Wednesday, September 28, 2022
HomeFundraisingCelebrating 10 years of Bonfire

Celebrating 10 years of Bonfire

Right now is Bonfire’s tenth birthday! During the last ten years, we’ve grown from a 3-person workforce to 160+, modified our identify as soon as, offered hundreds of thousands of t-shirts, hoodies, tote baggage, and extra. However most significantly, for the previous ten years, we’ve lived one mission: to strengthen and encourage communities, via a dedication to designing the best and best on-line buyer merch expertise.

In 2021 alone, we added 20,259 new sellers to our neighborhood and raised hundreds of thousands for nonprofits via Giving Campaigns. 13,059 verified Nonprofits actively used our platform to fundraise for his or her trigger, and 4,946 Creators used Bonfire to promote merch to their supporters. We additionally revealed 480 new design templates, bringing our complete catalog of free customizable designs as much as 1,117. This design useful resource makes creating campaigns on Bonfire accessible to anybody, irrespective of how a lot design talent they’ve! 

Do you know? We started as BonfireFunds in 2012. With a deal with neighborhood fundraising, we grew and grew, till we realized in 2016 that whereas fundraising was nonetheless going to be an enormous component of our future, we wished to broaden our neighborhood to anybody who wished to create and promote customized attire – whether or not for fundraising or for revenue. In October 2016, we launched, with our most profitable marketing campaign thus far, Girls’s March on Washington, launching weeks later.

As we glance towards the longer term, we see many different alternatives for Bonfire to develop into a good higher instrument for our sellers for creating, shopping for, and promoting customized merchandise. We’re additionally merely excited to see how our sellers use the just lately added options from 2021.

New Options in 2021

This previous 12 months, we launched some game-changing options that may make promoting on Bonfire even higher for all of our sellers.

Promo Codes – Permits patrons to buy objects from campaigns at a diminished price after they sort within the promo code throughout checkout. 

Youtube Integration – Certified creators can now promote Bonfire merch instantly under movies and dwell streams with the YouTube Merch Shelf integration.

Print on Demand – It’s lastly right here! Allow POD in your subsequent marketing campaign, so orders go to print on the finish of every day, and your patrons get their merch even sooner!

Elegant + Neon  Integrations Use our peer-to-peer fundraising integrations to make it straightforward in your neighborhood to create and promote customized shirts alongside your Elegant or Neon campaigns. You’ll attain your fundraising targets sooner and look nice whereas doing it.

In 2021, we kicked off our Bonfire Model Ambassador Program by choosing an unique class of Bonfire Sellers who embody the perfect of what a Bonfire Vendor might be. They are going to have distinctive entry to teaching classes from Bonfire specialists, alternatives to supply suggestions about how Bonfire may enhance and counsel new merchandise, obtain unique items from our workforce, and a lot extra.

Desirous about turning into a Bonfire Model Ambassador?
You’ll be able to submit an software right here!

Our workforce is continually at work to make promoting on Bonfire simpler and higher than it was earlier than, and nice issues are on the horizon for 2022. However earlier than we glance forward, we need to look again, and commemorate the one method we’re even right here 10 years later…our neighborhood!

When you have ever been to the homepage of, or our unique website,, you’ve gotten been greeted with dozens of smiling faces staring again at you, adorned in customized t-shirts or carrying customized tote baggage or sipping out of customized mugs, created by them, and for his or her neighborhood. We all know that the one purpose we exist at the moment is due to the 1000’s of sellers who’ve trusted us over the past 10 years, and thus, it’s YOU that you will notice on our homepage.

A few of our Favourite Sellers 

To commemorate this thrilling milestone, we requested the Bonfire workforce to share with us their favourite Bonfire campaigns throughout their time right here. These totally different campaigns span everything of our 10 years and signify a number of various causes and kinds of campaigns.

Maintain Your Hearth

Once I was Model Supervisor right here at Bonfire, one a part of my job was to hunt out compelling tales of Bonfire sellers and inform them to our neighborhood. Once I got here throughout Kristina Filler’s marketing campaign within the wake of the Parkland Capturing and March For Our Lives, it encapsulated a lot of what I used to be feeling inside however couldn’t discover phrases to precise. I instantly reached out to her to see if we may interview her for our weblog, and it was such an honor to study extra about her story.

When Kristina was younger, her father was killed outdoors the varsity he taught at. The twenty first anniversary of his passing occurred just a few days earlier than the taking pictures at MSD Excessive. When she noticed the information, she was impressed by the scholars’ resistance. She knew there was extra she may do to enact change in her neighborhood. Her Maintain Your Hearth marketing campaign raised over $11,000 for Everytown, and she or he offered over 1,000 shirts – 1,000 strolling billboards of her message of peace.

No Justice, No Peace

Created by Richmond-based artist/hair studio proprietor, Manda Sesko, the “No Justice No Peace Tarot” marketing campaign is one in all my favorites. I like that Bonfire did such an excellent job at making a protected area for individuals to convey consciousness and lift cash for the Black Lives Matter second and for individuals who have been wrongly convicted or jailed for both peaceable protesting or due to the colour of their pores and skin. I’m so proud to work at a spot that stood on the precise aspect of historical past!

Save Shaka

​​This was the primary unique shirt design on… Actually why Bonfire exists at the moment (it gave the thought and inspiration to Brian, considering how “there needs to be a greater method to print customized t-shirt”, and he was proper – and that’s how Bonfire was born).

Meg’s Miles

Megs’ Miles hit so near residence in some ways, and in some ways, we felt like we have been a part of the neighborhood. And when the mix of FB group site visitors, and RunnersWorld site visitors took our website down, it was the primary time I bear in mind understanding the influence of what we do right here at Bonfire. Whereas the story is a tragic one, Meg’s legacy nonetheless lives on with the annual MegsMiles 5k (taking place this Saturday!).

Dimension Issues, by Mild Giants Draft Horse Rescue

There’s one Bonfire vendor that may at all times maintain a particular place in my coronary heart: Mild Giants Draft Horse Rescue

I’m truly mildly afraid of horses (not to mention large draft horses!), however I knew this specific rescue had one thing particular happening method earlier than they ever launched on Bonfire. Take one have a look at their Fb web page, and also you’ll see how a lot they care about their rescues and the way nicely they interact with their supporters. 

The sensation was so robust the truth is, that I wrote and filmed a (now very cringeworthy) tune throughout my early days as a gross sales rep to attempt to persuade them to launch on Bonfire (again then we have been nonetheless known as Bonfire Funds!).  Fortunately my songwriting efforts weren’t in useless, and the founding father of Mild Giants obtained again to me in December of 2015. However nonetheless, the marketing campaign launch eluded me. Learn extra…

So, I enlisted the assistance of our CEO Brian Marks. We determined to take a 3 hour highway journey from Bonfire’s headquarters in Richmond, VA to Mount Ethereal, MD the place Mild Giants is positioned. 

We have been welcomed very hospitably by the founding father of Mild Giants, Christine Hajek, who gave us a tour of 300+ acre facility. I even agreed to experience one of many light giants (albeit very slowly) and conquered my worry of horses that day! 

For sure, a gorgeous partnership was fashioned, and Mild Giants lastly launched their first marketing campaign in October of 2016.

They’ve since gone on to promote practically 2000 objects and lift over $20,000 on Bonfire. Extra importantly, they’ve rescued over 1,000 horses who’ve been adopted into everlasting, loving properties. I’ll endlessly be grateful to Mild Giants who impressed me to step out of my consolation zone and in awe of the great work they do!

It’s okay to really feel unhappy

Maybell Eequay’s mushroom frogs convey me a lot pleasure. Her designs completely seize these little internal ideas and emotions all of us have – pleased or unhappy. There’s simply one thing so comforting, and hilarious, about them and I’m at all times trying ahead to what she creates subsequent!

Crime Pays, however Botany Doesn’t

Crime Pays However Botany Doesn’t has modified my worldview endlessly, inspiring me to be extra inquisitive concerning the pure world round me and a extra intentional gardener. My curiosity about their merch is what first drew me in—the Division of Unauthorized Forestry shirt design specifically—which led me to search for their YouTube channel and I’ve been hooked ever since.

Whereas I’m endlessly fascinated by the natural world documented by “a Misanthropic Chicago Italian” who casually “botanizes” a wild number of Earth’s pure areas, from wondrous protected reserves and geologic splendors to roadside relaxation stops and strip mall parking tons, it’s the deep data and onerous truths he delivers with irreverent, regionally accented expletives that hold me avidly tuned in. For my part, CPBBD is the peak of low-brow edu-tainment.

Indie Bookstore Campaigns of 2020

This isn’t a single marketing campaign or vendor, however the indie bookstore fundraising wave of early 2020 was fairly significant to me. My fondness for the written phrase and indie bookstores traces again to my youth. To have the ability to assist so many bookstores keep afloat through the darkest days of the pandemic was, to date, a spotlight of my tenure at Bonfire. 

Gallagher Household Fundraiser

The Gallagher household lives in my neighborhood, and their daughter Cameron was a babysitter for my kids (she babysat for my children just a few days earlier than she handed). Her tragic demise took fairly a toll on my neighborhood and the encompassing neighborhood. I’ll always remember how the shirt/fundraiser turned this uplifting/inspiring second that the neighborhood gravitated to in such a darkish time. Cameron’s dad, Dave, has talked about to me a number of occasions that the fundraiser was one of many sparks that in the end led to the creation of the Cameron Okay Gallagher Basis.

BLM CSS Design

I purchased this shirt when it first got here out and it’s been superb to see the influence the marketing campaign has had. The design speaks to my internal coder whereas the message speaks to my frustrations with the rampant inequality and racism that’s, sadly, nonetheless rampant in America. The marketing campaign creator, Allison Valiquette, has managed to lift over $50,000 {dollars} for teams supporting Black LGBTQIA+ individuals, together with the Trans Justice Funding Undertaking, The Okra Undertaking, the Marsha P. Johnson Institute, and extra. Sporting this shirt jogs my memory of all of the work that also must be completed however, extra importantly, that there are individuals on the market working to make progress in the direction of fairness and equality.

Thanks for being part of the Bonfire neighborhood. At some second previously 10 years, you heard about us, explored what we have been all about, and mentioned “sure” to partnering with us. For that, we thanks. As we proceed to develop and evolve, we hope you stick alongside for the experience and assist us form the longer term right here, too.

We need to hear from you. When you have an thought about how we may be higher in our subsequent 10 years collectively, contact us right here. If you wish to be part of what Bonfire is doing by making a profession right here, try our open positions. Simply on the lookout for extra methods to attach with us? Observe us on LinkedIn, Instagram, or TikTok. 



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