Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter

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December 14, 2018

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Fundraising with CafePress

by Deane Brengle

Many small nonprofit groups would like custom t-shirts for their events. Or maybe they're looking for coffee mugs with their logo to give away as donation incentives. Or hats with their logo to sell to members and supporters to promote awareness of their group. But despite the need they can't justify the funds to design and print the minimum amounts of these items that local suppliers demand.

Enter CafePress riding to the rescue!

With CafePress you can create and sell an amazing variety of products with no up front costs and no inventory worries. Your group can set up your own online store at CafePress and sell your own personalized products 24/7 - 365 days a year. You pick the products you want to sell, personalize them, and set your own prices. CafePress does the rest. It couldn't be easier.

Here are just some of the over 70 products you can personalize and sell in your online store-

  • T-shirts, shirts & sweatshirts
  • Hats
  • Coffee cups & mugs
  • Posters
  • Bumper stickers
  • Magnets & mouse pads
  • CDs (audio & data - your own content)
  • Calendars
  • Tote bags
  • Christmas ornaments
  • Greeting cards
  • License plate frames
  • And even books. Print your own cookbooks, handbooks, histories and more.

Here is what CafePress does-

  • Gives you a free online shop to promote your products.
  • Produces each item when ordered using their unique print-on-demand technology.
  • Handles all payment transactions including major credit cards.
  • Ships your products worldwide.
  • Manages all returns/exchanges.
  • Provides customer service via toll-free phone and email.
  • Sends you a monthly check for your earnings on sales.

Here is what you do-

  • Set up a CafePress account (free).
  • Prepare and upload your artwork (free beginners image workshop).
  • Pick the products you want to sell and the price.
  • Launch your online shop (free).
  • Collect your profits once a month.

Here is how the fundraising part works-

Each item has a base price that includes all the fees associated with making and selling the item. You simply set your retail price above the base price. When you sell an item, CafePress keeps the base price and sends you the markup.

For example:

  • The Value T-Shirt has a base price of $8.99
  • You decide to markup the price up to $13.99
  • When you sell one shirt, you generate earnings of $5.00
  • They send you a commission check for your total markups once per month

If you want to purchase items for your group with out the mark up that is possible too. This is great for give-aways, gifts, prizes, incentives and rewards.

Get the Word Out

Because you get your own online CafePress store your nonprofit doesn't have to have its own website for this fundraiser but it sure will help to spread the word to your members if you do. Create a banner or a text link to your CafePress store right on the front page of your nonprofit's website. To introduce this fundraiser it wouldn't hurt to write an article about the program and what you will use the funds for. Include the article on your website (with a link to the store). Include links to your online CafePress store in your newsletter, in any emails that you send members, and in your new member and volunteer packets.

Generating awareness about this fundraiser is how you make it initially successful. Keeping this fundraiser in front of your members is how you generate funds on an ongoing basis.

CafePress is Tops

There are several companies trying to be as good as CafePress but none even comes close. I've checked and they have a very good reputation and their products are high quality. The first hand reports I've read about their customer support and commitment to satisfying their customers backs it all up. I'm recommending CafePress for all your group's personalized product needs.

Find out more about fundraising with Cafe Press


About the Author:

Deane Brengle is the editor of several free online publications that cover fundraising for small nonprofit groups. You can visit these publications and read more about fundraising in articles by him and other experts in the field at The Fund$Raiser Cyberzine, The Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter, and Fundraising Booklets.

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