5 ways for nonprofits to use promotional products effectively

This week’s guest post is brought to you by Jocelyn Azada, CEO of Promotional Product Solutions, a friend of Small Act’s.

While charitable giving dropped significantly in the US in 2009, it’s begun to tick back up. In 2010, charitable giving from institutions and individuals totaled $323 billion, according to the Philanthropy Journal, and giving is expected to total $330 billion in 2011. Despite the new economy, we Americans are still a generous bunch, running races to raise money, volunteering our time, and attending events for the causes we believe in.

Promotional products for non-profits can be used to raise awareness, spread the word and share the love by incorporating them into events, fundraising and appreciation efforts.

Creativity and tailoring the product for the recipient and the organization are key. When they’re consistent with the non-profit’s mission, promotional products can cleverly help accomplish important non-profit objectives.

ribbon

ribbon

Promotional products for non-profits can raise awareness. The AIDS red ribbon was created as a visual symbol of compassion for people with HIV/AIDS in 1991. 20 years later, it continues to be a powerful emblem for HIV/AIDS advocacy and has inspired other ribbons as well.

Promotional products for non-profits can thank volunteers and donors. People’s time and money are important. Let people know how much their time, money and resources are valued by your organization with a useful or touching gift.

race

race

Promotional products for non-profits can be used at events to create excitement and belonging, and commemorate being part of an event. For example, race goodie bags almost always feature an event t-shirt for participants to sport before, during and after the event.

Promotional products for non-profits can leverage fundraising efforts. Members of the World Wildlife Fund and National Public Radio, for example, receive logoed gifts at different donor levels.

Livestrong

Livestrong

Promotional products for non-profits can generate revenue. The LiveStrong bracelet by the Lance Armstrong Foundation was launched in 2004 to raise $25.1 million for cancer research. Sold for $1 a piece, that goal was reached in six months.

How has your nonprofit used promotional items to help drive its mission?

Jocelyn is the CEO of Promotional Product Solutions, a promotional products company focused on environmentally sustainable and socially responsible promotional products and promotional marketing. She can be reached at jazada@ppsolutionsllc.com.