Non-Profit Fundraising With Custom Playing Cards

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Because Playing Cards (e.g. poker cards) can be customized on both the back and face of the card, they provide a great opportunity for a unique fundraising campaign which can effectively be combined with complementary fundraising events. Since Custom Playing Cards are associated with fun and entertainment, the positive impressions supporters associate with their use will reflect positively on a non-profit organization’s brand. Playing cards also have a relatively long life span, assuming of course that cards are not lost! As a result, supporters will have repeated reminders of the organization each time they use the cars while also providing the non-profit with added exposure to other game participants.

There are essentially two types of custom playing cards. Some suppliers will only customize the back of each card while others offer the option of customizing both sides of the cards. While single-sided custom cards are less expensive, they do not provide the same opportunities for fundraising. With dual-sided Custom Playing Cards, a non-profit organization can place its logo (or its event logo) on the back side of all the cards in a deck (since all backs should be the same) while selling advertising space on the face of each card. Because playing cards are printed in full sized sheets before being cut into individual cards, the face of each individual card may be uniquely customized, typically without incremental cost. The set up costs to customize the face of one card or all cards with one logo or all cards with different logos will be approximately the same. The caveat is that special artwork used must be provided in production ready formats acceptable to the supplier (typically using Adobe Illustrator). If new artwork must be developed or existing artwork modified, additional costs may result.

To optimize the potential of this fundraising idea, non-profit organizations sell the ad space on the face of the 52 cards (plus 2 jokers, typically) to business and individual supporters. With 54 cards, a nominal fee of $100 can generate $5200 in revenue. Only a fraction of this revenue will typically be required to cover the set up costs for the custom cards.

Once the cards are printed, organizations can sell the individual decks to supporters and community members for as much as a 100% profit depending on the number of decks purchased. Retail business supporters can also be asked to sell the decks at local stores to further increase sales. Sales can also target card clubs as well as local bars holding Texas Hold ‘Em games. Taking pre-orders can help limit risks by establishing a baseline for orders, however, organizations should plan for additional production for post-production sales.

The cost of Custom Playing Cards will vary based on the number of cards printed as well as the specific style of cards chosen and packaging options. Orders of 1000 decks or more will yield lower costs and a more reasonable resale price. As a general example, 1000 custom decks in imprinted packages at a resale price of about $7 per deck can yield approximately $3500 in proceeds. Actual costs may be higher or lower based on the specific type of card, packaging, imprint colors, and other factors. When combined with revenue from ad sales, a Custom Playing Card fundraising campaign has the potential of generating substantial proceeds for the organization.

In addition, the Custom Playing Cards campaign can be combined with with a Casino Night Event or a Texas Hold ‘Em Event to both further leverage card sales as well as for incremental proceeds from these popular events.

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