Consumers can now use credit cards to make Salvation Army donations

After seeing a 8.5 percent decline in revenue, The Salvation army is looking to new online tactics to draw donations this holiday shopping season.

The charitable organization plans to turn to wireless credit card machines and Virtual Red Kettles to replace traditional bell-ringers outside store locations.

“The Salvation Army is an organization steeped in history and tradition, but over the years our traditional kettle campaign has been weakened by a decline in retail shopping, increase in online shopping and a shortage of retail outlets willing to allow kettles and bell-ringers outside of their locations,” said Major James Seiler, The Salvation Army metro Atlanta area commander.

Organization officials say they do not plan to eliminate the kettle tradition altogether, but look to the new payment methods as ways to attract a larger, more diverse group of givers. The group hopes the credit card donation machines will encourage givers to donate more than just spare change.

Outside the Atlanta area consumers will find wireless credit card machines outside Simon Malls, Sam’s club and Walmart locations. In 2009, the Salvation Army raised more than $1.9 million dollars used to assist homeless and hungry families.