Humanity is back in trend, everyone. Whatever you do in the promotional products industry, taking a human-centric approach is vital. A staggering 85% of consumers care about whether a company reflects their values by supporting causes – that’s 17 out of 20 of your customers.
So, if your brand isn’t already doing something, you’re leaving a lot on the table.
The "Why" Matters
This is essential: Why did you pick your particular cause? Was it a personal experience or something your team feels strongly about? This “why” can become the backbone of your fundraising strategy, lending an air of authenticity that just can’t be faked. So, spell it out, loud and clear.
Take our “Step Up for Morocco” fundraising campaign. On 8 September 2023, a devastating earthquake with a 6.8 magnitude struck Morocco’s Marrakesh–Safi region, causing mass deaths in mountain villages that have collapsed in on themselves.
For our Moroccon teammate Meryem, the news of this disaster was uncomfortably close to home.
Our “Step Up for Morocco” is a special fundraising initiative aimed at aiding those affected by this recent disaster, inspired by the love and respect we have for our teammate and friend. Starting with a sponsored internal step challenge, we’ll also be hosting a paid webinar around the power of fundraising stores. Stay tuned for more!
Branded Items: More Than Just Swag
The power of branded items goes far beyond their physical form; they serve as catalysts for engagement and connection. When someone dons a T-shirt with your organization’s logo or carries a tote bag branded with your message, they’re not just using a product; they’re endorsing your cause and opening the door for conversations with others.
Think about it.
Every time someone asks, “Hey, that’s a cool bag, where’d you get it?” or “I like your shirt, what’s it for?”, the wearer becomes an ambassador for your brand or cause. This spontaneous and organic word-of-mouth is invaluable and often more effective than direct marketing efforts. People are more likely to trust a recommendation from a friend or family member, after all.
What’s more, branded items have longevity. While a social media post might get lost in the endless scroll and a print ad might end up in the recycling bin, a quality branded item can last for years, continuously garnering attention and sparking conversations. This extended lifespan means your initial investment in these items can yield returns far into the future.
And let’s not overlook the social proof aspect. When people see others supporting a cause, they are often more likely to join in. A group of people wearing the same branded T-shirt at an event, for instance, creates a sense of community and shared purpose that can be incredibly compelling.
Fundraising Right Where It Happens
Here’s a pro tip: Nobody will donate if they have to click through five pages to find your super-hidden “support our cause” button. When you make it easy for people to donate, you’re more likely to garner support. Brikl’s MicroStores are designed with this principle in mind—usability.
With Brikl’s MicroStores, outside of creating a standalone fundraising store, you have the ability to customize the shopping experience to include a highly visible “support our cause” option. This can be placed strategically within the shopping cart, or even as an add-on to a product. For example, customers could be given the choice to “Round up for Charity” as they check out, or perhaps add a small donation in exchange for a limited-edition item. The point is to make it so straightforward and compelling that customers can’t help but take action.
By eliminating the friction often associated with online donations—think multi-page forms and hidden buttons—you’re maximizing the opportunity for contributions. It’s about removing the obstacles and making the path to donation as smooth as possible, all while enhancing the customer experience.
Tracking and Analytics
Not to get all nerdy, but keeping tabs on your fundraising metrics can be an eye-opener. Are people more likely to donate when they’re buying a particular product? Or at a particular time?
Fundraising metrics aren’t just a “nice-to-have”—they’re essential for optimizing your charitable initiatives over time. You’re not just gathering numbers for the sake of numbers; you’re gathering actionable insights that can seriously drive your fundraising game.
For instance, if you notice that donations surge when people are purchasing a specific product, that’s golden information. Maybe there’s something emotionally compelling about that product that encourages people to give. You could double down on that by featuring it more prominently in your store or using it as the main attraction in promotional materials.
Similarly, if you find that donations spike at a particular time of day or week, that’s another critical insight. Maybe your target audience is more inclined to donate during their weekend downtime, or perhaps they’re late-night shoppers. Understanding these patterns enables you to time your promotional campaigns or social media posts more effectively to capture the greatest number of willing donors.
You could go even deeper with A/B testing—altering one variable at a time (like the placement of the donation button or the wording of your call-to-action) and tracking how these changes affect donations. It’s all about a continuous loop of refining your approach based on what the data tells you.
Keeping a close eye on metrics enables you to adapt, refine, and ultimately succeed in your fundraising goals, giving you a backstage pass to your audience’s behaviors and preferences.
Building Your Tribe: It's a Movement, Not a Moment
The aim isn’t just to get someone to open their wallet once and then forget about your cause or brand. What you’re really trying to do is build a community of people who are invested, not just financially but emotionally, in what you’re doing. These are your brand advocates—people who will not only donate but also share your cause with their friends, shout about it on social media, and stick with you in the long haul. That’s far more valuable than a one-time donation.
The key to turning a one-time supporter into a lifelong advocate goes beyond the transaction; it’s about the relationship. You have to engage them in a way that resonates emotionally, keeps them informed, and makes them feel like a part of something greater than themselves. This requires ongoing communication, storytelling, and transparency.
Take our “Step Up for Morocco” fundraiser, for example; once someone makes a donation, what happens next? Not only do we send a ‘Thank you’ email, we take the opportunity to deepen the relationship by sharing a story of how their donation will make an impact and giving them the tools to easily share the cause with others.
Consider offering multiple engagement points that are not just about giving money. Could they volunteer? Can they contribute in-kind donations? Maybe they can participate in community forums, attend special donor events, or even visit the community or project their donations are supporting? The goal is to offer a range of experiences that enrich their interaction with your cause, turning a mere transaction into a meaningful relationship.
Building an army of brand advocates means you can’t just focus on the ‘ask.’ You have to focus on the ‘after’—after they click ‘Donate’, after they receive their product, after they’ve been with you for a month, a year, a decade. Consistent, meaningful, engaging experiences are what turn one-time donors into lifelong supporters.
Keep Them Posted
Regular updates keep your tribe engaged. If they donated last month, tell them what their money has achieved so far. Keep that loop of positivity going, and you’ll have a committed group that stays invested.
Real stories from real people can make a world of difference. If your cause has a local angle, get testimonials from people within the community. Their words can turn casual shoppers into committed donors.
And transparency isn’t just a buzzword; it’s a trust-builder! Make sure you share how every cent is being used, and the real-world impact it’s having. After your campaign concludes, make sure you celebrate and share the results with your community. Don’t just say, “We raised X amount of money.” Say, “We raised X amount of money, which has helped provide clean water to Y number of families, educated Z number of kids, or saved the habitat of W species.”
Speak to an expert today
More tips to drive sales across your fundraising stores
You’ve got a world-changing cause on your hands, so don’t keep it a secret. Turn your fundraising store into a hub of social sharing. Team up with other businesses or influencers who align with your cause. A little shoutout from a big name can do wonders for your campaign, lending credibility and widening your audience reach.
We’re currently contacting businesses and people across the promotional industry to support our Step Up campaign. Are you interested in supporting us? You legend! Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Why do people love those little “add $1 to your bill for charity” boxes at checkout counters? Because they’re effortless. Adopt the same strategy online with a donation box, and watch those dollars pile up.
Who says doing good can’t be fun? Add some elements of gamification, like badges for repeat donors or leaderboards. Nothing like a little healthy competition to drive those numbers up, eh?
💡Top tip: Shout out your top donors in your Brikl fundraising store to spotlight your “Legendary Tier” donors.
Supporting a local cause? That’s the jackpot. People love helping their communities. So, use geolocation data across Google and social to target potential donors who have a vested interest in improving their own backyard.
💡Top tip: Tie your Brikl fundraising store to designs created by local artists.
Remember, we’re in the age of customization. Use hyper-targeted MicroStores to curate a shopping experience that speaks directly to each individual customer. When they feel seen, they’re more likely to give.
The Wrap-Up: A New Paradigm for Fundraising and Brand Building
We’re in an era where the traditional lines between business, advocacy, and community-building are blurring. Whether you’re in the promotional products industry or any other sector, remember that being human-centric is not just a buzzword—it’s a business imperative. People don’t just want to know what you do; they want to know why you do it. Your “why” isn’t just a nice story; it’s the emotional and ethical backbone of your brand.
Our “Step Up for Morocco” campaign exemplifies the power of blending commerce, cause, and community. By leveraging the utility and longevity of branded items, optimizing the user experience through Brikl’s MicroStores, and diligently tracking our metrics, we have turned a moment of collective compassion into a long-lasting movement.
Yet, our most crucial asset isn’t a snazzy website or an eye-catching tote bag; it’s you—our community of supporters, donors, and brand advocates. We understand that true engagement goes beyond transactions. It involves establishing a meaningful relationship, fostering a sense of community, and above all, maintaining an open, transparent dialogue with all of you.
With regular updates, personalized experiences, and a relentless focus on local and tangible impact, we’re not just raising funds; we’re raising a community of people passionately committed to a cause. After all, when business and benevolence go hand in hand, everyone wins.
If you haven’t yet joined us, there’s always room for more in our growing tribe. Your participation—whether through donations, social sharing, or simply spreading the word—brings us one step closer to our collective goals. Let’s make doing good a lifelong commitment, not just a fleeting trend.
Thank you for walking this path with us. Here’s to many more steps forward, together!