A Golden Fundraising Opportunity

Over $40,000 raised for kids with cancer

This past September, Liz Dicus, the program director at the American Childhood Cancer Organization (ACCO), was handing out pamphlets and other free resources at Curefest when her t-shirt caught the attention of a passerby.

Turns out, Liz’s tee — a “Gold Ribbon” charity t-shirt created on Teespring — featured the name of the passerby’s daughter, who had passed away earlier in the year. The grieving mother had submitted her daughter’s name for inclusion on the crowdsourced shirt, but had forgotten to order one in the terrible days that ensued.

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“I felt as if she was meant to be there,” she says.Through this chance encounter, Liz says, she was able to give this mother — who almost didn’t even come to the conference — a touching memento of her late daughter.

Why Teespring?

For underfunded organizations like ACCO — a grassroots, national organization dedicated to improving the lives of children with cancer and their families — Teespring offers an easy and effective way of raising funds.

Liz says she first learned of Teespring in early 2013 at a gathering for non-profits and launched her first campaign soon after. The shirt — which raised awareness for National Childhood Cancer Awareness Month — sold over 1,000 items, and ACCO was able to use the $7,000 raised toward programs that emphasize information, advocacy, awareness and research.

ACCO finds its supporters organically through word of mouth and referrals. When launching a new shirt, they post frequently on their Facebook page and actively engage their network of involved families and volunteers.

How Did They Do it?

For ACCO’s most recent 2014 campaign — the one which caught the eye of the Curefest attendee — Liz says the design team announced on Facebook that they wanted to design a shirt that featured the names of children who have or had childhood cancer. Then ended up getting over 800 names to put on the shirt, and decided on a graphic that arranged the childrens’ names in the shape of a giant gold ribbon. The campaign sold over 3,000 shirts, raised $43,000 in funds and more importantly, generated a positive response in the community.

“Teespring has helped us raise a lot of funds to go toward our programs and was fantastic to help raise awareness,” says Liz. “The platform is very user friendly: You set up your design, and their creative team is good about helping you if there’s an issue.”

What's Next?

Since starting with Teespring, ACCO has launched numerous fundraising campaigns and plans to continue using the platform to support a variety of their programs. “We’re especially proud of our ‘Founding Hope’ program, which helps empower families even in their time of loss,” says Liz. “When a family loses a child, they often want to help other families in similar situations but don’t really know how to set up a non-profit or 501c. That’s where we step in, and Teespring steps in to help us.”

Get started on Teespring here.