Go Swagless: How To Encourage Local Companies To Join the Movement


Michael Scott from The Office defined swag as "Stuff We All Get." At conferences, trade shows, and other events, row after row of booths are always giving out keychains, nail files, water bottles, stress balls – stuff! Swag is an easy way to promote a company's brand, but too often all that stuff inevitably ends up in a household junk drawer (or the garbage). Fortunately, some companies are catching on to this. #GoSwagless is a new movement that encourages businesses and corporations to take their swag budget and donate it to a nonprofit instead.

How does it work? The mission of the #GoSwagless movement is to help local nonprofits, cut wasteful spending and to do good. If a company is interested in going swagless, they might use GuideStar to identify nonprofits in their community that align with their corporate culture or mission statement. The company determines what budget they would normally spend on marketing and promotional merchandise, and determine how much of that to donate to the nonprofit organization(s). Then, rather than handing out tote bags and pens at their next conference, the company can use some of the free, open-source files offered by the #GoSwagless movement to create posters or pamphlets about why they've chosen to go swagless, and to promote the nonprofit's mission and programs instead.

So how can nonprofits get in on the #GoSwagless movement? First, make sure your GuideStar profile is up to date. Then reach out to some of your local business partners, like the companies you use for banking or office supplies. Educate them about the movement and your mission, and how going swagless could be mutually beneficial - for the company, your organization, and the environment. By reducing unnecessary junk and putting those funds towards nonprofit programs, we can all help to reduce our environmental impact and create good in the world.