About the Milwaukee Film and the Festival:
This month's cause: Supporting Anti-Bullying & Safe Schools for LGBT Youth
We're here to help you make a difference. The t-shirts sold on Ink to the People mean more than just a t-shirt sale - they mean support for sick or injured friends and family, rescue animals and shelters and a slew of other causes that are close to your heart.
We've created an infographic to help illustrate just what the money raised by our t-shirt sellers means to their communities and supporters. Take a look!
We're honored to work with the countless people who have contributed to helping others and making a difference, one t-shirt at a time.
As the days of summer dwindle and parents gear up (and can’t wait?) for the kids to head back to school, it seems that fundraising for a variety of school related needs always seem to follow close behind.
No matter the age - elementary, middle school or high school - there’s always a need to raise funds. Instead of some of the standard school fundraiser options such as wrapping paper or subscription sales, food sales or car washes, a t-shirt and apparel sale is a creative alternative for raising dollars for school needs.
Need some idea starters? Here are just a few ways in which schools can use a t-shirt sale to raise funds:
1. Class, Team and Club T-Shirts - Raise money for a class trip, for new sports or band equipment, to pay for an entry fee in a competition or cover costs for a drama production, and more.
2. School Fundraisers - An all-school fundraiser to help keep overall school costs down.
3. Class Projects - Whether the art class is working on a graphic design or apparel segment or the economics class is learning about supply, demand and marketing, there are plenty of lessons to be learned from a t-shirt sale project.
4. Field Trips - Raise funds to cover the cost of a trip, or simply have all the kids wear the same shirt or sweatshirt so that chaperones know who is in the group at the next field trip to the zoo.
5. Doing Good - Perhaps your child decides to raise money to help an organization or a person in need as part of a project, or a fellow student or their family is going through a tough time.
How would a t-shirt sale help raise funds for your school community? We’d love to see your designs and see how you rally your school. And remember to share your sale with your community - the more people that know about it, the more you’ll succeed!
Find more inspiration on Ink to the People's School Days Pinterest Board.
Need help? We’re here to help your sale succeed. Give us a call (888-862-2775) or send us an email to learn more and to have your questions answered.
How our Giving Back Program works: Each month, INK donates 10¢ of every single shirt that is sold through the site toward a monthly featured cause. Since October 2013, we have donated over $5,500.00 to various causes through our Giving Back Program.
This month's cause: The Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee
As we enter August and savor the last days of summer before the kids go back to school, we're giving back to the Boys & Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee.
Here's a little bit about the Boys & Girls Club:
Children have been coming to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Milwaukee since 1887, when Annabell Cook Whitcomb transformed two basement rooms at Plymouth Church in downtown Milwaukee into a Club for boys.
Today, they are the oldest and largest youth-serving agency in the city. Everyday, thousands of Milwaukee's most disadvantaged youth stream through their doors and meet positive role models, feel safe and secure, and participate in life-changing programming.
Their mission is simple: to inspire and empower all young people, especially those who need them most, to realize their full potential as productive, responsible and caring citizens.
For more information about the organization, please visit boysgirlsclubs.org.
UPDATE as of 09/10/14! If you are interested in being notified if this shirt or one like it become available again, sign-up to receive an email notification here.
In May, the Wisconsin Humane Society ran a t-shirt campaign to raise money to support their organization. Their campaign raised $3,199 with the sale of 237 shirts which far exceeded their expectations of their 15 t-shirt goal.
But what does that mean to them? The funds raised through the t-shirt sale will supply microchips to over 255 animals at the Wisconsin Human Society shelter and will pay for 30 spay or neuter surgeries for both dogs and cats. All animals in their adoption program are spayed or neutered and receive microchips with their new owner's information when they're adopted.
How did they do it?
> We worked together on creating a great looking t-shirt design that spoke to their pet adoption audience.
> Wisconsin Humane Society then consistently engaged their Facebook fans, Twitter followers and community members throughout the span of the t-shirt campaign.
> They followed up the campaign with photos and posts of the t-shirt in production and on buyers.
Need help with your design or campaign? We're here to help. Get in touch via email or by giving us a call (888-862-2775)!
Tell the story behind the shirt. Why are you raising money? Write a description for the shirt, right on the sale page, as well as post it to social media, or even create a dedicated Facebook page or group as your hub for communication.
Be the first to buy. If you don't stand behind your design or cause, can you expect others to do the same?
Don't just share it once. Keep your community (online, email, etc.) informed as your fundraising progresses. Take them along on your journey.
Thank your buyers. Be it in person, through a social media post or in an email. Recognize their generosity.
Show off the shirt once you receive it and encourage your buyers to do the same through sharing photos of themselves wearing the t-shirt on social media platforms like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. This will help create even more visibility and awareness for your cause.
There are plenty of great ways to take your buyers along on your journey. We’ll continue to share tips along the way. If you’d like them sent directly to you, subscribe to our email newsletter!
How our Giving Back Program works: Each month, INK donates 10¢ of every single shirt that is sold through the site toward a monthly featured cause. Since October 2013, we have donated over $5,000.00 to various causes through our Giving Back Program.
This month's cause: The Urban Ecology Center
Update: The numbers are in. We have raised $500.00 for Urban Ecology Center!
July, among other important causes, celebrates our Country’s National Parks and Recreation so in honor of that, we are giving back to the Urban Ecology Center.
From the Urban Ecology Center’s website:
At the Urban Ecology Center’s three locations the wonders of nature bring curious people together. Our programs bring our city’s children and families into nature and as a result our urban parks are safe to visit, our kids are learning what they need to know to succeed, and adults keep on learning about how our changing world around us works.
The Urban Ecology Center provides year-round educational programs for kids, families and adults of all ages. The cornerstone program is the Neighborhood Environmental Education Project serving kids in more than 44 urban Milwaukee schools each year. This program enables students to get to walk in the woods, stand in a river in hip waders or run along the beach at Lake Michigan when they might have no other opportunities to do so.
The school program is complemented by after school programs, summer camps and weekend activities designed to involve, inspire, educate and connect kids to each other, to caring mentors and to the natural world.
Additionally, children and families can participate in:
> Urban Adventures
> Weekend youth and family programs
> High School Outdoor Leaders
> Adult summer internship programs
> Citizen Science research projects
> Volunteer activities
We are honored to help support the Urban Ecology Center.
For more information about the organization, please visit urbanecologycenter.org.
You have a cause. You have an audience. You have decided to do some good. Now what? We’ve created this handy guide with tips on creating and sharing your t-shirt campaign - all designed to help your fundraiser succeed. And, as always, we’re here for you! If you have questions about anything, please contact us!
Starting a campaign
Choose a cause that others can get behind.
People love to support causes, especially when they are passionate about it too. Having an audience will help spread the word.
Create an attractive design.
Your t-shirt design should relate to your cause and be something people will be proud to wear. You can upload your own design or customize one of our many templates. If you still have a creative block, contact us and we can create a design for you.
Select an appropriate garment.
Most t-shirt campaigns do better if the garment is a basic fit and available in all sizes (Youth, Ladies and Adult). We recommend the Gildan 2000 Ultra Cotton T-shirt.
Keep it affordable.
While people might be willing to pay a little more, knowing that the funds are going to a good cause, keep your price reasonable. People expect to pay about $20-$30 for a shirt at a retail store. Keep your price in that ballpark and you will be on the mark. To minimize the base cost, use a basic style t-shirt, only use 1 color in your art and only decorate the front.
Set a reasonable goal.
Inspire your audience with an attainable goal. Keep in mind that the t-shirt campaign needs to reach that goal in order to be printed, so be realistic. We have found that many campaigns find their success at about 25-50 orders. The base cost per shirt actually decreases as your sales continue to increase. Say your goal is 25 shirts and you end up selling 100, you will receive the cost at 100 shirts, which means more funds for your cause.
Set a reasonable duration.
Give your supporters time to order, but not too much; typically, 7-14 days is best. However, if your t-shirt revolves around an event, make sure that your supporters will receive their order before that day comes. Allow 2 weeks after the campaign closes for delivery. If your event is less than 2 weeks away, contact us and we’ll work together to see if we can figure something out.
Tell your story.
Explain why you are running this t-shirt campaign and what you will do with the funds raised. Tell people how their support will make a difference. This can be done in the Description section of your campaign.
Running the campaign
Hit the ground running.
Buying the first t-shirt shows that you believe in your cause and encourages others to jump on board. Use this as an opportunity to tell people about your purchase, and how excited you are about your fundraiser.
Reach your audience.
Use social media and email to let people know about your t-shirt campaign. Tell them why you started the campaign, and what you’d like them to do (support the cause by placing an order, or share with their network to help spread the word, or both!).
Share your t-shirt campaign for free.
Here are some ways to get the word out that won’t cost you a pretty penny. Throughout your campaign, be sincere, open and honest.
- Email: The best way to tell your story and get support is to email your friends and family, directly. People can also help by forwarding your message onto others.
- Facebook: Post directly to Facebook from your campaign page. Post on relevant Facebook groups, fan pages and organization pages.
- Facebook Events: Creating and inviting your friends to a free Events page is a great way to create a communication hub for your campaign. There, you can post pictures of your design, post links to your Ink to the People campaign and keep your supporters up to date on your fundraising progress. Encourage others to participate and invite more friends. Learn more.
- Twitter: Tweet pictures of your design. Tell your followers about it, and link back to your campaign page. Use relevant hashtags including #TshirtsForGood.
- YouTube: Post a video of you telling your story and why you started a campaign. Post it on Facebook, too. Be sure to post a link to your campaign page on your video page so people can easily contribute.
- Instagram: Post your shirt while it’s for sale. Post photos of you and your supporters wearing your t-shirt. Use relevant hashtags including #TshirtsForGood.
Don’t forget about:
- Google+ and more.
Let Us Know: We want to see your campaign succeed. Mention Ink to the People in your posts, and chances are we’ll help you spread the word through our own Social Media networks. Find us at:
- Facebook: Facebook.com/InktothePeople
- Twitter: @inktothepeople
- Instagram: @inktothepeopledotcom
- Pinterest: Pinterest.com/InktothePeople
Post on your Social Media channels more than once, throughout the duration of the fundraiser. Posting 3-4 times per week on Facebook, and daily on Twitter will keep your campaign in the minds of your community. Be considerate. Posting too much will annoy your audience. If they have contributed, thank them right away.
Things to talk about:
- What does the cause mean to you?
- How will their support help the cause?
- Remind them that you need to meet your goal, otherwise the orders are cancelled.
- Follow up with your group, ask for their support.
- Announce when you hit your goal, or perhaps when you need 1 more sale.
- Let people know that the fundraiser is closing soon and that it is their last chance to order.
Reply to questions and comments. If someone reaches out, make sure you answer. DO NOT ignore people. If it is something only we can answer, please let us know and we will get back to you.
It’s the home stretch. The final push. A couple days before the campaign ends, remind your audience that time is running out. Reach out to your network and ask for their support with a purchase or a share.
This is your big moment. It’s exciting. On the last day of the campaign, tell your network that it is their last chance to purchase. Post a few times on Facebook and keep your audience up to date on the status of your fundraiser.
After the campaign
Announce the totals.
Tell your supporters how much your campaign raised for the cause. Remind them how that will make a difference. Let them know that we are now producing the items and that they will be delivered in about 10-14 days. They will receive an email with tracking info when we ship them out.
Thank your supporters.
A kind word means a lot, so show your gratitude to the people who stepped up and supported your cause. They will appreciate your sincerity.
Receive your funds.
Pending any returns or cancellations, funds are sent out about 3 weeks after the t-shirt campaign closes.
No, thank YOU.
We know you have a choice in who you use for your t-shirt needs and we are honored that you chose to use Ink to the People for your fundraiser. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us or check out our FAQ’s. And we’d love to hear your story and learn about your cause, so please send us pictures, notes and more!
Download this t-shirt fundraiser guide.