· Jesse Poteet · fundraising · 4 min read

Using T-Shirts Sales as Fundraisers for Schools and Organizations

Custom t-shirts and apparel can be a great fundraising idea for any organization.

Custom t-shirts and apparel can be a great fundraising idea for any organization.

Just about every grade school in the country raises money through fundraisers and of course the same is true for non-profits. We’ve all been asked to buy popcorn, cookies, and candy bars on our way out of the local grocery store. Food sales are the tried and true methods of raising money for organizations of all types and for good reason - it works. But I think there’s another, not-so-often used fundraising method that has the potential to bring in some big time revenue and, of course, it’s t-shirts.

But why do t-shirts work as great fundraising opportunities? Here are the top 3 reasons I believe t-shirts make great fundraisers for your organization.

1. Everyone loves t-shirts

Seriously. I know very, very few people who don’t enjoy wearing a nice, comfortable t-shirt. Especially when it’s got a great design printed on the front. That makes it an easier sell. If you compare it to other products being sold in fundraisers, it’s not as easy to say “everyone loves these.” For example, as crazy as it sounds, not everyone likes cookies or candy bars.

2. Great marketing for your group

T-shirts make great conversation starters. Wear a t-shirt that looks comfortable, in a nice color, and has a really cool design on the front and I’m betting you’ll get asked about it at some point. This creates a great opportunity to brag on your group and explain that the shirt was part of a fundraising effort. If you know your group plans to do the fundraiser again, you could let the person you’re talking to know that there will be another opportunity for them to give and receive a shirt of their own in the future.

3. The revenue potential is really large

Why is the revenue potential large? Well, one reason is that people are willing to pay higher prices for a nice shirt than they are for a box of cookies. You would think that should mean the cookies sell easier, and it does help, but many times the profit margin on the cookies and other food items is too small. With t-shirts, though, profit margin is much, much larger. The reason margins are higher with t-shirts is because of how screen printing works and, more specifically, how screen print pricing works.

Basically it’s like this: The more you get (quantity) the less you pay per item. So if you sell 100 shirts at $20 each and your cost is $8, then your profit is only $12 per shirt, which is a total of $1,200. But if you sell 500 shirts at the same 20 level, your cost goes down. So let’s say your new cost at 500 shirts is only $5. That means your new profit per shirt is now $15 and your total fundraising profit jumps to $7,500.

Compare that to the fixed costs of things like cookies. If a box of cookies sells for $15 and your profit per box of cookies is $12, then if you sell 100 boxes, you make $1,200 just like with the t-shirts. But, what if you sold 500 boxes of cookies? Well your costs stayed the same, so your total profit becomes $6,000.

So, as you can see, by doing a t-shirt fundraiser and still selling the exact same number of products, you walk away with 25% more profit!

Try t-shirts for your next fundraiser

If your group is currently looking for your next fundraising opportunity, t-shirts may be a great option. All you need is a really cool design that people will love combined with a great shirt option that’s comfortable and comes in a nice color option. As far as the design goes, it does not have to be a design related to your group, just something people love. For example, out here people love Colorado themed designs. So a great fundraising opportunity for a group in Colorado is to do a cool Colorado design even if it has nothing to do with what their group is about. Remember, this isn’t about marketing or promoting your group, it’s about raising money.

Reach out if your group is ready to explore a t-shirt fundraiser. I’d love to help!

    Back to Blog

    Related Posts

    View All Posts »