Generate revenue for your NPO through online sales

Generate revenue for your NPO through online sales

The non-profit world is very competitive. For many NPOs, grants, donations, and membership fees are no longer enough to carry out their mission and keep the organization afloat. That's why developing different sources of revenue is essential, such as implementing online sales, whether they be  one-time or recurring. Let's take a look at how your organization can benefit from operating a non-profit online store and how to successfully implement this  strategy! 


Can NPOs sell merchandise? 

Yes, the government website states that "nonprofit organizations are free to conduct the same activities as corporations."

For more information from the tax authorities in regard to  your rights and obligations, we invite you to read this article: Are all not-for-profit corporations the same?


Why do online sales as an NPO?

E-commerce continues to grow. According to a report by Retail Insider, online sales in Canada will reach $79.8 billion in 2022 and are expected to reach $104 billion by 2025. 

A non-profit online store offers a complementary and regular source of income that can help you finance your NPO. It can be a store where you sell merchandise related to your activity.


Integrate your online sales into your overall strategy

To be solid, your organization's fundraising strategy should  be based on a variety of revenue streams. Online sales is one of them, and you can combine it with other sources of revenue: memberships, donations, events, etc.

The advantage of online sales is that you can register  your buyers' emails. You can then incorporate them into future marketing campaigns to further support your mission. 

For example, when you launch registration for your next event, you can invite your buyers through a targeted communication. 

Communication template to promote your next event to your buyers

Hello [buyer's first name], 

I wanted to take a moment and thank you for your latest purchase on our NPO's online sales page. 

Thanks to your support and that of our entire community, we raised $[amount]! This allowed us to fund [your project].  

Today is a big day for [Name of your NPO] as we are launching registration for our [Name of your event]. It is [Description of your event: purpose, format, date, location, theme...]. We would be delighted to see you there and to share this moment of [sharing and conviviality for example].

Would you like to know more? You can reach us by phone [number] or go directly to our online registration page right here: [link to your page].

Thank you for your support, 

[Your Signature]


What to sell as an NPO?

Ideally, the items and products you put online should be related to your organization's mission. If your organization is dedicated to the environment, selling sustainable water bottles might be a good idea! 

To find out what your community would be willing to buy from you, there is nothing better than to survey them. Among the classic promotional items that NPOs sell are sweaters, coffee mugs, pens, notebooks and any other items that we use on a daily basis.

In general, as the holiday season approaches, it's a good time to sell chocolates, Christmas cards, advent calendars or even Christmas trees! 


How to set the selling price of your products?

Whatever you choose to sell, it is important to take into account the costs of purchasing, manufacturing and shipping. Logistics must be easy to set up and, above all, it must be profitable. 

Before defining your pricing strategy, learn about the prices and practices of other organizations like yours. Also, take the time to calculate the costs involved in this new activity, and then determine a reasonable level of profit you can achieve by selling your goods.


Which online sales platforms to choose for your NPO? 

There is a wide range of tools on the Internet to allow you to make online sales. Before choosing one tool over another, it is important to consider several elements. Indeed, tThe best online sales platform for your NPO is the one that offers sufficient functionalities and low or non-existent commissions.


A platform with low or no commissions

When you compare different online sales platforms for your organization, it is essential to ask yourself about the fees applicable to the sales you will make. Importantly , this aspect will impact the amount of your net revenue that you will actually receive on your bank account. It is therefore preferable to choose a platform that does not offer any commission from the start! 


An efficient follow-up and management of your sales

We recommended earlier that you integrate your online sales into your overall NPO strategy. In this sense, it is important that the online sales platform also allows you to manage your relationship with your buyers over time. The online sales platform must also enable  you to save time by automating the sending of invoices. 

Furthermore, it is also important that the platform allows you to integrate your store to your website if you have one. Or to simply have a nice independent sales page if you don't have a website for your association.

A quality support service

It is preferable that the tool you choose to make your sales is simple and intuitive. Nevertheless, if you encounter difficulties, it is important that you can contact the support service and that it is reactive and available.


Secure online payments

The site must be fully secure not only for your NPO but also for your buyers. To get an idea of the trustworthiness  of a website, you can check that the site you are on has "https" security. Keep in mind that there are 2 types of websites: those whose url starts with " http:// " and those whose address starts with " https:// ". Avoid using an  " http:// " site, instead opt for an " https:// " site with the addition of the " s " for " Secure "and a closed padlock that may also appear in your browser window. We also advise you to check the site's legal notices. 


Yapla, an all-in-one payment and management platform for your NPO

Yapla is a platform used by thousands of NPOs that enables them to create a simple and efficient online sales page for their non-profit. 

"Yapla allowed us to simplify the sales process. The order forms, the invoices... everything is centralized, and moreover, there are no costs for the association " Gautier Gildas, Vice President of the Football club Etoile Mouzillonnaise.

How to set up your online store ?

Once you have chosen the online sales platform of your choice, determined the items to be sold and developed a pricing strategy, it is time to set up your online sales page

Many non-profit use Yapla's Event feature to set up their sales page. Get inspired

Launch Npo online sales with Yapla

Create an account


How to promote your sales page?

Promoting your store can help you increase sales and improve your fundraising. Use your organization's social media pages to draw  your community to your page. 

You can also send out email campaigns to advertise your store and promote sales. Explain in your emails how making a  purchase benefits your organization and tie the promotion to your mission in your text. 

Setting up an online store can be a valuable part of a multi-faceted fundraising strategy for charitable organizations. In particular, it allows donors to fund your organization while getting something in return. 



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Solène, marketing manager

Solène Beguin


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