Silicone Bracelets Help Many Worthy Causes Raise Funds Fast

Published: 20th June 2011
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Silicone bracelets became a worldwide phenomenon in 2004. Thatís the year the classic yellow "Livestrong" bracelet was introduced as a way to raise money for, and awareness of, cancer research.

The iconic yellow silicone bracelets quickly became a fashion must-have The Livestrong bracelets have raised millions of dollars for cancer research over the past seven years. Before long, other organizations introduced their own custom silicone bracelets in other colors to support many other worthy causes as well.

With a limited palette of colors available, almost all individual wristband colors came to represent multiple causes, making it difficult or impossible to tell exactly what specific silicone bracelets were supposed to represent. Although this appeared to dilute the promotional value of wristbands, it also gave the wearers of the silicone bracelets an opportunity to explain in more detail what their silicone bracelets are meant to represent.

Over the years, silicone bracelets have proved themselves great fundraisers for many organizations. Schools have adopted them to raise needed cash for extracurricular activities, and other organizations have sold them to help raise funds for disaster relief.

Recent events demonstrate the extraordinary, rapid fundraising power of silicone bracelets. For example, singer Lady Gaga designed and sold "We Pray For Japan" wristbands after the devastating earthquake, tsunami and nuclear disaster in that country earlier this year. Selling for $5 each, the silicone bracelets raised $250,000 for Japanese relief efforts in just 48 hours.

What makes silicone bracelets so successful as fundraisers is their remarkably low cost of production. They can be produced inexpensively in high volumes, then sold at a relatively low price. Because they cost so little to make, selling them for just $1 each enables profits to add up quickly because of the high per-unit profit margins. The popularity of silicone bracelets also is enhanced by the fact that theyíre sold at prices low enough that just about anyone who wants one can afford to buy it.

Itís also easy to appreciate silicone bracelets for their simplicity. The most basic design, the debossed wristband identical to the famous yellow one, is nothing more than a band of 100 percent medical grade silicone with a brief word or phrase molded into it. Itís a simple, classic, timeless look that makes its point without a lot of fuss.

Another factor that makes silicone bracelets popular is that people are often looking for ways to support causes they consider important, but canít always contribute in big ways. Wearing silicone bracelets is a way they can support their chosen causes and make a statement about them, even if they are unable to do more.

Some people say such efforts are just "slacktivism," something that does little for the cause people support, but makes people feel good about their contribution. Thatís an understandable argument, but itís also impossible to argue that $250,000 raised for Japanese disaster relief within 48 hours through the sale of silicone bracelets doesnít make an impact.

No one argues that a single person buying silicone bracelets makes a huge difference as an individual. But collectively, the amounts raised by such efforts add up fast. Itís similar to voting in that regard.

Silicone bracelets also allow people who otherwise wouldnít be able to contribute to a cause to do so. One school district in Ohio, for example, raised $5,000 for earthquake relief efforts in Haiti through the sale of silicone bracelets.

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