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Custom T-Shirts - Affordable custom printed t-shirts and apparel from Underground Printing, offering online ordering with no minimums, no set up fees and no art fee. Custom T-Shirts - Affordable custom printed t-shirts and apparel from Underground Printing, offering online ordering with no minimums, no set up fees and no art fee.

T-Shirt Fundraising: How to Raise Money with Custom T-shirts?

T-Shirt Fundraising: How to Raise Money with Custom T-shirts?

Taran Dobbins
7 minute read

Regardless of whether it’s to raise money for your school or to bring awareness to an important cause, t-shirt fundraising can be quite effective. Although it can seem intimidating for anyone without a background selling t-shirts or apparel, it doesn’t have to be complicated at all. So long as your t-shirt is something people feel has a powerful message and looks cool, your fundraising efforts are sure to be profitable.


Besides this, how you choose to promote or sell your product depends entirely on your ingenuity. That said, how much you raise overall depends heavily on your overall reach and the level at which you market your t-shirts. T-shirt designs, however, also have a major part to play. To make things easy for you, in this article we’ll cover everything you need to know about t-shirt fundraising and how to best go about it.


How to Raise Money with Custom T-shirts?

When it comes to raising money for a nonprofit organization, charity, or institution it largely depends on the design of the shirt, as well as your overall promotion and messaging. While price plays an important role, provided the shirt is for a just cause, increasing your profit margin is not unreasonable.

That said, to ensure you have a reasonable profit, it’s vital that you source your t-shirts from a reliable printing company with printing at a reasonable price. While you could opt for printing agencies overseas, websites like Underground Printing with efficient logistics and top quality customer service saves you time and unnecessary costs.

4 Steps to Raise Money with Custom T-shirts

1. Design Your Custom T-shirt

When it comes to designing your t-shirt, it’s vital to have a color scheme that looks cohesive and aesthetically appealing. While you may feel inclined to drift toward brand colors, opting for alternative colors and designers could lead to better sales. While you may have a good idea for a t-shirt, it is often better to create a Pinterest board with a variety of colors and designs. 


When it comes to t-shirts for non-profit organizations, colored words with a catchy phrase is a popular route. However, Illustrative figures that lean to be more abstract are a great choice for organizations raising money for specific health conditions or communities. 


In the case of environmental causes and organizations that help preserve wildlife, animal portraits look attractive and help drive more people towards your cause through compelling visuals.


To design your t-shirt, however, you’ll require a mockup and the dimensions of the print or custom embroidery you plan to make use of. To do this there are two ways to go about which we’ve listed below:

Hire a Designer

When it comes to hiring, it’s not a complete requirement to hire a designer. For the most part, it can, in fact, be expensive. That said, if you're looking to create a custom t-shirt design that looks aesthetically appealing and mockups that help you understand how it would look when worn, designers can be helpful.

Besides this, they can also render images with a transparency layer and in general have a better understanding of color schemes. For major brands and organizations, making use of designers can make things a lot easier.


Make Use of a T-Shirt Design Website

For those not as experienced in shirt design, it may be helpful to make use of several websites that enable you to design custom t-shirts for fundraising free of cost. Besides this, sites like Underground Printing allow you to design t-shirts, dropship t-shirts, and order a variety of customized shirts all in the same place.


Also read: Trending T-Shirt Design Ideas of 2022


2. Place an Order, Have a Website Store or Dropship

Placing an order depends on whether you plan on selling the product physically or digitally using a website or other digital platform. For anyone looking to run a stall, store or sell t-shirts door to door placing an order from an online printing agency is advisable. While opting for manufacturers overseas may seem cheaper, it can end up costing you time and quality issues. 


In the case of websites like ours that allow you to design your t-shirt in real-time, you get an agency with the infrastructure for both timely logistics and quality control. In terms of tax breaks for revenue, it’s important you consult with a CPA before getting started with your process. Quite often, you’ll be required to have your non-profit organization registered beforehand to avail specific advantages. 


Having a website store with a proper payment gateway setup is relatively easy with sites like Wix that help the process be easy and affordable.


Dropshipping, on the other hand, ensures you save costs by only placing orders when a payment is made. Print on demand requires little to no investment on the part of the investor. Through print on demand, you can an apparel collection that requires no physical inventory. And without heavy storage cost or overhead costs, you can still continue to sell your own brand.

How Do You Dropship?

When it comes to dropshipping, websites like Shopify and even platforms like Underground Printing can help get you started on a print-on-demand. What is print on demand? It means your t-shirts will be processed based on requirements as and when a purchase takes place. That said, with dropshipping it’s required that you have your own website.

3. Promote and Sell

Promoting and selling your product is where all your revenue comes in. In general, social media and word of mouth are the most economical means to do this. Besides this, running Facebook Ad campaigns and making use of PPC can help out significantly in improving your site’s visibility. 


To raise awareness, it’s important to have an email list and the contact information of your prior donors and supporters to inform them about the current fundraising opportunity. Quite often, the best way to start with t-shirt fundraising is through a stall at carnivals and community events.


Through this, making sure you raise awareness through platforms like Facebook (Facebook pages are free of cost) and having supporters share the event via social media is an effective way to gain traction. Besides this, making direct calls can also help your t-shirt fundraising efforts significantly.


For those starting from scratch, although not the most fun, door-to-door sales when done effectively may just be what your fundraising campaign needs. While there may not be glory in occasionally having a door slammed on you, raising funds for those in need definitely makes it worth your while. 


What does this mean? Well, although advertising is not necessary when starting out, spending a little extra can help ensure you raise a reasonable amount of money.

4. Track Your Progress and Profit

After fixed intervals of time, it’s important that you track your overall sales and costs incurred. In doing this you get an accurate idea of your profit margin and overall profit made. After assessing and reevaluating suppliers, advertising avenues or even visibility are the main areas of focus.

T-shirt fundraising, although effective, does require you to look at the bottom line and maximize your overall efforts in the promotion.



Fundraising is important for any charity, organization, and institution, and making use of t-shirt fundraising is a smart move. While people are usually hesitant to donate money to organizations, t-shirts (even with inflated costs) offer material value and if done correctly can be profitable.


With websites offering a wide range of merchandise, besides custom t-shirts, you could also fundraise using caps, cups, or even jackets. So regardless of your sales platform or overall capital provided you promote and order a sensible quality, raising funds is not a daunting task.


Is t-shirt fundraising easy to do?

Yes! Although it can seem intimidating, selling t-shirts at fairs, stores, or online can help you raise funds for your business or institution quickly.

What is the best way to promote t-shirt fundraising?
Generally speaking, social media promotion and word of mouth are the most affordable forms of promotion for t-shirt fundraising as they can cost virtually nothing.

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