Is your non-profit organization looking for a new way to fundraise in our current no-contact climate? Now is the time to get creative with raising those much-needed funds. One tried-and-true method for bringing in extra donations for your org: design your own merchandise and sell it in a custom-built fundraising webstore!
A Step-By-Step Guide for Raising Money Online with Merch
Many NPOs are turning to e-commerce solutions to raise money online. Whether for a one-time event or an ongoing fundraising campaign, webstores offer a unique way to bring in funds from a wide audience. Consider these steps when planning to raise funds with online merch sales:
Step 1: Design Merchandise
Great merch designs will attract donors and clearly represent the mission of your NPO. An eye-catching design and strong message will resonate with your supporters and draw attention to your cause. The name and logo of your non-profit should be visible, but you can get as creative as you’d like when factoring them into your designs. Offering a couple of different designs will allow people to choose one that fits their style!
Just as important as your design is the product you choose to print it on. Custom t-shirts and hoodies are a great starting point since both styles appeal to a wide range of donors. Accessories like pins or patches and promotional items like water bottles will cover a range of price points and help you capture donations at all levels.
Step 2: Finalize The Details
Once you have your designs and your products, it’s time to set up the store. You can turn to companies like Shopify or Squarespace, which provide a platform and helpful tools for online selling, but these options require a DIY approach with little to no technical assistance. Alternatively, you can work with a custom merchandise company that offers e-commerce solutions. These companies will build you a custom webstore and handle the production! All of the order management and fulfillment is handled by an experienced team of developers, customer service representatives, and logistics pros.
Whichever option you pursue, you’ll need to determine the best price for each of the products you offer. The key here is balancing the costs of production, the amount of each purchase allocated to your organization, and how much you think your supporters are willing to pay. Typically, people are willing to pay more when they know their purchase is supporting a good cause, but unrealistic prices will impact your ability to bring in donations. Again, the key is balance. Custom merch companies with e-commerce solutions are experts when it comes to pricing products and will be able to help you determine the best options for your fundraiser.
The final detail to decide on is your timeline. How long will your fundraiser run for? How long will production take? If you want donors to receive their orders by a certain date, work backward to determine when you will need to submit your orders for production. Again, skilled merch production companies that offer webstores will help you figure these details out so you can sit back and trust that the process is handled smoothly.
Step 3: Market The Campaign
Creating a marketing plan before you launch your fundraiser will help you promote your campaign effectively throughout the duration of your sale. Define your target audience: this should include your existing connections to the community, businesses, supporters, and friends. You’ll begin to see similarities among your audience, and you can use this information to attract new audiences with similar attributes. Using this information, plan your content ahead of time to avoid gaps in your promotion. You can market your fundraiser on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and LinkedIn. Other marketing channels for promoting your sale include email newsletters, canvassing in-person or over the phone, local television and radio stations, and more. Think about where your target audience will see your message and get creative!
When writing about your fundraiser, be sure to tell your supporters:
- What your NPO’s mission is
- How the funds raised will be used
- Your specific goal for the fundraiser (amount raised? number of donors?)
- How long the store will be open
- When customers will receive their purchase
- Why their purchase will make a difference
Step 4: Sell!
Now that you have a marketing plan, announce your fundraiser, and start selling! Plan to measure your progress at key points in the campaign and adjust your promotional strategy as needed.
If you are managing the store yourself, be sure to keep an eye on the orders coming in, along with any customer inquiries you receive through the store. If you’ve partnered with a company to manage the store for you, there’s no need to worry about logistics! You and your team can focus solely on promoting the fundraising campaign.
Step 5: Say thank you!
Once your fundraiser has closed, be sure to thank each supporter for their purchase. Let your audience know how much money was raised, and remind them how the funds will be used. Whether you came in short of your goal or surpassed it, thank your supporters and celebrate what the fundraiser accomplished. In the following weeks, encourage donors to share photos of their new merch and start building buzz for your next campaign!
E-Commerce Solutions for Fundraising
Most importantly, make sure you invest in quality custom clothing items and products to sell to your supporters. After all, each product represents your organization and your commitment to the cause. To learn more about online fundraising through e-commerce, non-profit organizations should contact Press & Release Printing Company. In addition to webstore creation, we offer the highest quality custom merchandise Philadelphia has to offer.