bold move by The Salvation Army to meet the challenges of an increasingly cashless society.

He is hopeful the machines will attract an increase in the size of the average donation normally collected. Volunteer collectors will be required to oversee the machines at community collection points, while also being available to receive donations in the usual way.

The machines will not be used for house-to-house collections. “While we are quickly, but carefully, moving into the digital cashless society, we need to be clear that doorknock collections remain vital to The Salvation Army’s fundraising,” Andrew says. “The Red Shield Appeal is a vital part of our corps ministry in the month of May. It is a time when the Australian public is expecting to see the Salvos out and about asking for support.

“The Salvation Army is still one of the most respected and appreciated charities. The Red Shield Appeal is one time of the year that the public says to us that it is OK to knock on their door.

“We have invested in a strategic review of the doorknock. One of the key questions asked was whether the doorknock was still relevant. The answer was that the doorknock was still very much an important part of what we do to raise funds. It raises $8 million nationally and the freely given media coverage from many outlets across the country is worth millions of dollars.

“The doorknock is about who we are and what we do. As Salvationists, we need to embrace the doorknock as our opportunity to show that Christ, through us, is still wanting to meet the needs of his people.”

The Donation Point Tap machines will be leased from their manufacturer, Quest Payment Systems.

“Their introduction,” Andrew says, “keeps The Salvation Army ‘up there’ with innovators in public fundraising. We are as innovative in this space as any corporate entity. Not much had changed over the first 50 years of doorknock. But we are excited to see The Salvation Army being innovative and adapting to the fast-changing pace of the Australian consumer/donor landscape.

“We encourage our people to embrace this innovation and support us as The Salvation Army seeks to meet the needs of millions of Australians.”

Westpac, which has partnered with The Salvation Army for the Red Shield Appeal since the appeal’s inception in 1965, will again provide significant support, with volunteer staff at 82 branches nationwide receiving and banking money collected on doorknock day.

Woolworths, Bunnings and JLL have again given approval for The Salvation Army to station collectors at their stores and centres. This year’s national appeal will seek to raise $75 million.

The target for the doorknock, which will be held on 27-28 May, is $8 million.

More than 100,000 volunteer collectors are required.

It will be the 52nd Red Shield Appeal doorknock.

And, yes, McDonald’s will again be providing vouchers to volunteer collectors, just as it has for the past 35 years.

Bill Simpson is a contributing writer for Others magazine.


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