Thanks for Noticing
NONPROFIT IS A bit of a misleading term, especially in our industry. Whether it’s the incredible popularity of pink ribbons for breast cancer awareness or the famous silcone “Livestrong” bracelets, it’s clear promotional products excel at raising awareness for charitable causes, and somewhat ironically, can end up actually being quite profitable besides. Distributors looking to expand their sales to nonprofits, or perhaps to just lend a hand to some worthy causes in need, should read below to catch up on a few areas where promotional products can be used to help raise awareness for important health or social issues.
One of the more recognizable causes, breast cancer awareness is closely associated with the pink ribbon that has been used so well to raise consciousness. The obvious symbol and color choice is not the only route to take, however. Referencing an up-and-coming nonprofit slogan, Steven Weinstein, president of Indianapolis-based supplier EMT, said, “Recently we have produced orders with the theme and tag line ‘Cancer Sucks.’” He added, “This theme opens up additional possibilities for shape and design of emblems other than the ribbon design, and also brings additional awareness due to the edgy tag line.”
DIABETES AND OTHER HEALTH CAUSES
Of course, breast cancer is not the only health cause in need of awareness items. From diabetes to heart health to autism, there are dozens of ailments with cures that require heavy advocacy and fundraising. Karen Sherrill, director of marketing for Hixson, Tennessee-based Gold Bond recommended the company’s Circle Tape Measure for diabetes or heart-related causes. “Waist measurement (the ratio of the waist to hip) is a primary indicator of heart disease and diabetes,” she said, citing the growing research supporting stomach fat’s specific correlation to type 2 diabetes, which in turn can lead to heart disease. As for the many awareness walks and runs associated with such causes, Weinstein suggested offering achievement awards for those who place highest or raise the most money.
“SUPPORT OUR TROOPS”
An issue just as popular as many of the health-related causes, there is a corresponding wealth of organizations that might have need of awareness products for supporting soldiers. Browsing the Web sites for troop-donation organizations like Soldiers’ Angels or Operation Gratitude, at www.soldiersangels.org and www.opgratitude.com respectively, may give some ideas, but there are also plenty of local organizations that may be interested in products. Weinstein gave an interesting example of a locally viable item EMT designed that has also been its most successful troop-related promotion: a thank-you coin for Veterans’ groups. “Members purchase the coins to give to any active or retired military personnel they encounter in everyday life.”
Well known for its many slogans such as, “Give a hoot, don’t pollute,” the environmental awareness sector is certainly an area that could benefit from promotional products. Weinstein named a few areas where the company has seen success with environmental promotions. “EMT produced several lapel pins for environmental groups lobbying for their causes at the time of the 2008 election,” he said, naming The Clean Coal lobby as one example. He also mentioned EMT had done some work for various ASPCA offices around the country for the purposes of advocating the importance of spaying or neutering pets.