Increasing Cap Sales to Non-Profits [Part I]

By Emily Potter on Feb 7, 2017 @ 8:34AM CST

In 2014, the non-profit industry was worth nearly $900 billion. If you look hard enough, you’ll find at least one charity event in your area every weekend of the year. These events are made possible with promotional products. 

In Part I, we will look at different types of charity classifications and events, so that you can have a better understanding of how to target each aspect of the non-profit business.

You will learn how to reach out to non-profits and charity event organizers. You will also learn how to optimize sales among differing promotional product usage behaviors.

In Part II, we’ll talk about the three distinct purposes promotional caps serve in the non-profit sector.


Charity Classifications

Every non-profit organization falls into at least one of the following eleven categories.

  • Animal
  • Environmental
  • International NGOs (Non-Governmental Organizations)
  • Health
  • Education
  • Arts, Culture & Humanities
  • Community Development
  • Environment
  • Human Services & Civil Rights
  • Research & Public Policy
  • Religion

Each type of non-profit will have its own ways of raising awareness and donations for its cause. An environmental organization will not use the same rhetoric to reach the public as a religious group does.

Your job as a promotional product salesperson is to bridge the communication gap and prove to each non-profit that caps speak a universal advertising language.

Non-profits are concerned with saving money more so than their for-profit counterparts. This is so the majority of their cash flow can go back into doing good for their cause.

Because of this, you need to adequately defend the effectiveness of your products. If you can prove to them that by spending a little bit of money up front to get caps, they’ll receive higher monetary donations and event participation later, they’ll have fewer reservations about buying from you.

However, many of them understand how important promo products are to their cause. In fact, the non-profit industry was named number four by SAGE in its top 10 promotional product buying markets.

If they’re not yet convinced, provide them with facts to back up your claims.

  • 85% of people did businesses with the advertiser after receiving a promotional product.
  • Wearables are the most influential promotional product for consumers between the ages of 18 and 44.
    • This group is also likely to donate to causes they believe in.
  • Hats were ranked in the top 5 products to influence a consumer positively.
  • Consumers preferred apparel to other promotional products in every age group under 55.
  • Promo products are the most highly regarded form of advertising.


Charity Events

What do people wear during a cancer survivors’ walk?

The answer, of course, is hats branded with an awareness ribbon.

There are tons of opportunities non-profit organizations can use to raise money or awareness for their cause. One of the most popular ways is to hold an event.

Headwear is a logical way for non-profits to show gratitude to participants or donors, especially during outdoor events or physically challenging activities. There are charitable events held practically every weekend in most cities.

  • _____-a-thons
    • Bike-a-Thons
    • Bowl-a-Thons
    • Dance-a-Thons
    • Marathons
    • Read-a-Thons
    • Rock-a-Thons
    • Telethons
    • Skate-a-Thons
  • Auctions
  • Battle of the Bands
  • Casino Nights
  • Chores for Charity
  • Flash Mobs
  • Fun Runs (5Ks)
  • Gala Dinners
  • Golf Tournaments
  • Philanthropic Pub Crawls
  • Scavenger Hunts

Do you know of any events similar to these coming up in your area? Utilize any contacts you currently have to coordinate an introduction to event influencers and organizers.

What organizations have an impact on your community? Flex your networking muscles; reach out to them and see what promotional needs they have, and what events they have coming up on their calendar.

Did you know that only 33% of non-profits work with a distributor? Most of them buy their promotional products directly from on online retailer. There's a huge opportunity here for you to show them why they should buy from you.

Check back soon for Part II; we’ll dig deeper into how non-profits utilize promotional caps to increase awareness, volunteers, and funds.

For more information on selling caps to non-profits, order your own Business Development Kit.

Is there a specific industry you would like to see covered by a future kit or blog series? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below. Don’t forget to follow us on FacebookLinkedIn, and Twitter for updates.

Emily Potter

Emily Potter

Emily is the Content Marketer for Outdoor Cap Co. She holds an M.A. in AD & PR from the University of Alabama and a B.B.A in Marketing. Emily is an avid Crimson Tide football fan. She has a golden retriever named Opie Winston, and a cat named Tide.