Paul over at Cause-Related Marketing has a post on selling non-profit branded merchandise to raise money. The Audrey Hepburn Children's Fund is, of course, a perfect kind of organization to sell $700 Audrey hand bags. But I think this will be something you'll see a lot more nonprofits doing in the years to come. As nonprofits get more savvy about their brands and build more relationships with businesses, especially retailers, they'll be selling their own branded items online and in stores.
I'm hoping that as Halloween Town grows it too will become the kind of brand that people will want to have on a t-shirt, hat, hoodie, you name it. We tried t-shirts our first year, but they just didn't sell. We haven't tried any other items since then, but I could see a new push in two to three years when the event is better known.
I recently read that in Atlanta the emergency room at Grady Hospital, the city's only public hospital, is so well respected that people are buying bumper stickers that say "If I'm in a car crash, take me to Grady!"
Since my hospital has the busiest and best trauma center in New England, I think I may have discovered the first item in our product line! Of course, think of all the fun I could have selling a whole product line of "selfish" apparel that are really vehicles for giving. Hmmm....