8 T-Shirt Fundraising Ideas for Your Fraternity or Sorority
When you're trying to run the best fraternity or sorority on campus, it takes money. Funding isn't always easy to come by and your dues can only go so far. That's why ongoing fundraisers are crucial.
On top of raising money for your own sorority or fraternity, fundraising for a charity is a great way to fulfill your philanthropy criteria. Regardless, sometimes the key is finding an original idea.
As great as t-shirt fundraisers are, they've been done over and over. To energize buyers, try putting a fun new twist on it. For help, we've gathered some t-shirt fundraiser ideas to jumpstart your success.
T-Shirt Fundraiser Ideas for Greek Life
To make your next fundraiser more exciting (and more profitable), try these unique ideas.
1. Sell Shirts to Celebrate a Landmark or Anniversary
Sometimes you need to put a new twist on your t-shirts. Instead of a design that promotes your sorority, fraternity, or university, make it more specific.
Look for something to celebrate, like your organization's anniversary. But you want to sell shirts to the rest of your classmates as well, so you can also use an event that's important to them, too. Create a shirt that commemorates a recent historical event.
Another idea is to design shirts that celebrate an athletic victory, anniversary, or other university event. Talk to your school's administration to find out if you can get exclusivity so no one else can sell shirts for that event.
2. Auction or Raffle Off Limited Shirts
Sometimes it's more profitable to sell a few high-dollar items than a lot of inexpensive ones.
Get a very limited supply of shirts and find a way to make them special. For example, have each member of your sorority or fraternity sign them.
Many college campuses get occasional visits from celebrities, comedians, or political figures. These are great opportunities to get autographed items you can auction off. Sometimes it's a matter of planning ahead.
3. Hold a Competition
Sometimes the only thing holding back your sales is your salesperson. To make it interesting, turn the fundraiser into a competition.
Keep track of which member sells the most fraternity or sorority t-shirts. You don't even have to spend money on the prize. It can be something simple like control of the house TV or a month off from chores.
You may find that the real incentive is the competition rather than the prize. Everyone wants bragging rights, so take advantage of this.
4. Use T-Shirts as Event Tickets
Sororities and fraternities are known for organizing great events, so capitalize on your reputation. Plan an event like foam party, a glow in the dark party, a field day, or other fun outing.
You can sell t-shirts ahead of time and ask guests to wear their shirts in order to be admitted to the event.
This serves two purposes. First, it adds an exciting element on top of just selling t-shirts. Second, when everyone wears the same shirt to your party, it makes for some great social media promotion.
One piece of advice, however: try to mix up the types of events your throw. If you host the same type of party too often, the novelty wears off and your sales will suffer.
5. Team Up with Another Organization or Charity
There's power in numbers, especially when it comes to fundraising. If only your members are selling your fraternity t-shirts, your potential is limited.
To add to your forces, try getting a local charity or other organization on board. Get a shirt that promotes both causes and set both groups to work. The profits can be split evenly.
One of the easiest options is to team up with another Greek organization. If you can team up with a charity, though, your fundraiser could fulfill your philanthropy requirements if your organization has them.
6. Set Up Sales Tables in Strategic Places
We've all seen how successful Girl Scouts can be when they set up their cookie sales tables in front of the right businesses. You can do the same with your t-shirt fundraiser.
Have your sorority or fraternity members set up a sales stations outside the dining hall around mealtimes. If your university has a student union, this can also be a great place to sell.
Another idea is to set up sales stations outside academic buildings between classes. This will take some organization so you can get times that work with everyone's schedules. However, having a convenient set-up for your customers is often worth the results.
7. Sell Your T-Shirts Online
In-person sales stations are great because they can get impulse buys. The downside, though, is that they take a lot of manpower. Plus, if you happen to catch a customer when they're in a hurry, you could lose a sale.
Consider giving customers the option to buy your shirts online as well. For an easy and low-tech solution, you could set up your fundraiser on Go Fund Me or another similar site. Have customers donate a set minimum amount (e.g., $20 or more) and message you with their size.
Keep in mind that you don't have to choose between online or in-person sales. They complement each other, and you can print handouts to tell customers how to buy their shirts online.
8. Use Shirts as an Incentive for a Larger Fundraiser
Your t-shirts don't have to be a standalone fundraiser. Consider using them to complement another fundraiser as well.
For instance, a walk-a-thon is one of the most successful types of fundraisers. You can give t-shirts to participants who raise a specific amount of money. To take it to the next level, offer larger prizes for greater dollar amounts.
Making Your T-Shirt Fundraiser Successful
Sometimes the key to a great fundraiser is doing something original enough that it excites your sellers and your customers. The t-shirt fundraiser ideas are just a few ways to do this, but they can be a great start toward a well-funded year.
For more fun fundraising ideas, check out our other Greek life merchandise for your fraternity or sorority.