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“Our goal is to use social media to revolutionize this, and use t-shirts as a vehicle to bring simultaneous exposure to two important groups of people in our local community.”

Each week SocialPakt will partner with a local artist to create a unique t-shirt design that’s been inspired by the mission of a local nonprofit. They take the design, screen it on a t-shirt, and feature it on SocialPakt.com for one week.

For each t-shirt sold, SocialPakt will donate 30% percent to the featured non-profit. The artist will also be compensated by SocialPakt. Once the week is over, the t-shirt is gone forever and a new campaign begins!

Greg Mullens & Bailey Schroeder, Social Pakt - Co-Founders

MO: Tell us about the inspiration behind SocialPakt?

Greg & Bailey: SocialPakt was inspired by a genuine desire to better our local community. Artists and nonprofits, typically poorly paid and underfunded, are both groups that benefit from increased awareness to help fund their business and organization. Our goal is to use social media to revolutionize this, and use t-shirts as a vehicle to bring simultaneous exposure to two important groups of people in our local community.

MO: How do you find the artists to design the t-shirts?

Greg & Bailey: The process for finding the artists has been very organic. When we first began we knew there were three things that mattered – the artist had to be talented, from New York, and most importantly have a desire to create something that would support a local cause. New York is a huge city, and in order to make it more manageable we first turned to Etsy. Etsy allows you to look at artists’ work by both medium and location. We were able to quickly find dozens of very talented, charity oriented New York-based artists. From the relationships we built through Etsy artists, we have received referrals and met a number of incredibly talented, forward-thinking artists. We also took the opportunity to explore New York City’s local artist markets and fairs. We made a lot of great connections and we are confident we found the perfect artists!

MO: How do you choose the nonprofits that you partner with?

Greg & Bailey: Our goal is to showcase nonprofits from across four key categories: animal welfare, basic human needs, the environment and culture. Maintaining a balance between these four categories is extremely important – partly because we want to give our consumers variety in the types of images they see, but predominantly because this diversity of causes is what shapes our city and makes it such a vibrant community.

MO: Why did you decide to make the t-shirt gone forever after the week is over? Why not keep it on the shop?

Greg & Bailey: We decided to sell the t-shirt for one week because we want to give exclusive, undistracted exposure to each artist and nonprofit we feature on SocialPakt. Also, by having the shirt only available for one week there is a sense of urgency in terms of the time someone has to buy the t-shirt. This gives both SocialPakt and the nonprofit a powerful message to convey throughout the feature week.

MO: How do you plan to use social media to start the conversation about SocialPakt?

Greg & Bailey: We have a very calculated social media strategy that involves SocialPakt, our followers and our feature nonprofits. First, when we work with a nonprofit they reach out to their social media followers via Facebook and Twitter. We work with them to create content that is compelling, meaningful, and will inspire action. The action we are looking for isn’t necessarily just for an individual to buy the t-shirt, but to share the shirt. By “sharing” the shirt on Facebook or Twitter, the individual is helping spread awareness for both the nonprofit and the artist. Similarly, we have designed our website to be very “shareable”. Even if an individual doesn’t buy the shirt, we want them to have the option to tell their friends. The more shares a shirt gets, the more attention, and financial support we can provide to the nonprofit and artist.

When it comes to the SocialPakt social media strategy – the tweets and posts we do from the SocialPakt account – we have two primary goals: sell a cool t-shirt and introduce people to new artists and nonprofits in New York City. For example, to raise awareness we pose questions to our Facebook fans. The questions are related to either the artist or nonprofit, and we reward our fans for participation. At the end of the feature week, not only have we raised money for the nonprofit, we have also educated people and hopefully created long-term followers for both the artist and nonprofit.

MO: What is the ultimate goal of SocialPakt?

Greg & Bailey: The ultimate goal of SocialPakt is to build an online community that artists, nonprofits, and their supporters can benefit from. Over time we hope to expand into other cities, increase our offerings (into both goods and services), and give socially conscious consumers a place where they can make a difference!

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