Sept. 11 Inspires Adjustments at Salvation Army

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WASHINGTON -- Like many for-profit and nonprofit organizations, Sept. 11 taxed the infrastructure of the Salvation Army's Web site and has led the organization to revamp its site, said Maj. George E. Hood, its national director for public affairs.

Hood gave the luncheon keynote yesterday at the Direct Marketing Association's Nonprofit Federation 12th Annual Conference at the Grand Hyatt.

The Salvation Army's site went down within 12 hours after the first plane struck the World Trade Center in New York City, he said. Luckily, Yahoo offered to process donations through its Web site.

With that under control, the Salvation Army and its longtime direct marketing agency Grizzard began exploring other ways to get the word out on the Internet.

"In times of disaster there is an instant response from people, and the first place they went was to the Internet," Hood said.

As part of its online initiative, the organization created a series of 20 banner ads that it sent to Web masters of thousands of sites. That effort resulted in 2,200 free banner placements.

Hood said the Salvation Army raised more than $3 million online with an average gift of more than $100. The Web initiatives cost the organization only $60,000.

Though the Salvation Army knows that news service Web sites generated the most giving, it did not track which banner ads brought in the most donations.

Since Sept. 11, the Salvation Army has been upgrading and revamping its Web site.

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