So you’ve decided to raise money for a good cause. That’s great news! Now comes a tricky bit – deciding exactly how you’re going to go about raising that money. You may have considered creating something to sell for your fundraiser. If you’re thinking about going down this path, personalised t-shirts can be an excellent tool to help raise money for your chosen cause.
Think about it. People walking around wearing your tees provide free advertising for your cause. They’re pretty inexpensive, and can be an instant visual cue to show people working on the cause that you’re all in this together.
A few tips to keep in mind when designing a fundraiser T-shirt
- Simpler can make your message easier to get across.
- Think about what sort of tee to sell – does it fit your cause’s brand?
- Remember to produce something that people will want to buy. Quality is important.
- Price your tees carefully. Don’t set your price too high and remember to consider shipping costs.
Now, we’re going to show you just how well t-shirt fundraising can work using some examples from successful fundraisers.
Choose the right platform to sell your tees – like Teespring
T-shirt selling website Teespring lets people sell their designs on the site so that they can make money for fundraisers. The good thing about Teespring is that you just have to upload your design and look for an audience or customers – but you don’t actually have to produce the tees unless they sell.
There are lots of success stories on its site, like the #ImABrightKid tee campaign to fund a scholarship in honour of a favourite teacher by selling tees on the site with the hashtag. Noah’s Bandage Project is another hugely successful fundraiser, which used money raised from T-shirt proceeds to create cooler bandages for children with cancer who have to get a lot of shots at the hospital.
Websites like Teespring can help you cut way down on the upfront costs of creating a fundraising T-shirt, and let you get in touch with potential buyers from all over the world.
Show your customers value beyond just selling T-shirts – like BizyTee
BizyTee decided that they wanted to help get people out of poverty by supporting their entrepreneurial projects. To do that, for every single one of their shirts purchased, they put $1 towards micro-loans. The loans helped the entrepreneurs by giving them the capital they needed to get their projects on the go, and the tees helped too, by helping them strike up business conversations about their project.
One thing BizyTee did especially well was getting their message across by using personal experiences that show why their cause is important. Through the eyes of both organisers and supporters, they created an effective video that explained the reasons why they decided to launch the project. Adding a big human touch helped them convince people it was a great project to support.
They also showed people that there were lots of benefits for them to get from the project, giving them plenty of reasons to get on board.
Use a big event to distribute your tees and get people involved – like the Race for the Cure
The Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure fundraising events are a pretty big deal. They say they’re “the largest, most successful education and fundraising event for breast cancer in the world.” There are races and walks held all over the world – and participants often get T-shirts to wear to the occasion featuring the foundation’s instantly recognisable pink colour.
Runners and walkers get T-shirts for their races, and even people who don’t participate can buy the garments on the online shop. This instantly gets the name out there.
To design the tees, the foundation holds a contest where people can submit their design and the winner is announced via social media. By combining the garments plus social media factors and encouraging people to get involved, they instantly create high visibility.
On top of this, they make it super simple for people to get involved outside of the races, too. They partner with popular spokespeople and cool brands, get people participating online, and make it very easy for interested people to fundraise for them by offering to send them packages of materials like posters. It’s no wonder this is one of the most recognisable fundraising efforts out there – and T-shirts are definitely a big part of it.
Consider creating tees that are in limited supply – like Sevenly
Sevenly is an online store that sells products to benefit social causes. They have special charity collections, items from which part of the proceeds go towards their partners, and a weekly featured special tee or accessory.
They have seven causes at a time, and create seven designs for each cause. They’ve raised over $4 million through their sales.
Part of the reason they’re so successful is that the items they sell are beautifully designed. They make sure to carefully select attractive items that shoppers would probably be interested in buying even if they weren’t for a good cause.
Also, the limited availability of their items encourages shoppers to snap them up, as users know they won’t be around for a long time. Shoppers can feel good about what they’re buying while getting a special item in the process.
Get the right people to wear your tees – like World AIDS Day and DoSomething.org
Both World AIDS Day and DoSomething.org have more in common than raising money for great causes – they’ve also partnered with celebrities to work on T-shirt fundraisers.
World AIDS Day got a boost when fashion designer (and former Spice Girl) Victoria Beckham designed a special tee for them to help raise money. Having a big name with luxury associations behind the brand gave people a reason to buy the tees, plus a reason to wear them and show them off.
Designer Alexander Wang created tees and hoodies for DoSomething.org, an organisation to promote social change among young people, for its 10th anniversary. He designed the tees, then handpicked 38 celebrities to model them to spread the message.
In both cases, the celeb tees were not only an appealing design that people wanted to buy, but they also got the right people wearing and promoting them. While you might not be able to call up Mrs. Beckham or Mr. Wang to design your tee, try to reach somebody important in your local community. Collaborations can really jump-start a fundraiser.
Know your audience – like Girls Inc.
Nonprofit organisation Girls Inc. works to empower and inspire young women so that they can succeed. They launched a T-shirt campaign called “You Got a Friend” that featured tees with the message written across the front. The idea was that girls and young women would wear the tops and spread the message that friendly behaviour is cool, while bullying isn’t.
To get the right people to wear their tees, they chose Pam & Gela, a casual-chic clothing label to design them. The designers picked a muscle tee tank since it is a model that appeals to most women and made them cute and trendy.The messaging and style were both right on since they very clearly speak to the audience the campaign wants to target.
Girls Inc. also got the word out about their project in places that their audience would be paying attention to, like women’s magazines. They spoke directly to the audience they were looking to help.
Take home message?
Figure out who your target audience is and create your fundraising tee for them. A trendy muscle tee works great for young women, but might not be as good a fit for a professional middle-aged crowd.
Looking at these examples from successful fundraisers, it’s clear that there are lots of benefits to using T-shirts to help raise money for a good cause. Why not get started on creating your fundraising tee today?
Before you go, take a look at this article with more examples of successful crowdfunding t-shirt projects!
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