Fundraising for a charitable organization or cause is a noble altruistic endeavor for any individual. But how do you expand your sphere of influence to motivate others to support and get involved with your cause, and, particularly donate money?


To understand how to motivate, one must first dive into what moves others to feel compassionate. People are not convinced through reason alone. We have to remember there are incalculable worthy causes that people are introduced to throughout any given day. From a homeless person asking for spare change on the corner to large scale operations that work to protect whole regions in danger from civil wars. Some people have to insulate themselves emotionally because it gets so overwhelming.

How we motivate others to feel compassion is through erudite story telling. Obviously to do this, you must have a broad scope of understanding the cause on a personal basis. Instead of relying on the facts, tell an in-depth tale of an individual whose life has changed as a result of the problem you’re trying to solve with your charity fundraiser. Putting a face to the cause is one thing, but sharing details of the sufferer takes it to a different level. People are more compelled and drawn in by stories of distress.

fundraiser t-shirts

You can’t tell a full-blown story on a t-shirt but you can try to distill the biggest issues into a statement or slogan that relates to the overarching story. For taglines, brevity is best and makes it easier to remember. If you’re working on developing an ongoing charity, keep consistency in mind when coming up with your slogan. Repeated exposure to the concept behind the cause will help develop familiarity and increase the perception of legitimacy in people’s minds.

To remain consistent with storytelling choosing the face of your cause is sensible. This doesn’t necessarily have to be the same as a logo. A photo can be manipulated and simplified to work well for a variety of medium outputs like t-shirt art, banners, and newsletters. A digital artist should easily be able to simplify a chosen photo into lineart that can be used effectively and affordable across reproduction channels.

simplified logo

You may even consider outlining how donations or volunteer work could impact your cause in your messaging. Like $15 means 15 meals for example. Or a goal to be reached and what happens when that goal is attained, like a prosthetic leg for Ashley costs $50,000. This way a potential donor can visualize how their contribution will impact the cause and also gauge how much they should consider giving.

Creating a feeling of unity with a cause is another compelling reason to use t-shirts in your awareness campaigns. From a sociological perspective, people give and become involved with movements that align with their values and attitudes. Social ties are an additional factor that contributes to their propensity to give, so when you make fundraiser t-shirts a part of your charitable campaign you’re creating an object that supports unity. The ability to identify with other supporters in a very literal way is a very fundamental part of many organizations including sports, music, and politics.

Having custom fundraiser t-shirts printed is also a key to spread awareness to new people that might not be familiar with your cause or message. Since understanding is critical to get donations and support, and people are inherently compassionate beings, having a message emblazoned on your clothing is going to get some attention. People tend to mimic each other when they are engaged in conversation, there’s an emotional telepathy that transpires even when you’re not aware of it. People have the tendency to imagine themselves in another’s position so your printed t-shirt is a means to opening a dialogue about the cause you hold dear.

Opening this dialogue to communicate why your cause is important and how it can make positive changes for its beneficiary’s is the point of your altruism. If your cause is not well known or complicated, avoid using acronyms or highly technical jargon in your messaging. You’re going to need to translate the spirit of it into something palatable for the masses. People say, “all you need is love,” but that’s obviously not true. What is needed to solve problems is an understanding of the issues and a vehicle that will allow them to help solve it.

fundraiser marathon t-shirts

The affordability of custom t-shirts for the purpose of spreading awareness is almost unbeatable when compared to other methods of advertising. Emails can be, and are often ignored. Phone calls are expensive and time consuming. Direct mail is expensive and requires multiple touches before the message is driven home. A t-shirt is a long lasting form of advertising that can be used for years. The key to extending the life of this form of communication is an attractive design and slogan that others can and want to identify with. Product choice is also something to consider. Nobody wants to wear an uncomfortable, ill-fitting shirt that shrinks in the dryer the first time it’s washed. Choosing a desirable custom t-shirt product for your charitable screen printing order shouldn’t be complicated. Be aware of choosing t-shirt printing companies that don’t identify the brand of the product for the print. These can often be very cheap products that no one will want to wear.

Using custom t-shirts as giveaways is a very common practice. You can offer a free t-shirt in exchange for volunteer work or participation in a run, walk, or marathon. Offer your shirt as a door prize or as part of a package for donors. Using the t-shirt itself as a means to gain donations is also very common. People feel more compelled to donate money if they get a little gift in return. In cases where you’re using t-shirts to fundraise for an event that will take place in the future, such as a memorial service or charity run, make sure to send a reminder before the event to wear the t-shirts. Everyone wearing the same t-shirt will extend the feeling of unity for the participants.

However you integrate custom fundraiser t-shirts into your event, remember the recipe for a successful t-shirt design is brevity and clarity in your message or slogan, attractive and positive art, and a comfortable, quality t-shirt product to have your message printed on.

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