4imprint, LLC

| Updated: February 15, 2023

This blog post was originally published in April 2017 and has since been updated to incorporate the latest data and promotional products for fundraising.

Fundraising is one of the most common ways nonprofits can generate revenue to cover program expenses. It’s not a small chunk of change, with over $660 million being given to charitable organizations. But when there are more than 170,000 charitable and nonprofit organizations competing for your hard-earned dollar, finding the best ways to raise money and stand out from the crowd can be challenging. Enter promotional products for fundraising.

At fundraisers, fun and excitement go hand in hand with generous giving. Many nonprofits find that using promotional products in their fundraising efforts can help increase gift amounts. But how do you select the right fundraising promotional items? And how do you use them? Let’s look at three ways fundraising promotional products can help you reach your goals.

  1. Thank corporate sponsors
  2. Brand silent auction items
  3. Give supporters a memorable premium


1. Thank corporate sponsors with fundraising promotional items

If you want to make your fundraiser a big success, seek out corporate sponsorships. They’re a win-win proposition: The fundraising organization receives help covering the cost of the event, while companies get positive publicity from associating with an important social cause. How positive? According to one survey, 1 in 5 think giving back to the community is the most important aspect of corporate social responsibility. Sponsoring a nonprofit fundraising event is one way to demonstrate this virtue to the community.

One person hands a second person a check.

Because corporate sponsorships are a good way to raise money, it’s important to show gratitude to your sponsors. In fact, thanking sponsors is one of the best ways to use promotional products for fundraising. Recognize different gift amounts with multilevel awards, such as a Juno Wood Plaque for one sponsorship level and an eye-catching Mountain Starfire Award for a higher level.


2. Fundraise with silent auction items

There are many different ways to fundraise, and holding a silent auction at a fundraising event is one very effective way. To prepare for a silent auction, use data and gather fundraising promotional items that specifically appeal to your supporters. Find unique items that will get people excited about bidding. The more items that interest them, the more bids you’ll receive. Add a mobile bidding option, and you can increase bids by 60-65%.

A bag of gardening items next to a picture of a bag of gardening items on a smartphone.

Know your supporters’ price range and choose items within that range. Local businesses and event sponsors are often good sources of donation items. Themed gift baskets are popular, and using fundraising promotional products is a great way to create highly desirable silent auction items. For example, use the logoed Two-Tone Shopper Tote instead of a basket. The convenient tote makes it easy for buyers to transport their winnings home at the end of the night. And they’ll continue seeing your logo long after the event is over.


3. Give supporters a memorable promotional item

Even if your attendees don’t win anything at the silent auction, don’t let them go home empty-handed. Over half the people who receive a promo product keep it for at least five years. (Hint: If you want to keep your name in front of your supporters, this is a great way to do it!)

A person hold a promotional mug next to five years of calendars.

Another opportunity to use promotional products for fundraising is to send attendees off with a clever thank-you gift (see how one nonprofit uses hat thank-you gifts as an example). Another fun idea is to take photos of your guests as they arrive. Print the photos and insert them into a Wood Frame with the name and date of the event. It’s a keepsake they’ll really appreciate. Best of all, looking at the photo will remind them of all the fun they had at your event.


Reflect your brand in fundraising promotional items for more donations

Perhaps most importantly, when planning a fundraising event, make sure it represents your organization’s culture and values. Supporters are making a personal commitment with their donation, so let them know you’re more than a faceless corporation. Showcase success stories, examples of how you’re making a difference in the community, and pictures of your organization in action to make a connection with your supporters. It’s the best way to ensure your supporters enjoy the event and return for future events. (Hint: A few extra share-worthy touches and you’ll help create word-of-mouth marketing for next year’s event, too.) With a bit of creativity and some carefully selected promotional products for fundraising, your event is certain to be a huge success.