Graphic tees for good: Nonprofit fundraising idea

Posted on: October 25, 2011 by in Gorilla Blog, Ideas, News
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Threadless is one of our favorite graphic tee retailers, and we often look to them for inspiration on promo tee projects. They’ve definitely inspired us with their “Good Shirts” initiative, which takes an innovative twist on fundraising.

In their campaign to fight famine in the Horn of Africa, UNICEF put specific price tags on some of the ways they help. For example, deworming tablets cost $36.10, mosquito netting costs $18.57, and theraputic food costs $73.13. Then they created t-shirts for each of these items, with a simple graphic design showing the form of assistance. The deworming tablet t-shirt depicts a cartoonish worm (dead, of course), the mosquito netting t-shirt has a picture of the nasty disease-spreading bug, and so on. In partnership with Threadless, they are selling these shirts — each one priced according to the cost of the item printed on the shirt. And 100% of the price goes to fight hunger in Africa. When you buy the mosquito netting shirt for $18.57, you know that UNICEF can buy mosquito netting for someone who needs it. The range of shirts goes all the way up to the “cargo drop” t-shirt, featuring an airplane, which costs $300,000. It may be the most expensive t-shirt of all time, but anyone who buys it knows how much good they’ve accomplished.

We think this has great potential for all kinds of fundraising. With a little creativity, any nonprofit can start a project like this. What can you do with $10, $20, $50, even $100? What are the costs of the services you provide? Brainstorm, and then come up with graphic representations of the concrete good your organization can do with different amounts of money. Create a line of t-shirts for donors. The shirts will remind people of the work your organization is doing, keeping them engaged and increasing repeat contributions. We can’t think of a better way to reach t-shirt loving milennials!

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