The charitable organization says gifts of food and toys are down 40 percent from this time last year. Monetary donations are also down 58 percent.
As a result, the Red Cross is reaching out to more organizations and asking those who are well-off to give a little bit more.
"We're aware of the soft economy, but we also have a plan to work with those who have the ability," said Major Preston Rider with San Francisco's Salvation Army.
The Salvation Army has also set up more online kettles in addition to the traditional ones located at store fronts.
The San Francisco branch hopes to raise $250,000 this season.