In light of our recent partnership with the lovely people over at Merch For Good, we wanted to take the time and sit down with them to tell you more about their mission and what they’re all about.
Hey team, thanks for joining us for a chat. We’re delighted to be a part of what you guys do and looking forward to our future together. To kick things off with the interview – could you tell our readers a bit more about how the idea of Merch For Good came together and when you guys started the project?
So, Merch for Good originally began life as something called the Yellow Bird Project, which was run by a small team in the US who worked with bands to raise funds for charity. Sophie – Trekstock's Founder – then took over the project, having already released T-shirts with the likes of One Direction, Ellie Goulding, Foals, and others for the charity. The name Merch for Good came about a few years ago and the brand was officially launched.
Merch For Good works with some of the biggest artists on the scene right now, how does a collaboration kick-off and can you give us an inside scoop into how you approach these projects?
I’m not sure if it’s much of a scoop, but it all comes down to a lot of lists and spreadsheets, as well as developing and nurturing the strong relationships we have with artist management and labels. Our biggest collection falls around World Cancer Day on February 4th and this year we were honoured to have worked with The Killers, Yungblud, 5 Seconds of Summer and so many more amazing bands.
We have a few smaller collections throughout the year, mainly around Halloween, Christmas, and other significant calendar dates. We have an almighty wishlist of acts we’d love to collaborate with and for each campaign we highlight the ones who we feel would be a perfect fit – then start the emails!
Can you tell us a bit more about Trekstock and how the company helps young adults living with cancer?
Every day in the UK, 34 young adults are diagnosed with cancer. Trekstock was founded in 2009 and our vision is a future where anyone in their 20s or 30s who has heard the words "it's cancer" is given tailored support that matches their unique needs. We’re the only charity that offers support to this age group of cancer patients and we work to tackle social isolation and improve quality of life through and beyond their treatment.
We provide support, guidance, and connection to a community of young adults who have been diagnosed with cancer through unique experiences, specialist advice designed to keep them active during or beyond treatment, informative events, and expert information.
You can read more about Trekstock’s story, here.
Can you walk us through your process for creating and executing successful fundraising campaigns?
The clue is kind of in the name of Trekstock. We’re big lovers of the outdoors and arrange a variety of Treks throughout the year. We work with businesses to organize team fundraising events, hiking across some of the UK’s stunning national parks while raising money for the charity. In fact, we at Merch for Good are taking on the South Coast Ultra Challenge in September and we’d love for people to join us, so if you’re interested you can sign up here!
What do you consider to be the most significant challenge facing the nonprofit sector today, and how would you address it?
The pandemic really hit the charity sector hard, and we’re still feeling the effects of it now. That combined with the current cost of living crisis means that people are – understandably – more careful with their spending. I think the most important thing to state is that no matter how big or small your donation, it all makes a difference. Whether it’s a few pounds each month, a one-off fundraiser like a bake sale, or purchasing a T-shirt from Merch for Good, we appreciate any and all forms of fundraising for Trekstock.
Merch For Good places a strong emphasis on teamwork and collaboration. Can you describe how you've worked with others to achieve a common goal?
Something I don’t think many realize is that Trekstock is only a team of seven, so teamwork is a massive part of our group ethics! I (Tamsyn) am the sole person responsible for Merch for Good, but I work closely with everyone to make sure I’m representing the charity in the best way possible. Our end goal is the same, raise as much as we can so that we’re able to continue supporting young adults with cancer. All of the bands we’ve worked with so far and their management teams have been incredible. Their dedication to the cause is so amazing to see and we’re immensely grateful to all of them, Merch for Good wouldn’t exist without their involvement!
How do you stay up to date on emerging trends and developments in the nonprofit sector, and how have you integrated these into the work you do?
Although at Trekstock we believe in doing things a bit differently in terms of what support we can offer, we also work closely with other charities to forge strong partnerships that will benefit thousands of people. We also provide a voice for our community at panels and collaborate with senior medical professionals to make sure the needs of the 34 young adults diagnosed every day are met.
Along with our ambassadors, we figure out what it is that could improve the well-being of those in the cancer community and do what we can to make it a reality. Whether that’s pizza nights across the country, spa retreats, or style nights.
Merch for Good is a unique initiative, there isn’t really anyone doing what we do – on the scale that we do - for charity. We have so many exciting plans for the future and the more support we get from the music industry, the bigger we’ll grow. We want to be the inspiration for other charities to push the boundaries on what you can do and that in itself is a very special position to be in.
Can you tell us about a project or initiative that you are particularly proud of, and why?
I think our 2023 World Cancer Day collection is up there with the biggest campaign we’ve run, and one we’re all particularly proud of. I can’t even begin to express the joy that we felt as a team when we had The Killers confirm. When you read through the list of bands involved it’s like reading the line-up of the best festival of the summer! It’s really given us the drive to go bigger and better, so I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.