Larry Fulmer, with the Salvation Army church, says accepting digital donations, not only provides more options to donors, but also secures another means of support to the organization, and the people it serves.
Organizers say this change took place “around 3 to 4 years ago” but many people are not aware of it.
“We realize that not everyone carries spare change or dollar bills. So, at a select few of our kettles, you can tap your card to donate, or donate through your phone.” He says with younger generations tending to be more savvy with digital technology, this helps increase engagement from them too. “If we can make it a quick simple way for someone to donate to the salvation army, then we want to do our best to make that arrangement for them.”
Salvation Army leaders say they have raised $1.6 million, out of their $2.3 million goal this year. Altoona and Johnstown branches slightly above the organizations average. They say other non profits like the salvation army are seeing a decline in donations overall.
One Blair County resident says they agree having the digital payment option can increase productivity and efficiency. “It may be easier for the company to get their money, instead of people who ring the bell themselves, personally take it like inside a building, or inside their car and take the money up themselves.”
Fulmer says all funds donated will go back into local efforts. The last day to donate in person, at a Red Kettle, is this Saturday, December 23rd, 2023.