The philanthropy group's national commander, Kenneth Hodder, estimates the donation campaign will bring in about 50% less money than last year.
"In the midst of a tsunami of need, we may have a drought of resources," Hodder told ABC on Friday, "not because people don't want to support us, but because they themselves are going through a difficult time."
RELATED: US unemployment claims rise to 778,000 as COVID-19 pandemic worsens
Organization leaders say holiday shoppers will still hear the ringing bells as they pick up gifts, but the sound may be at fewer locations than in holidays past.
Factors affecting the reduced "Red Kettle" cash donation haul include fewer retail locations for setup, less foot traffic passing by the kettles, and so many people out of work and not able to contribute as they would normally.
WATCH: With mask requirements and long lines, Black Friday shopping may lose ground to online retail
Last year, officials say the kettle campaign raised about $126 million across the country.
The Salvation Army is offering contactless donation options for their campaign in 2020.
RELATED: Michael Jordan donates $2M in proceeds from 'The Last Dance' to Feeding America
There will be a QR code on the red kettles for good Samaritans to donate electronically via smartphone, and they can also donate to the organization through Amazon Alexa.
People seeking donation sites and available services in their zip code will be able to find them here.
If you have a question or comment about the coronavirus pandemic, submit yours via the form below or here.
Get the latest news, information and videos about the novel coronavirus pandemic here
RELATED STORIES & VIDEOS:
- Map: CA counties that can, can't reopen under new rules
- COVID-19 risk calculator: The safest and most dangerous things to do this holiday season
- Want to get a COVID-19 test in time for the holidays? Here's what you need to know
- Updated number of COVID-19 deaths, cases in Bay Area
- Map shows everywhere you can get a COVID-19 test in the Bay Area
- COVID-19 Diaries: Personal stories of Bay Area residents during pandemic
- California EDD: The most commonly asked questions we get about unemployment and PUA
- Health experts urge flu shots in effort to avoid 'twindemic'
- How to tell the difference between seasonal allergies and coronavirus symptoms
- Here's which mask is better to protect from COVID-19
- First COVID-19 vaccine volunteers in US describe experience as Bay Area launches vaccine trials
- Coronavirus origin: Where did COVID-19 come from?
- What is a COVID-19 genetic, antigen and antibody test?
- What will it take to get a COVID-19 vaccine and how will it be made?
- What does COVID-19 do to your body and why does it spread so easily?
- Here's how shelter in place, stay at home orders can slow spread of COVID-19
- Coronavirus Timeline: Tracking major moments of COVID-19 pandemic in San Francisco Bay Area
- Coronavirus Doctor's Note: Dr. Alok Patel gives his insight into COVID-19 pandemic