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Our Promotional Merchandise Ideas for Charity Fundraising

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Author: Rachel
Date: May 7, 2024

A huge part of the charity fundraising process is about raising awareness. Increased visibility for your charity is one of the best ways to encourage people to donate their time, their money or their efforts.

Creating promotional merchandise for charity fundraising can seem counterintuitive. If you’re trying to raise money for charity, why would you spend that money on promo items? In fact, the money spent on promotional items is often a tiny fraction of the money raised as a result of the increased visibility. 

The key is to strike a balance between the cost of the items and the fundraising possibilities. This will enable you to ensure that your fundraising activities are always moving in the right direction.

Why are promotional items effective for fundraising?

Why are promotional items effective for fundraising?

There are a number of reasons that promotional items are so effective for raising money. For starters, people will be more likely to sign up for email updates if they are also getting something out of the transaction. Once you have their email address, you can give them more information about your charity and why they should donate.

Secondly, people like to be able to “show off” their altruistic side. From bumper stickers to pens, people are more likely to use these freebies if they are associated with an altruistic cause, rather than something purely commercial.

And finally, it helps to increase brand awareness and recognition. Every charity should have a strong and distinct brand that helps to make it more recognisable, as this is a simple way to help individuals to identify with your goals and objectives. Without a strong brand, it will be difficult for members of the public to understand what you really stand for.

How to use promotional items for fundraising

How to use promotional items for fundraising

There are a few different ways you can use promotional items to help with your fundraising efforts.

  • You can give away promotional items in exchange for signing up to a mailing list. This is often preferred over signing up to donate on the spot, as it means people have time to think about if this is right for them.
  • You can give items to those who sign up for a monthly commitment. This is an effective way to say ‘thank you’ in an inexpensive way.
  • You can give away items at an event with your contact details on so that individuals can find out more about your cause at a later day. This method is effective if you are running a fundraising event like a fun run, as attendees will be able to find out how they can take part in the future.
  • You can use promotional items as prizes during events as a fun way to get the crowd engaged. In this case, you would create fewer high value items that would be highly coveted as prizes. 

Which promotional items are best for fundraising?

Which promotional items are best for fundraising?

If you’re planning a fundraising event and want to make the most of the promotional giveaway angle, here are a few different items you can consider:

  • Pens – perhaps the simplest fundraising item is promotional pens. A free pen is always welcome and these are also low cost, high value items that will allow you to spread your message and increase brand recognition with a simple item.
  • Sticky notes – another low-cost yet high value item is a pad of sticky notes. Your branding and contact details will be on every sheet, so you have the potential to spread your message far and wide.
  • Reusable water bottles – while these are slightly higher in value, they are items that you can guarantee people will use while they are out and about. People will love to show off their altruistic side by proudly using their charity water bottle.
  • Stickers – from laptops to cars, people love to decorate their possessions with stickers from organisations that are aligned with their values. They then become a walking (or driving) billboard for your organisation and will spread your message far and wide. 
  • Badges – badges are low cost yet highly effective for increasing charity awareness. They’re also small and easy to transport, making them highly effective for charities that like to get out and about and be visible at lots of different events.

Top tips for maximising the value of promotional items

Top tips for maximising the value of promotional items

In order to ensure you don’t waste money on promotional items that you can’t even give away, try following these simple steps:

  • Stick to brand colours and make sure you include the basics, including your logo, charity name, contact details and website address.
  • For items like stickers and sticky note pads, try including a QR code to direct people to a quick donate page.
  • Make the design evergreen. Rather than branding your items for a particular event, keep it general, so you can reuse the same promotional items time and time again.
  • Change the design periodically to make your promotional items collectible.

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