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Best of the Day: Numbers layer explains holiday donations (12/14/11)
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Dec. 15, 2011 12:01 a.m.

Have you ever wondered about the Salvation Army red kettle donations? Are the bell ringers volunteers or do they get paid? How much do people drop in the kettle? The Holland Sentinel in Michigan does a nice by-the-numbers breakout to complement a centerpiece story.

WHAT THEY DID: Holland highlights a few good numbers in its story about the red kettles: how much they bring in locally per day, the amount raised so far these season, and the Salvation Army's goal. The focus on the story, though, is that some bell ringers are paid, which is pretty new for the Salvation Army.

TAKEAWAY: The local Salvation Army will be happy to release numbers about how close they are to their goal because they will be motivating to people to give more. Also, check out the bell ringer pay angle for a story in your town, and think about a by-the-numbers breakout to draw people into your story. You can run a simpler version of Holland's by-the-numbers. For more guidance on breakouts, check out the formats on GHnewsroom.

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