Of all businesses, registered charities are perhaps those who have to be most careful with their budgets. Advertising should be carefully considered, as every penny has potentially been raised through hard work and often through the efforts of volunteers. However, fundraising is not possible without promoting the charity. For charities, promotional products can be utilised in two ways; as giveaways to increase awareness of the brand, and as products to sell at a profit.
Saleable products are a good way for charities to raise money; people are often happy to pay for an item if they know a percentage of the cost goes directly to the work of the charity. These can range from practical items such as printed mugs, to impulse purchases such as bags of sweets. Many charities have an online shop as part of their website, but branded items can also be sold at events, fairs, and within charity shops themselves. Many charities also now have point of sale displays, which are left on reception desks of businesses, surgeries, and in other shops. Working on a honesty-box basis, funds are raised by the sale of pens, key rings, and even small cuddly toys. All these items are printed with the charity logo and contact details. For a small initial investment, these items generate a large amount of brand awareness, due to the placement of the display, and the portability of the goods once sold.
Larger saleable items are usually chosen either due to their practical nature, or their potential to be given as a gift. Mugs and umbrellas are popular items for a charity to sell; they are necessary items, which consumers often prefer to buy from charity in order that they benefit from the proceeds. Many people choose gifts from charity products for a similar reason. The recipient is also likely to feel happy knowing that the present has benefited someone in need. How about a charity branded food hamper, or toiletries set? The classic items at this time of year are, of course, charity Christmas cards and calendars – a calendar is a lovely gift to give, and can be personalised with a charity logo and relevant pictures for each month.
Giveaways are a vital element of charity advertising, handed out at fundraising events and on promotional stands. For organised charity sporting events, it is standard practice to provide branded t-shirts for those participating. These will give a massive visual impact at the time of the event, plus participants will often wear their t-shirts to and from the event. Water bottles and sweatbands are also popular giveaways for fun runs, and have a great print area.
Other cost effective giveaways include latex balloons, which give a great visual impact; balloons can also be helium filled for extra effect. Trolley coin key rings remain a best selling promotional item, as do silicone wristbands, stickers, and pin badges. Indeed, items such as wristbands are often popular in the non-charity retail sector, and the craze transfers well to a fundraising setting, even becoming highly collectible items. Printed logobugs, yoyos or frisbees would all add a fun element to a charity promotion. As a result of popularity with children, such novelty items have a high retention value.
Whether for a special event, or as part of ongoing awareness, promotional products are vital to help the growth of charity fundraising.