How to Sell T-Shirts to Raise Money

by Steven Lafler

T-shirts are a great vehicle for fundraising. You will need a design that clearly communicates your message, and you will need to get the word out. When you offer a good looking T-shirt as a fundraiser, it motivates people to donate, and they help spread the word by wearing the T-shirt. You can also sell T-shirts strictly as a business for profit.

Create a T-shirt design that is related to your fundraiser. You can use the existing logo of the organization you are fundraising for and add to it if desired. To create a design, use visual elements such as illustration, photos and words. Gather the elements for your design. Open a file in a graphics program. Keyboard in any words, and import any photo or illustration. Lay them out in an eye pleasing way. Print out the design to check it.

Ask screen printers for prices for printing the T-shirts, and whether discounts are offered for nonprofit groups. Print a quantity that you are sure you can sell. Order shirts from a quality printer who quotes you a fair price. Be sure to see a proof shirt before printing the whole order. It is standard to pay 50 percent upon ordering, 50 percent upon delivery.

Create a marketing plan to sell the T-shirts and execute the plan. Post a sample shirt in a public area with a sign up sheet for orders. Be sure to include "size" on the sign up sheet. Set up a table at the fundraiser with clear signs using big, bold letters to announce the shirts, and prominently display them. Announce the T-shirt in any newsletters, blogs, websites or emails connected to the fundraiser. Reach out to the extended families involved in the fundraiser. Tap in to the larger community related to the fundraiser, listing the T-shirt in appropriate media and selling the T-shirt at community events. Create a press release and send it to appropriate media.

When supplies run low, reorder T-shirts if there is demand. Upon completion of reorders, announce that shirts are newly available in newsletters and blogs connected to the fundraiser. Consider offering new styles or colors of shirts, especially if you have requests for these. Plan to offer a new fundraising T-shirt design once or twice a year.

Tips

  • Be sure to order a variety of sizes. Consider whether you will need child sizes and women's style shirts.
  • Consider screen printing T-shirts yourself to save money. Start with a simple one color print and practice until you make clean prints.

Tips

  • The cheapest screen printers are not always the best deal. Ask to see a sample of the brand of T-shirt they will print on, and check the quality of their work before ordering. Get a firm delivery date before ordering.

Things Needed

  • T-shirt design
  • Computer
  • Graphics program
  • Screen printer
  • Marketing plan

Photo Credits

  • Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images