Your Org’s Name Here — Don’t Miss This Incredible Nonprofit Marketing Opportunity

Your Org's Name Here -- Don't Miss This Incredible Nonprofit Marketing OpportunityFinally, concern about environmental impact has motivated governments and retailers to ban or discourage use of plastic bags. In some cases, paper bags are included in policies that range from charging for bags to selling recyclable or reusable bags as recently reported in The New York Times.

Last year, San Francisco banned all plastic bags that don’t easily break down. NYC retailers must offer plastic bag recycling.  And, starting in February 2008, Whole Foods will offer customers a choice between free recycled paper bags (deemed a winner by the National Resources Defense Council) and purchased reusable bags ($).

Here’s your organization’s opportunity:

  1. Green is seen almost universally as a good, and a value. No need to convince there.
  2. People still need bags, even as plastic bag bans go into effect more widely.
  3. Reusable bags are selling like mad (anecdotal, from my observations, and buying experience).
  4. Produce Your Nonprofit Here bags for sale via your org (at hugely above cost) and/or via retailers (a perfect cause marketing gig, but make sure your cut is substantial).

See some examples above, modeled by our shining star, Charlotte. Make ’em striking enough (attractive, not just serviceable) that they’ll be used again and again (and multiples purchased). Not only do you get the revenue from the purchase, you get the benefit of your bag users marketing your org as they carry the bags around town.

Here are some other creative resusable bag examples, all way more attention getting than the norm. Perhaps a breast cancer org should jump on a cause version of the "No Plastic Bags Bra," a no-hands solution storing two reusable bags in the bra cups.

Happy bagging.

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Nancy Schwartz on March 12, 2008 in Earned Income/Ventures, Nonprofit Communications, Unique Approaches, Viral Marketing | 4 comments
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  • Maryann Osmond

    I would love a link for producing the bags.

  • Great request, Maryann. Here are a few wholesale/custom vendors (not recommended, just found them online and reviewed their approach, offerings and client lists):
    1 Bag at a Time http://www.1bagatatime.com/
    Bags on the Run
    http://www.bagsontherun.com/
    EcoBags
    http://www.ecobags.com/

  • Michele

    You could use a service like cafepress (http://www.cafepress.com/cp/customize/product.aspx?clear=true&no=17)
    the bag costs $13. Anything you get over that is yours to keep. They print to order and take care of the shipping so you (the nonprofit) don’t have to order a bunch and keep track of inventory. However, you do have to do all the promotion work.

  • Great idea! I sent this to the director of marketing at the nonprofit I work at. If you find more bag vendors – please post them.

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