Becoming a Salvation Army holiday bell ringer in the Twin Cities may be easier than ever this year thanks to an assist from U.S. Bank (USB).
The $352 billion-asset bank, which is headquartered in Minneapolis, said Wednesday it has loaned the charity's local chapter some of the personnel who design applications for the bank’s mobile banking platform to create “Bell Ringer TC,” an app that allows prospective volunteers to get the rundown on how to ring bells for the Christmas season and to sign up for a time slot.
The Salvation Army says it expects the app to help the organization achieve its goal of filling 120,000 one-hour slots at 400 kettles throughout Minneapolis and St. Paul starting Nov. 10.
“Banks don’t have as many opportunities for what we might describe as in-kind donations,” Elliot Jaffee, U.S. Bank’s Twin Cities market president, told American Banker. “But this was a unique opportunity where our community partner had a need and we had the skill inside our company to serve that need."
“You don’t necessarily think of the bank’s special skill as developing an iPhone app, but it turns out we really do have that skill to serve our own customers,” Jaffee added.
U.S. Bank’s lead user experience developer, risk content manager and online marketing manager all donated their time to create the app, which is available without charge via the App Store in iTunes.
The bank said it would donate $1 to the Salvation Army for each of the first 1,000 downloads.
“We’re always thinking about ways to connect our company to volunteer efforts or things that are good for the community,” Jaffee said.