I stumbled onto TeeSpring.com after first reading about the Rhode Island-based startup on TechCrunch. What a genius idea. So genius that it seemed like the perfect answer to the short term fundraising needs that we had at Hatchedit.com to find money to pay for a few developmental improvements (if you want to support a mom-run business focused on helping families click here).
But as I researched further it occurred to me that Teespring is an excellent way for class moms (and dads) or PTA representatives to fundraise during the school year. The site, which is the brainchild of two Rhode Island based entrepreneurs (from Brown University), allows its users to design and sell t-shirts in return for a cut of the profits. The beauty of Teespring is that it is not necessary for fundraisers to outlay any cash at all. Instead, you set a number of items to be sold as your goal, and if and when that goal is reached then funds are collected from the people who have placed orders and the t-shirts (or sweatshirts) are printed and shipped.
In a time when school budgets (and household budgets) have been cut back, fundraising for schools is more necessary than ever. If you are a class parent, or your child is active on a sports team or other extracurricular activity, it is now possible to design a sweatshirt or t-shirt that can be ordered by anyone interested in having one. And, at the same time you can set any price point you would like over and above the cost of the item in order to turn the sale into a fundraiser. If you don't want to raise funds then you can simply allow people to order the items at cost.
Crowdfunding online is an area of fundraising that has really taken off in the past few years. Many people have heard of sites such as Kickstarter or Indiegogo which have allowed entrepreneurs and charities to fundraise. The area of tee-shirts in particular though seems so well suited for many of the fundraising efforts that parents are involved in for their children's schools and activities. The added benefit of not having to outlay any cash, and being able to gauge the popularity of an item before anyone has to outlay money for their order is particularly genius.
If you are in charge of school events, Teespring is well worth looking into as we kick into the Back To School season. "Class of 2014" shirts would likely be very popular, as well as event specific t shirts and sweatshirts that might allow students and their families to show enthusiasm for a group they belong to, in both monetarily supporting them and advertising their existence by wearing the t-shirts they buy around town!