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Donating Profits & Social Responsibility (Cafepress, Goodstorm, Zazzle and Spreadshirt)

Companies choose to donate for many reasons but usually its either based on customer demand for increased social responsibility or an owners passion for a particular social issue (less common and frequently more transparent). As a result of corporate donations a company can have increased product demand as a result of “social responsibility” driven marketing. A number of T-shirt fulfillment companies have started paying more attention to their social responsibility. Some of the major companies who either donate or provide tools for charities include Cafepress, Zazzle, Spreadshirt, and Goodstorm.

In October 2006, Cafepress set up a breast cancer awareness portal and shopkeepers were able to donate their designs and then Cafepress donated 40% of the retail sales to Susan B. Komen foundation. Hopefully Cafepress will setup the Breast Cancer donation portal again in 2007. Cafepress also set up a donation portal for Hurricane Katrina support.

Back in October 2005, Zazzle announced a ‘Community Giving Program’ to allow communities to raise charity awareness. Twenty perfect or more of every product sale goes to the charity that created the product. As of today, Zazzle has 83 different charities who are participating in the program by offering designs for sale on Zazzle products. The Zazzle Community Giving Portal is a list of participating charities and Zazzle pays them 20% rather than the traditional community member’s 17%. Zazzle’s extra offering of an extra 3% to non-profit’s is not substantial but their real contribution is a portal marketed towards giving and an easy way for non-profits to do fundraising.

Spreadshirt announced in June 2007 (or so) that they will donate $2.00 from the sale of every organic t-shirt to The Nature Conservancy. Spreadshirt also announced in their corporate blog back in May 2007 that their “core values include social and environmental responsibility. Any vendor violating best practices in this area will not be a Spreadshirt vendor“. The blog entry also address specific issues related to questions about Spreadshirt t-shirt vendors.

We’re redefining capitalism. While we’re at it, we’re reforming e-commerce, too.” is central to Goodstorm’s business model. Their tagline “Capitalism Done Right” basically means that they offer tools to make sure the folks who design t-shirts get a fair share of the profit from each sale. Goodstorm states that the designers get 50-70% of the profit from each sale. While this is not a direct example of “donating” to charities or non-profits, it is a great example of a company making sure they give back to the people who are the foundation of their business and in this case it is the t-shirt designers.

If you are aware of other major t-shirt companies who are actively donating portions of their profits please let us know.

Written by T-Shirt Talk


  1. Josh · August 23, 2007

    Thanks for the great post. Zazzle has always believed in social responsibility – and supporting charities through merchandise sales and other programs has been one of our key programs to do so. Just wanted to add one clarification. Charities currently can earn up to 27% on sales – with a 20% royalty and 7% referreral. Basically, we give the charities an additional 10% royalty on every sale as part of the Zazzle Giving program. With some upcoming changes you referenced a few posts before, charities and non-profits will soon be able to earn even more on Zazzle to support their organizations.

  2. Custom T-Shirt Talk » 2nd Annual Breast Cancer T-Shirt Donation Shop at · September 12, 2007

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