Tulsa-Area Salvation Army Centers: Credit Cards Hurt Fundraising
TULSA, Oklahoma - No doubt you heard the Salvation Army bells this season.
And you might have ignored them — not because you didn't want to give, but because you weren't carrying any cash or coins.
"That's kind of what hurt us in the long run, is that people don't carry cash," explained Lt. David Brittle, who oversees Salvation Army Sand Springs.
Brittle said the Tulsa-area Salvation Army centers set a fundraising goal of $800,000 this December and fell short by about 20 percent.
More people are using cards, Brittle said, and aren't carrying cash.
"Last year we were a little bit behind, Tulsa, area-wide," Brittle said. "This year we're quite a bit behind."
The Salvation Army is looking into solutions, like the DipJar. It's an automated kettle that accepts cards. The local Salvation Army tried out about 50 models this year, hoping they'll solve the fundraising gap in the future.
"All you have to do is dip your card in, pull it out and go," Brittle explained.
Credit cards aren't the only thing keeping people from giving, though. The Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma noticed a slow holiday season, too, saying the oil-and-gas economy is likely a big factor.
"With the economy, especially in the energy sector, supporters just aren't able to give what they've been able to give in the past," communications director Greg Raskin explained.
The Food Bank of Eastern Oklahoma provides about 339,000 meals a week to those in Tulsa and surrounding rural areas.
The drop in donations means Oklahoma nonprofits and charities may have to cut back this year on helping the needy and homeless.
"We're not going to be able to help as many people because we just don't have the finances," Brittle said.
These places do take donations all year-round.
You can visit salarmytulsa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY to donate to the Salvation Army.
To donate to the food bank, visit okfoodbank.org or text "HUNGER" to 80077.