The Power of Promotional Products for Your Nonprofit
While much of today's advertising and promoting now lives online, real-life promotional products still prove to be popular and effective choices for marketing campaigns. As a nonprofit, it might seem crazy to spend money on promo products when that cash could otherwise go toward your cause. Yet, little gifts such as branded pens and water bottles can go a long way. With this in mind, let's take a deep dive into the power of promo products and how they can help your nonprofit.
How Do Promos Support Fundraising Efforts?
As the old saying goes, sometimes you have to spend money to make money. The idea is just as important in the nonprofit sector as the for-profit sector. While you might have to pinch your pennies a little tighter than corporate entities, the result is still the same: Branded promos help people learn about your organization, mission and values.
Between free items that are given out at fundraisers and branded products that are sold at gift shops around town, well-planned promo products should be a key part of your nonprofit's marketing strategy. Every time a person interacts with your organization's brand, you increase the chances of:
- Bolstering donations
- Gaining volunteers
- Raising awareness
- Acquiring recommendations and support from the community
Most people love swag. It only makes sense to give individuals a little something special, so they'll remember your cause when they have a bit of extra money in their pockets. The key is staying at the forefront of their minds, so it's important to keep a circle of like-minded people close to your organization's heart.
How Do Promos Empower Your Nonprofit?
There's a fine balance between finding trinkets that people find interesting and investing in useful promos that will go the long haul. As a nonprofit, you want to make sure you're spending dollars on items that matter to people's everyday lives. Think about objects that can be used on a daily basis — such as pens, notebooks, drinkware and t-shirts. These options are not only available to be used by the people who interact with your organization, but they can also be passed from person to person, easily increasing your reach and mission.
Thankfully, when planning the right promos, you don't have to spend your entire organization's marketing budget on a handful of products. In fact, small, everyday items can stretch your cash in quite a few ways — giving potential volunteers and donors tangible gifts that will remind them of your organization (e.g. every time they reach for that pen or cup of coffee).
There are four main reasons promos work well for nonprofits:
Promos are purchased at wholesale rates, making them extremely cost-effective. You can buy one or two items in bulk, and reap the reward of brand awareness for several trade shows, annual conferences or meet-and-greets to come. Plus, even promotional products on the pricier side are usually far cheaper than other forms of advertising. Since your potential volunteers or donors will walk away with a gift they can hold and use, they're more likely to think of you during gift-giving seasons.
2. Brand recognition
Many nonprofits struggle with brand recognition, as this seems like such a corporate concept. In reality, it's essential that people recognize your logo and name with the good deeds you do for the world. Promos can help bring brand awareness to your charity while simultaneously sparking conversation when people ask about your organization.
Some promos are great at trade shows, but they don't have the staying power to be used in the real world. However, if you embark on a mission to put your organization's logo on reusable bags, water bottles and other well-planned promo items, people will likely tout your nonprofit’s name as they travel from point A to point B. The amount of exposure you can gain from a free promotional giveaway is astounding if you put the proper thought and planning into the mix before placing promo orders.
You're not relegated to a single type of ink pen, and you're not required to purchase mouse pads. Today's promotional product vendors offer thousands of great options you can give to donors, volunteers and future prospects. Consider items that not only speak to a certain utilitarian aspect, but also those that are fun and match your organization’s mission. When you're able to tie your promos with the ideals of your organization, that's when you'll truly start to connect with your community.
Strategically chosen swag can mean the difference between someone learning about your organization in passing and someone becoming involved in your mission. When you're allocating marketing money, be sure to set aside a budget devoted to branded promos. It's so much easier to get the word out about your good work when you can hand potential supporters something tangible with your contact information printed on it.
Rebecca Purrington is a promotional products expert with Crestline Custom Promotional Products. She has more than five years of consultative sales experience in the industry and holds degrees in both social/behavioral sciences and business management.