Street Fundraising Tins

Date / Period
Object Type
Fundraising and Communications

General fundraising campaigns have been a critical component of the Canadian Red Cross’s operations, ensuring funds are available for quick mobilization when disaster strikes. While the methods have evolved from metal donation tins to face-to-face canvassing, the purpose has remained consistent: encouraging the public to assist humanitarian programs.

When these tins, which were simply converted from cigarette boxes, were utilized in 1956, the Red Cross was re-evaluating its fundraising policies. Beyond the usual pitches to support programs ranging from home nursing to international relief, the Red Cross’ governing body contemplated how it would participate in joint appeals with other charitable and community organizations. The result, announced that May, was a list of provisions designed to safeguard its reputation, especially its autonomy regarding budgets, campaign objectives, and disbursement of donations. One of the first partnerships to benefit from this policy was the launch of the Metropolitan Toronto United Appeal later that year, which evolved into the Toronto branch of the United Way.

Since 2004, canvassers working for the Red Cross have interacted with the public via door-to-door campaigns or on the streets. Training workshops teach canvassers the organization’s ideals and programs, as well as giving them a sense of the Red Cross’ long history in Canada. Equipped with program materials and a friendly demeanor, they encourage people to support Red Cross initiatives through monthly donations. Technology has evolved so that coin tins have given way to collecting donor information via iPad, which is also used to show donors the impact their support can have at home and abroad.

Street Fundraising Tins

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