[Editor's Note: This is a weekly series. If your company is doing something amazing to help a charitable cause or doing some good in your community, please reach out.]
What if just by buying a t-shirt that spreads a message for a charitable cause, you could help fund that cause? What if there were a website that highlighted a specific cause and t-shirt every week? And what if that website donated $7 from each sale to that cause? You’d have Sevenly.org, a pretty amazing startup with the sole purpose of helping to raise both money and awareness, all with fashion, e-commerce and you, of course.
By highlighting one cause a week, Sevenly puts all of its focus on promoting that cause, which benefits from it, and giving you a simple call to action…buy a t-shirt.
I spoke to Ryan Wood from Sevenly and here’s how he describes his startup’s mission:
The way that our model works is that for every single product purchased from our website, Sevenly donates $7 to that week’s cause on behalf of the supporter. For example, if our supporters purchase 1,000 products during the seven-day campaign, Sevenly will write a check for $7,000 and donate it directly to the cause (charity partner) for that week.
Through this model we’re also able to do some pretty exciting things. Often times we’re able to quantify our purchases to say, for example, for every item purchased an orphaned child in Thailand will be provided with daily meals for an entire month. Or, for every item purchased a child struggling with cancer will be given a jar full of toys that will bring joy and happiness to their lives. In addition to being able to quantify these purchases, we are able to introduce match donors occassionaly for our campaigns, raising the donation amount from $7 to $14 per item purchased, and in some cases, a full $21 donated per item purchased.
This week’s shirt benefits Child Help, which is dedicated to helping victims of child abuse and neglect.
The company has already raised $1,554,040 for various causes since its launch, with its items being shared on various social networks 4,018,721 times. That’s quite a network effect, and pretty good for a company that started less than two years ago.
While I’m not a fan of infographics, Sevenly has put one together that shows you why its model works and was necessary. As you’ll see, there’s a surplus of charitable causes out there, but there’s no clear way for them to reach the right audience of supporters who will both donate and spread their message:
Does the company make some money? Yes, of course. It has a staff to pay and it takes time, effort and money to design and print t-shirts. This is what Sevenly does, and all you have to do is buy a t-shirt to participate. If you’re a non-profit and want Sevenly to highlight your cause, simply fill out this application.