Close this search box.

Boosting Donations with Pet Branded Merch

Pet Branded Merchandise

Pets have never been a bigger part of the American experience. From dog daycares and pet spas to pets joining their families on outings  to malls, bars and coffee shops, their presence is more prevalent than ever. Not only are we spending more on our pets, pet ownership has been trending upwards. A recent Forbes article shared that more than 66% of households have a pet, up from 56% in 1988. Moreover, 51% of families considered their pet to be as much of their family as a human family member. Bottom line – we love our pets!

Colleges would be wise to capitalize on this trend to incentivize donations. As colleges are depending more and more on fundraising to shore up their budgets, they are continuously looking for new ideas to raise funds. Branded merch is a proven method to incentivize donations for four reasons:

  1. College supporters love to showcase their collegiate colors. Branded merch is a perfect way for donors to do this.  
  2. Colleges frequently foster  strong emotional connections. Appealing to donors’ emotions is a powerful strategy. 
  3. Branded merch is trendy. This recent article details how society is more open to repping brands than ever before.  
  4. As our own research showed, donors are more likely to give if they receive branded merch.  

Now if you  add branded college merch geared around pets, you’ve created the  perfect cocktail for success! This two-fold strategy appeals to donors’ emotional ties to their pet and to your college. As an added benefit, this tactic is popular with Millennials and Gen Z. Colleges look for strategies to encourage donors to start giving at an earlier age, so since Millennials and Gen Z are driving the pet trend (they make up 58% of current pet owners), this is a perfect way to get them started giving to their alma mater.      

To show how focusing on pets can make a difference, Cornell University recently created record engagement through a pet campaign. 

For fundraising inspiration, here are three opportunities to incorporate pet branded merch into raising funds:

Pop Up Pet Specific Campaign – Run a simple online giving event over a short period of time that features 1-3 pet-related items for donors. Make it fun, simple and engaging.  

CRM Collection and Engagement – Collect pet data from donors and use pet branded merch to surprise and delight them. For example, after donors hit a certain giving level, have a dog leash sent to them. The fulfillment can be set up through a CRM integration to make this process automatic, smooth and timely.  

Provide Choice For Giving Days – Our research showed that donors are more likely to donate if they have a choice in their branded merch. Use product choice for Giving Days and other similar events, offering donors 2-4 options for their donation. By making one item pet related, the campaign can specifically appeal to this audience while allowing other donors to choose alternatives.  

As mentioned in a recent branded merch trends article, we now offer more pet related gear than ever before that spans across a wide range of price points. The popular items include dog leashes, collars, water bowls, bandannas and toys

Don’t pass on this pet merch trend for collegiate fundraising. This strategy may become your new best friend! Pet Branded Merchandise

Stay Connected

Subscribe to monthly e-news for the latest on promo merch, trends and more!

Postage Permits

We are happy to mail using a client’s USPS non-profit number. Here are a few best practices for this to go smoothly. Let our team know up front on the project so we can make sure to get the information we need right away. 

While our mail house does prefer to use their permit number for the mailing, we can use the client’s permit, If using their permit number, ensure there is enough postage to cover the mailing.

The information we need to in order to use a client’s nonprofit number includes the following:

Formatting the Mailing List

Our account team will advise on specific requirements for your project’s mailing list.  We generally recommend these best practices to format the mailing list: