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Salvos praised for innovation during first Digital Doorknock

Salvos praised for innovation during first Digital Doorknock

Salvos praised for innovation during first Digital Doorknock

3 July 2020

Salvos have embraced the Digital Doorknock during this year’s Red Shield Appeal, raising more than $3.8 million as of midnight 30 June.

By Jessica Morris

This year’s Red Shield Appeal was unprecedented due to the COVID-19 pandemic, with the traditional Doorknock Appeal going digital for the first time in its 55-year history.

As of midnight on 30 June, when the Digital Doorknock closed, $3,882,753 had been raised. The donations will be used to fund The Salvation Army’s social services nationally and other local social mission.

One thing is abundantly clear, however, that while the world may change, The Salvation Army’s commitment to “live, love and fight alongside others” is here to stay. In 2020, Salvos have needed to be more adaptable, innovative and generous than ever. 

“The use of our peer-to-peer [digital] platform this year has opened doors for us that had previously not been open. This year we stepped out of geographical boundaries and into a system limited by relational boundaries,” said Major Bruce Harmer, acting Head of Public Relations in Australia.

Salvation Army corps and centres around Australia once again welcomed the ‘local funds for local mission’ initiative, launched in 2019, and many Salvos expressions came up with new ways to engage the public while social distancing.

Tahnee Parsons, on the Bellarine Peninsula (Vic.), modelled how to utilise the Digital Doorknock social media platform to engage her community, more than doubling her goal. Like thousands of others, she registered as an online fundraiser and sent hundreds of messages on social media, posting video updates and sharing her faith story.

In George Town (Tas.), Divisional Envoy Andrew Parkes and his team maintained their focus on building relationships with the community and exceeded their target, which included a $1000 donation from the local medical centre.

Delacombe Corps (Vic.) sold and delivered a thousand dumplings as a fundraiser, while it was inspiring to see many corps around the country offering drive-through or drop-off stations over the appeal weekend.

“Given this is our first national step into a peer-to-peer fundraising initiative, I’m inspired by the way our [territorial] community fundraising team prepared and continually resourced our front-line mission expressions as we moved to this new model of fundraising,” said Bruce.

“I was also inspired by our front-line mission expressions who engaged with this new fundraising platform so well. Given the performance of our community fundraising team and our front-line teams, I’m confident we’ll go from strength as we move forward together.”

The leap in technology has caused many to wonder if the future of the Red Shield Appeal is digital, and if there is still a place for face-to-face fundraising in a post-COVID world. For Bruce, face-to-face fundraising and digital fundraising go hand in hand to fund local social mission.

“We have held the view for some time now that we should engage in local fundraising using whatever initiatives are suitable, in any given location. Community engagement is more important now than ever for our Army,” he said.

“After all, that’s who we are, a band of believers motivated by the love of Jesus who engage with community garnering financial and practical support locally to meet local need head-on.

“Considering the challenges and the amazing effort our people have put in, I would consider the financial result this year as very successful. We should all understand that even in these challenging days, our local communities across Australia have continued to support us financially.

“We are in a privileged position to have rich acceptance and support from the Australian public.”

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