While small groups have no less of a need for fundraising, they often the lack the same resources as large groups, such as schools, with fewer members and sometimes a lack of physical space. Therefore choosing a suitable fundraiser for a small group such as playgroups, dance schools, art groups, grass-roots community groups, and sports clubs needs to be done with certain limitations in mind.
Although this post is sponsored by one of my advertisers, all opinions are my own, and I think they are great products I want to share with FRM readers.
- Easily managed by one person: Expressions fundraisers are easily overseen by one person, and there is no requirement for large groups of volunteers or a formal committee structure.
- Longevity and non-perishable: tea towels, bags and aprons are suitable for sale at any time of year, they store easily and have a long shelf-life. You don’t need a permit or any special skills to sell them. If your small group does not have access to permanent space, the boxes are compact and easily stored and transported, without much of an imposition on volunteers.
- Easily posted: tea towels are lightweight, fold flat, and are impossible to break making them a perfect fundraiser if you need to post items to community members across the country.
- Highly customizable making your product unique: whether you are celebrating a special anniversary, wish to promote special artwork, are holding an event or just have a funny quote you want to share, you are not limited by anything except your imagination. You can print recipes, stories, pictures, sketches, signatures, blue-prints, patterns, quotes, hand-prints, maps and more.
- Available in small quantities: Expressions versatile pricing structure allows for even the smallest of orders. Individual members can design their own tea towels, or you can order print runs in the hundreds.
- Flexible pricing to suit your target market: the more items you order, the cheaper they become and the greater your profit. You can also choose your own sale price, to fit your particular community, and make sure your special keepsakes are accessible for all. Small groups often have a community which is economically, socially or geographically diverse. Flexibility with pricing allows you to choose a sale price most appropriate for your group.
- Suited for special events and keepsake products: while some schools and group have lots of success with annual fundraisers, Expressions tea towels are particularly well suited for special event and keepsakes, such as the celebration of a 50th anniversary or reaching a particular milestone relevant to your community.
- Perfect for involving the local community: whether it’s asking your local café or bakery to sell tea towels on your behalf, sharing the logos of your local sports teams or sponsors, or designing an image based on a local icon, a tea towel or bag fundraiser can be inclusive of the entire community (who will then also become customers).
Celebrating its 20th anniversary this year, Expressions is a pioneer of the Australian fundraising landscape. Established in 1999 as a one-woman show, Expressions has shown a longevity that is rare in our field, and can boast a track record that has helped clubs, schools and grassroot organisations raise millions of dollars across Australia.
There are three main products offered by Expressions – tea towels, aprons and bags – all custom-designed and printed here in Australia, and made from quality fabric. To learn more about these products, visit the website here.
Small group success stories
Six members of the Dongara Denison Art Group collaborated in 2018 to create this stunning wood block artwork, which was then printed on natural cotton tea towels. The first order sold out so quickly, another print run had to be requested. The money raised will go towards rent and insurance for their Art Rooms, as well as funding a special art trail along the banks of the Irwin River.
Just Dance and Cheer bags
Every year NSW based Just Dance and Cheer create tote bags for their community, using the signatures of all their students. Not only do the bags have practical use for carting costumes and supplies, they are a great way of building community and raising funds every year.
This little playgroup in Esperance has had so much success with their fundraising tea towel and bag design, that they are now on their 4th re-order, and it has been a number of years since the initial fundraiser. The secret to their success, despite being a small group, is the use of a design which appeals to the wider community, being based on the names of local waterways and beaches.
Carevan Blacktown Volunteer Tea Towels
Sometimes, a unique tea towel makes a special gift, such as these made for volunteers of Carevan, Blacktown. Carevan is a charity that provides meals for people doing it tough in the local area, and the iconic van depicted on the tea towel in easily recognisable in the community. The tea towel was a Christmas gift to all the volunteers for this special not-for-profit.
Backyard Buddies is a free initiative of the Foundation for National Parks and Wildlife, helping the community learn about keeping backyards and local waterways safe for native plants and animals. In 2017 they initiated a fundraiser using a tea towel designed by students at a local high school, of illustrations of plants and animals found along the walks that line stunning Sydney Harbour.