Doing Good—On The Cheap
2. Seek Supplier Comparison Guides
If you're struggling to find the best product at the right price, Barreca suggested using a "product comparison guide" as a helpful way to narrow down choices. Some suppliers, such as Vantage Apparel, offer feature-versus-price comparison guides on their products, providing an easy-to-follow visual way to differentiate products by cost vs. attributes offered. It makes explaining the "flow of value" a little easier to clients, and also makes picking items like "the most affordable fashion tee" or "most durable basic crew neck" simpler.
3. Consider Digital Printing
"For smaller quantity orders, consider digital printing," said Barreca. Digital printing favors smaller orders since there's no setup cost. The machinery is always ready to go and doesn't require the creation of physical templates or plates, as is the case with many forms of non-digital printing.
4. Keep Decoration Simple (and Affordable)
If digital printing is out, have a plan to reduce decoration costs in other ways. Cost-reduction can be as simple as keeping it small and to a standard location, or it can be more complex. Redesigning a logo to be a one-color silhouette for example, can reduce decoration cost, but also may involve a little more work and time.
5. Think Mobile and Multifaceted
Products that offer a solid and versatile marketing reach can be an appealing choice for a nonprofit, as it can let them market in several different directions at once. A tote bag, for instance, can be used as a fundraising item, mailed as a reward to current supports, or packed with goodies at a charity event. "But best of all, they're mobile so the message has greater reach (unlike other products like calendars or drinkware which tend to be more stationary)," said Christopher Duffy, MAS, senior vice president of marketing for Bag Makers, Union, Ill.