In the non-profit and charity sector, it is a constant battle to find new fundraising options. Selling merchandise for donations has always been a viable route, but more and more charities have been switching to online retail for fundraising.
I'm not saying that you should abandon the in-person merchandising events full stop. I'm just saying that one member of Virtue has sold more than his fair share of cat sweaters at the Spruce Meadows Christmas Market ...
One of my happy customers
If you have any interest in bringing in some extra funds through online retailers, here are 3 options that may work well for you:
Expert Level - Do it yourself!
With platforms like Shopify, it has never been easier to build your own online store. Not to mention they have some incredibly helpful apps available to help you bring in more donations.
Plus, as a charity, you have full control over all aspects of the shop including, pricing, manufacturing, shipping etc. Take a look at this snip from the pdsa charity store below:
This leads me to my next point. If you fully run your own store you have a ton of extra responsibilities (shipping, returns, etc). The pdsa makes it look easy with a cute cat playing with a Kong Catnip Kickeroo Refillable toy, but there is a ton of work going on behind the scenes.
- Full control over the site and offering
- Charity receives all proceeds from purchases
- Might be tough for a resource-strapped charity to execute correctly
Intermediate Level - Find a Partner
Now that we have a starting point, let's take a step back. If you are a smaller charity and do not have the resources (time, money, other) to start your store. Fear not, there are other options available.
Teemill is a company that allows charities to easily fundraise through online merchandising. Sign up, and upload your assets and Teemill will take care of the work behind the scenes.
With a 4.8/5 on Trustpilot (over 1000 reviews), this is a great option for charities looking to enter the retail fundraising space.
- Much lower cost commitment than building your own store
- You have your own branded merchandise
- Smaller percentage of revenue on sales (when compared to running your own store)
Beginner Level - Have you heard of a little company called Virtue?
So, you want to get into the world of retail charity fundraising but are looking for the easiest option. Enter Virtue
I'm sure that you have already checked out our How it Works for Charities Page, so I'll keep it brief.
At Virtue, we try to keep things as simple as possible. Similar to services like AmazonSmile (RIP), Virtue is an online platform that allows charities to fundraise through existing online retailers. This is a great option for charities because you can keep the process as low touch as you want.
Simply join the platform and let the retailers find you. Or, you can tell your supporters about Virtue as a fundraising option (and we can take care of the rest). Join the over 20,000 causes on Virtue.
- Free to fundraise
- Fast sign-up (we have automated CPAs)
- Long term fundraising partnerships
- Team up with retailers that can promote your charity for you!
If we can support you in any way - email us at firstname.lastname@example.org