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Why Sock Fundraisers Simply Work

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sock fundraisers

According to a recent study by Zion Market Research, the global socks market will reach $24.16 billion by 2025. Accounting for the fact that socks aren’t exactly an expensive commodity, that number is enormous. It’s also unsurprising.

Everyone needs socks. And not just because they look cool. According to Parkview Health, they also play a major role in foot health, absorbing moisture, mitigating friction when wearing shoes, cushioning the feet against injury, and keeping them warm during cold weather. There are also specialty socks designed to improve circulation and promote better muscle health, as well.

In short, if your nonprofit is looking to run a fundraiser that simply works, you can’t go wrong with socks. They represent an exceptional fundraising opportunity, especially if you’re involved in any way with the athletic community. Sock fundraisers can take a few forms, depending on how you want to go about it: 

For Supporters

A few months ago, I was hitting the show floor at a conference when I came across a vendor that was giving away branded socks. As I browsed, they informed me that they were the most popular item they had ever given away; far more than pens and stress balls.

Similar to stickers and other branded apparel, socks can be a way for your supporters to show their pride for your organization. Like those items, they’re also a conversation starter. You’ve probably noticed or even asked about a colorful pair of socks; imagine being able to say they’re from your favorite charity and seeing where the conversation goes.

You could potentially use socks as an incentive for donors, selling them and giving the proceeds to charity. To stock your shelves, you could either work with their corporate social responsibility department of an apparel company or design your own. If you take this route, make sure you’re offering something more than run-of-the-mill socks. Offer either specialty athletic apparel or cool designs. 

As an alternative to selling to your donors, you might also consider including socks in the stewardship pieces your nonprofit sends out.

If that tactic doesn’t mesh particularly well with your nonprofit’s mission, you could think about using them as part of a sweepstake or giveaway. If you want to get more creative than just giving away some pairs of socks, Better Fundraising Ideas dreamed up something known as Six Sox. How it works is pretty simple:

  • Put several different-colored socks on a line.
  • Each sock contains a prize of some kind, such as a toy, some candy, or a gift card. 
  • People take turns choosing a sock. 
  • For a bit of added excitement, you could have one sock contain a “grand prize” of some kind.
  • In addition to the prizes, contestants get a new pair of socks. 

In both of the above cases, the socks aren’t necessarily the sole focus of your fundraiser, but an important component of it. And both are excellent options if direct sales aren’t quite up your alley. 

For Those You Serve

If your organization wanted to provide pairs of warm socks to the homeless or other needy constituents during the winter months, or send out socks and other clothing to the victims of a natural disaster, empowering donors to donate them directly would give donors a tangible way of supporting you. These could either be purchased with the proceeds from your charity or given to you by donors. Amazon Wishlists are incredibly useful and make it easy for donors to send socks your way. You could also host (on your own or with a partner) an on-site sock drive for drop-off donations.

Sock Fundraisers Simply Work

I always like to say that one of the surest signs you’ve reached adulthood is that you get excited about things like housewares, linens, and socks. Especially socks. They’re comfortable, they’re useful, they’re versatile, and they’re a great way to make a unique fashion statement.

And all of the above means they represent an excellent opportunity for your nonprofit to run sock fundraisers that simply work. 

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