As a charity, you likely know that events take some serious planning and people power. But done right, the numerous benefits of charity events make them worth it. In addition to hitting realistic fundraising goals, events build relationships and engage your key supporters, making them feel closer to your cause.
Custom charity merchandise is a key component to maximise these benefits. Special giveaways or merchandise tables can raise your visibility, help you reach a new donor base and generate both funds and buzz. If that’s not enough, consider this: the 2019 Global Ad Impressions Study asked UK consumers about their preferred type of advertising. The top response? Promotional products! In this post, we dive deeper into some of the reasons why you should incorporate charity event merchandise for your next campaign.
3 Reasons to Use Merchandise for Charity Events
Build Brand Awareness and Recognition
Merchandise is a great way to build awareness beyond the event itself. According to a survey, promo products generated a desirable impression of an organization nearly half the time. Practical, unique merchandise that carries your charity’s message will be seen again and again by recipients, wherever they take it. Event merchandise also serves a nice memento for event participants and volunteers.
If your goal is to raise the visibility of your charity, you might want to consider clothing or other wearable products, as this tends to generate the most impressions. And, after the merchandise plays its course, more than half of people are likely to give the product to someone else, according to the Global Ad Impressions study. This “never-ending chain” is a great way to extend the visibility of your charity for years to come.
For example, parkrun organises weekly timed runs that are free and easy for anyone to take part in. The charity aims to have an event in “every community that wants one” and encourages people to join existing runs or start a new one if it doesn’t yet exist. Participants are encouraged to purchase an official apricot-coloured parkrun t-shirt and customise it with their home event. To date, parkrun has hosted nearly 150,000 events with over 2 million runners. Imagine how much exposure could be gained if even a small percentage of participants purchased and wore the iconic apricot t-shirts!
Engage with your Audience
Event merchandise is a great way to creatively engage with your audiences. For example, special charity badges can be used as a token of appreciation when people make a donation. You can also create higher-ticket luxury items like charity cufflinks as part of a raffle, silent auction or other creative contest.
Another fun way to engage your audience is to leverage the power of celebrities. Take for example, Battersea’s Coats & Collars gala, a fashion-themed event that raises a significant amount of funds for the charity each year. In the past, Battersea has recruited fashion heavyweights like Vivienne Westwood, Matthew Williamson and Philip Treacy, to aid the charity in achieving its goal to help more than 7,000 abandoned and unwanted dogs and cats. In addition to celebrity endorsements, the charity also created special merchandise to commemorate the event, such as these beautiful lapel badges, which were worn by some of its celebrity attendees!
Drive Additional Funds
Events are a great venue for selling your merchandise! Consider selling t-shirts, water bottles and other merchandise that carries your charity’s message at the event. Not only do these make great souvenirs for attendees, but they also bring in additional revenue. Keep your audience in mind when selecting products, as you want to create an offering that will entice your unique attendees.
For example, the Donkey Sanctuary hosts an array of events throughout the year. It offers an entire line of branded merchandise for visitors to take home a memory whilst showing their support for the charity. Take a look at the charity’s souvenir shop, which includes special items like a photo fridge magnet featuring Alfie and Benjy, which retails for £3.00. The charity offers a range of products and price points to appeal to a wide base of supporters, including trolley coin keyrings and lightweight cotton bags for life.
In closing, here’s a few final tips to keep in mind to select the perfect products, based on the results of the 2019 study:
- Keep it local! According to the study, nearly half of UK consumers have a more favorable opinion of an organization if the product was made right here in the UK.
- Make it green! More than half of people will feel positively about an organization if the product is environmentally friendly. At Rocket Charities, we offer a range of unique eco-friendly products.
- Seek an ethical manufacturer! Nearly half of UK consumers have a favorable view of an organisation if the product was produced by a socially responsible company.
We hope this post and some of the statistics encourage you to add custom merchandise to your next charity event. We’d love to hear about your goals and help you pick the perfect products to build awareness, engage your audience and, of course, raise funds. Please get in touch with our charity experts today!