Schwag: The New Thank You Card for Fundraisers
The obvious goal of any fundraising campaign is to raise money to help aid in some type of business goal. This may be some sort of kickstarter campaign to fund a new line of wool shirts that you never have to wash, raising enough money to bring that amazing movie script to life or even to assist those who need it more than we do.
Whatever the cause the goal is always the same. However no matter how kind at heart we think we are as human beings, people need a reason to WANT to give away some of their own hard earned money. Getting family and friends to donate is one thing, but enticing that random stranger who stumbled upon your cause is quite another.
Things like a detailed description of your campaign, videos, testimonials, and outline of how the money will be used will definitely help inform people of exactly what your dreams and aspirations are, but still may not have them reaching into their pockets to fork over their credit card information.
This is where promotional merchandise can lend a helping hand.
Spend a little to make a lot
There’s a reason we’re having a fundraiser though, we need the money…how is buying schwag going to help us reach our goal?
The thought of getting something in exchange for their contribution can be enough for some to put their money behind something that really believe in. It also demonstrates that you appreciate what they have given and recognizing them personally for their donation.
One of my favorite companies ever from ABC’s Shark Tank is Tom + Chee. A grilled cheese and tomato soup restaurant famous for their grilled cheese DONUT! They were able to close a deal with Barbara and just now have started to franchise out.
One couple, Tim and Pam Adams, is trying to raise funds to bring a Tom + Chee franchise to Toledo, OH. As you can see from the (left) image, they are using promotional products to show their appreciation for donations.
As thoughtful as a handwritten ‘Thank You’ card is, something like a custom printed t-shirt to go along with their donation is something they can wear with pride.
New donors are significantly more motivated if you offer a free gift in return, both to give at all and to give more than expected. That is why the tiered structure works so well. Along with giving people an incentive to donate, the feeling of giving releases feel-good hormones like serotonin, oxytocin, endorphins, and dopamine which leads to…
From the business side of things, giving away schwag is a smart way to jump start your fundraiser. Branded merchandise leads to more eyes on your company logo. This leads to conversation and because the people that have donated want to see you succeed, they are more willing to become the newest spokespeople for your cause.
Promotional merchandise can work for a fundraiser in a very similar fashion to what Shark Tank did for Tom + Chee. Appearing on national television sparked the interest of others watching across the country. It got the attention of news outlets and journalists as well. While you may not get the mass numbers that ABC can provide, something like a single branded t-shirt can get over 2,000 impressions alone.