SmartCause Digital

Sell Merchandise for Your Nonprofit Without Dealing with Inventory

Feb 8, 2013

 

Update: In November 2014, I hosted a free webinar on this very topic! Watch the recording of the training →

 

Sell Merchandise for Your Nonprofit, Without Dealing with Inventory

A nonprofit client wanted to

  • Sell tshirts, mugs and other items with their organization's logo to interested donors and participants
  • Make a small profit from each sale

But they also

  • Had no room or time to stock a store's worth of various tshirt sizes and colors, mugs, and more
  • Could not guarantee that they would be available to package and ship items as quickly as some customers might expect
  • Did not want to take on the liability of processing the payments through their own site (which is built to only process payments for donations)

As I started researching online store options, I wanted to find a solution that

  • Gave nonprofits ample opportunity to customize the online store with their logo & color palette and add images of the organization's participants or services
  • Allowed nonprofits to keep prices reasonable and make a profit from sales
  • Exported shoppers' information in an easy to use format so that nonprofits can track which current supporters are also shopping for branded items and identify new supporters for further outreach
  • Didn't charge nonprofits any fees to set up or maintain a store
  • Bonus points if the service allowed a nonprofit to add a Google Analytics tracking number to the store so that they can collect information on website traffic

Below is an analysis of four of the best and/or most popular options for creating an online store for your nonprofit

 

Update: In November 2014, I hosted a free webinar on this very topic! Watch the recording of the training →

 


 

Prinfection

Printfection.com

  • Options for giveaways, bulk purchases or stores
  • Branding
    • Basic URL (printfection.com/NAME) or custom subdomain (store.yournonprofit.org)
    • Can upload your custom logo
    • Eight available shop themes (some have several color scheme options)
    • Can format # of items on page, display of menu, sort by price, display of breadcrumb
    • Can add header image, background image, text for submit button, etc
    • Can add custom css + custom html
  • TShirts
    • Men’s
      • $21.99 base price
    • Women’s
      • $21.99 base price
    • Kids
      • $21.99 base price
    • Tons of colors available in all three
  • Mugs
    • $9.99 base price
  • Other Product Options
    • Aluminum water bottle
    • Coffee travel mug
    • Apron
    • Tote
    • Mousepad
    • ...more
  • Shipping
    • $5.99
  • Notifications
    • Will email nonprofit whenever a sale is made
  • Data
    • Account activity report
    • Raw order data
    • Raw product data
    • Financial overview
  • Payments to nonprofit
    • Commission check mailed between the 1st and 15th of following month

 

Zazzle

Zazzle.com

  • Branding
    • zazzle.com/YOURNAME
    • Can enable Google Analytics
    • Can customize layout of page w # of items, widgets, categories
    • 20 prebuilt templates
    • Customize option for colors, font faces, font sizes, etc
  • Tshirts
    • Men’s
      • $18.95 base price
    • Women’s
      • $19.95 base price
    • Kid’s
      • $17.95 base price
  • Mugs
    • $13.95 base price
  • Other Product Options
    • Tote bag
    • Hat
    • Apron Notebooks
    • ...lots more
  • Shipping
    • $5.49
  • Notifications
    • Email sent to nonprofit when a sale is made
  • Data
    • Earnings summary report
  • Payments to Nonprofit
    • Issued on the 15th of the month by check

 

CafePress

CafePress.com

  • Branding
    • URL: cafepress.com/YourNonprofitName
    • Lots of different themes
    • Can change colors, fonts, html
    • Can add Google Analytics
  • Tshirts
    • Men’s
      • $15.99 base price
    • Women’s
      • $16.99 base price
    • Kid’s
      • $14.99 base price
  • Mugs
    • $10.99 base price
  • Other Product Options
    • Everything! :)
  • Shipping
    • $5.25
  • Notifications
    • Unknown
  • Data
    • Sales report
    • Transactions
    • Orders
  • Payments to Nonprofit
    • Via check or paypal
    • Can set an amount at which checks are issued

 

Spreadshirt

Spreadshirt.com

  • Branding
    • Customizable layout and color scheme
    • Edit CSS
    • URL can be YOURNONPROFIT.spreadshirt.com
    • Paid accounts can remove Spreadshirt banner on their shop, add org logo to emails and statements (Paid accounts are $10/month or $100/year)
  • Tshirts
    • Men’s
      • $11 base price
    • Women’s
      • $15.40 base price
    • Kid’s
      • $11 base price
  • Mugs
    • $12.50 base price
  • Other Product Options
    • Aluminum water bottle
    • Totebag
    • Hat
    • Apron
    • Umbrella
    • ...more
  • Shipping
    • $4.50
  • Notifications
    • Unknown
  • Data
    • Sales overview
    • More exports reserved for premium members
  • Payments to Nonprofit
    • Can be via direct deposit to bank account or Paypal
    • All commissions paid automatically at the end of the quarter on the 18th of the following month
    • Commissions over $100 can be requested up to 1x per month

 

Did you find this article useful? Subscribe to SmartCause updates to receive a free helpful resource every two weeks

About the Author

Yesenia SoteloYesenia Sotelo is the founder of SmartCause Digital. She works with nonprofit professionals like you to build you an awesome website & train you on digital skills.

I'm proud to be a member of each of these nonprofit teams

World's best nonprofit clients

I'm grateful to have led trainings & presentations for these nonprofit thought leaders

Nonprofit thoughtleaders