Black Friday is one of the busiest shopping days of the year because of the huge sales available. People all over the country wake up early so they can be the first to get in stores. And now, as detailed in a story we just posted on The NonProfit Times website, charities are getting in on the action.
Many of the organizations getting involved this year are taking a technology-based route to their Black Friday activities. For example, for every user that "checks in" using foursquare, a location-based social network for mobile devices, JC Penney will pledge $25 to The Salvation Army, up to $100,000. The Alexandria, Va.-based organization will also allow donors to give money to their annual Red Kettle Campaign, which kicks off during halftime of tomorrow's Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game, via on-site smart phones in select cities.
JC Penney will also pledge $50 to The Salvation Army for every angel "adopted" via the Angel Giving Tree Online, where donors can be matched with items needed by those less fortunate. The store, now in its third year, already has had 100,000 angels adopted.
The USO is taking a slightly different approach to Black Friday. "The USO Wishbook," launched in conjunction with the holiday season, sells items for soldiers and their families on their website. According to Kelli Seely, the organization's chief development officer, it's their first attempt at an alternative giving catalog. The gifts available on the website range from the simple to the remarkable. You can make a $25 phone call from a soldier or purchase $5,000 total entertainment system. The USO plans to keep the Wishbook online throughout the year, adapting it for other holidays.
Given the popularity of Black Friday, it seems likely these programs will be met with a lot of success. But we'll have to wait a couple of days to see their real impact. Make sure to read the full story on this topic over on our website.