Salvation Army ‘HOPEs’ texts will drive donations

Charity launches new text-based donation campaign, hoping to appeal to a younger demographic and make donations easier and more convenient.

It will make its debut in front of 10,000 athletic Canadians nationwide this weekend, it’s very speedy, and it’s not afraid to be seen in shorts. What is it?

It’s The Salvation Army’s new text-message based donation tool, a nifty little program that allows people to text HOPE to shortcode 45678 and donate $5 to the service-based charity. It will be officially debuted at the Salvation Army Santa Shuffle this weekend, a charity walk/run taking place in 35 cities across Canada tomorrow and involving 10,000 participants.

The text-based donation tool is a technology the Salvation Army believes is a first for a charity of its size and scope in Canada, and it’s part of the organizations push to update its image to a public that largely sees it as old-fashioned, Andrew Burditt, territorial public relations director, The Salvation Army, told MiC.

‘We’ve been around a long time… so to some we’re a good, but somewhat quaint, organization but I think what people are starting to realize is that we’re actually open to trying new things,’ he said.

The organization’s embrace of new tech such as the texting tool is part of an overall effort to update the Salvation Army’s image, a task which Grey Canada is now helping it with since being named its new AOR last month. The agency helped the Army organize the debut of the tool and also arranged the promotion around it, which includes a Toronto-based ‘ambient’ campaign utilizing signage on revolving doors and office-tower floors in downtown. The media buy was handled by MediaCom.

‘Those who support the Salvation Army tend to be a little bit older and they tend to have a good knowledge and grasp of what we do, Burditt said. ‘Young people do volunteer their time – they are generous – but oftentimes they don’t have the capacity or the financial independence to be able to donate. This is easy. This is reaching them at a level that they certainly understand and $5 is a small amount that most people can afford.’