Buy a cool t-shirt and help a non-profit – that’s the foundation behind Columbus-based Outfit Good. The company knows that doing fundraisers through t-shirts isn’t necessarily a new concept – just take a look at the t-shirt rack at Goodwill – but the owners are focused on great designs and a solid mission so that customers are proud to wear their shirts.
“We’re a fundraising platform that works with non-profits, charities, small groups [and] individuals to come up with a custom-designed shirt that we host on our site for typically 30 days at a time,” says Outfit Good Co-Founder Andrew Goldsmith.
Outfit Good takes all sales on a pre-sale basis and after the sale closes out, the company writes a check to the campaign’s dedicated non-profit to the tune of $10 for each shirt sold. Organizations don’t have to wait for funds, and, “We don’t ask for a penny from them,” Goldsmith says. “Our only ask of them is that they just help us promote the sale to their network.”
Goldsmith and Outfit Good Partner Tasha Wheeler want their company to be known for what they give away rather than what they keep. They are transparent in their desire to help community organizations with a significant portion of the profits from each t-shirt going directly to help others. They recently upped donations from $7 per shirt to $10. “Put your money where your mouth is,” Goldsmith says.
So far this year, Outfit Good has donated over $2,500 to various organizations, which is just a small representation of their aspirations. They have done campaigns with the Capital Area Humane Society, Columbus Soup and Columbus Creative Cooperative. In addition to working directly with non-profits, they will also create campaigns for individual groups that might want to donate to a non-profit, always striving to work with worthy, admirable causes.
“We like to get to know the groups we work with,” Wheeler says. She and Goldsmith also try to give back to the organizations their shirts are benefiting, volunteering at least one day a month. So far this year, they’ve completed 50 hours of volunteer work.
From volunteering with the organizations to shipping the final shirt, the duo is involved in every step of the process. They custom design the shirts for each campaign, sell them through their website and hand-print all the shirts themselves before shipping them out, often with a humorous and hand-written thank-you note.
“You have a human behind every bit of that and I think that makes a difference,” Wheeler says.
With their hands-on nature, Goldsmith and Wheeler prefer to meet all of their clients face-to-face, which presents both a challenge and an opportunity in their business model. As they continue to grow, the duo often has to approach organizations they want to work with, sometimes with just a cold email. Receiving an email saying you don’t have to do anything but partner with us and encourage your network to buy a t-shirt and you will receive money might seem like a scam, but once they are able to meet clients in-person, campaigns are made.
Goldsmith and Wheeler met while working together at a non-profit, both having gone from corporate positions to non-profits looking for a company that was a good fit. Realizing how well they worked together, and how rare a great partnership can be, they were motivated to build something on their own. Wheeler’s background in advertising and graphic design paired with Goldsmith’s printing experience made the foundation for Outfit Good.
With 9,000 registered non-profits in Franklin County alone, the company is eager to see what the Central Ohio market has to offer.
“For us Ohio is where it’s at,” Goldsmith says. “Columbus is being good to us and we’re trying to to be good to Columbus,” Wheeler adds.
For more information, visit outfitgood.com.
Photo credit January Newbanks.