In the nonprofit event space, things have come a long way from the scratchy, cotton logo t-shirt. Branded merchandise and apparel are a symbol of accomplishment, recognition of achievement, and a statement of shared personal values. It’s also an incentive, an award, and if chosen wisely, provides long-lasting marketing value.
The 24 Foundation has long recognized the power of branded merchandise and apparel as all of the above; harnessing it to help raise nearly $25 million for cancer navigation and survivorship programs since 2002. The Dunstan Group has been a long-time partner, provider, and participant.
“Branded merchandise, swag, and apparel are an integral part of any event, especially a nonprofit event that relies heavily on individuals to fundraise,” says Katy Ryan, Executive Director at 24 Foundation. “The items we order are a great way to show appreciation and incentivize participants to reach their fundraising goals.”
For those unfamiliar, the Charlotte-based Foundation hosts the annual 24 Hours of Booty. The 24-hour event welcomes a diverse population of riders and walkers who gather together in support of the foundation’s mission to help people navigate the maze of a cancer diagnosis. One of the first participants connect with the brand is through registration and packet pick-up, where cyclists and walkers are excited to receive their branded event t-shirt and see first-hand the incentive items they’ve earned through fundraising.
Ryan believes merchandise is a critical factor in recruitment and retention. Not only does the event represent a way to have a ton of fun while doing a lot of good, it also an outward expression of the foundation’s appreciation and recognition of participant and volunteer efforts. They also serve as a visual reminder of the mission, which is essential in the competitive world of nonprofit fundraising.
“Branded merch and swag are some of the very first things we look at each year before kicking off our campaign,” adds Ryan. “The investment is returned to us many times over when compared to the impact on retention and stewardship.”
The 2022 24 Hours of Booty event is July 29-30 here in Charlotte. You can find out more about it, donate, or register to participate here: https://www.24foundation.org/home/charlotte/