Using T-Shirts to Boost Users and Do More Good

How Water.org uses t-shirts to gain more fundraiser users and do more good.

Working with t-shirts is a blast. Not only because we get to wear t-shirts to work whenever we want (though that is a great perk), but because we get to work with some amazing companies and people.

We had a chance to catch up with our friends at Water.org — a non-profit focused on providing access to safe water in developing countries — to see how they put custom t-shirts to use as part of their marketing strategy to increase users and donations.

Catch the full interview with Kat Faulkner, Assistant Marketing Manager at Water.org, to see how they are using t-shirts for good.

Well, first off, tell us about Water.org! What do you guys do?

Water.org is here to bring safe water and sanitation to the world through access to small, affordable loans. We’ve changed the lives of more than six million people in 14 countries around the world. When people have access to safe water, they get time back to go to school, earn an income and take care of their family. It changes their world.

How did Water.org get started?

Our Co-founder, Gary White created a nonprofit in 1990 to help Latin American communities impacted by the water crisis. This work expanded and new, smart solutions were created. In 2009, Gary met Matt Damon and discovered their approaches and strengths complimented each other and Water.org was born. We have 25 years of experience which give us the insights and learnings needed to maximize our impact.

Real Thread and Water.org did a partnership a few months back! Do you mind sharing what you used your shirts for?

Absolutely! The Real Thread team approached us wanting to find a way to use their shirts to help change lives with safe water. Together, we decided that the best use for this generous gift of donated t-shirts was to share them with the people that fundraise for Water.org.

We are so grateful for the people who use their time and talents — from donating their 30th birthday to running a lemonade stand — to raise money from friends and family. We wanted a way to celebrate them and thank them and this partnership gave us that opportunity.

How did the giveaway go? Did people raise enough money to get a t-shirt?

As a thank you, we give t-shirts to supporters who raise $300 or more through their online fundraiser. So far, we’ve mailed out more than 40 t-shirts. We plan to continue this promotion until all of the t-shirts are in the hands of our fundraising supporters!

What made you guys want to incorporate t-shirts into your giving?

As a nonprofit organization, we ask a lot of the people that support us. They donate, fundraise, engage with us on social media and do whatever they can to help change lives with water. Although we frequently share our gratitude, we don’t often get the opportunity to give these people a token of appreciation like a cool t-shirt! Thanks to Real Thread, we’re able to thank our supporters in a more tangible way while continuing to spend the money raised most effectively.

Did you receive any feedback from the people who got shirts?

Our supporters are excited when they get their t-shirts in the mail! One of our supporters, YouTuber Katie Tracy, created and sold phone cases to raise money to give safe water. She shared a photo in her Real Thread t-shirt on Instagram.

Do you plan on continuing to incorporate t-shirts into your marketing strategy?

Yes! It’s important to find efficient and effective ways to express our gratitude to our donors. And based on the feedback, it seems people like to wear their support, especially when it’s as comfy as the Real Thread t-shirts.How can people reading this give to Water.org?

Donate at http://water.org/donate or start an online fundraiser at http://give.water.org to help us reach even more people with life-changing access to safe water and sanitation.

And how can we win a t-shirt? 😉

Yes, anyone who creates a fundraiser here (http://give.water.org) and raises $300 or more to help people get access to safe water can earn a Real Thread t-shirt for themselves.

Alright, you’re up next! Start thinking about how you can use t-shirts to grow your audience, and do some good.

We can’t wait to see how you use t-shirts to change the world. If you need help getting started, give us a shout! We would love to help you get your project off the ground.