What is CLOZTALK®?
CLOZTALK is a national directory of vetted 501(c) nonprofits that are helping to make the world a better place. Our nonprofit partners cover a wide variety of categories, from animals to homelessness to arts. CLOZTALK partners with these nonprofits by making high-quality, charity-branded apparel for them (t-shirts, track jackets, hoodies, caps, etc.). We build a webstore for each nonprofit that contains important information about the nonprofit and apparel for sale. This is all at NO cost to the nonprofits! We believe that when someone wears a nonprofit's gear, that person becomes a positive ambassador for the nonprofit just by walking around town. Clothes can "talk," spark conversations, and raise awareness for that nonprofit!
How did the idea for CLOZTALK® come about?
CLOZTALK came about because of our experience building Imerman Angels (IA), an international one-on-one cancer-support organization that matches someone fighting cancer with someone who has survived the same type of cancer. Imerman Angels started with just a few supporters wearing high-quality, black-and-white IA t-shirts in downtown Chicago. People on the streets often stopped them and asked: What is Imerman Angels? The word began to spread, and the community began to grow. We quickly realized the power of apparel to spark conversations and brand a mission. Imerman Angels is now in all 50 states and more than 90 countries. We aim to build awareness for other nonprofits just like we did for Imerman Angels.
Why is there a need for CLOZTALK®?
Nonprofits are usually awesome at delivering a service or program to those in need. But generally, they are not branding, promotional, and design experts. That’s why CLOZTALK exists! We design high-quality, comfortable apparel that helps build and promote the brand of each nonprofit. A solid brand awareness can attract everything that a nonprofit needs: people who benefit from its programs, volunteers, donors, company sponsors, future board members, future employees, and ambassadors who spread more awareness. Long-term branding is our top goal.
What does CLOZTALK® do?
CLOZTALK handles all of the logistics, so the nonprofit can devote its limited time and staff to serve its mission and not get stuck handling apparel. CLOZTALK makes high-quality, contemporary apparel for the nonprofits ... at NO cost to the nonprofits. We build the nonprofit's webstore, take the orders, fulfill the orders, ship the orders, and handle customer service. All of the apparel is custom-made on demand, which means there is no inventory for the nonprofit or for CLOZTALK. No more unsold, dated event gear stuffed in a back closet at the nonprofit's office! At the end of the year, CLOZTALK donates 20% of net profits back to its nonprofit partners.
Does a nonprofit have to be a 501(c) to become a CLOZTALK® nonprofit partner?
Yes, all of the nonprofits are 501(c) nonprofit organizations. This means that each nonprofit has been vetted and approved by the federal government under the United States Tax Code. Each nonprofit must adhere to government regulations and submit financial records every year to maintain its 501(c) status in good standing.
What does CLOZTALK® require of the nonprofits?
Nothing! The only thing we ask is for the nonprofits to approve the apparel designs that we create to help grow and build their brand. We don’t ask them for money, time, or promotion. We understand that they are busy working on their programs and helping others. We don’t want to distract them. They have limited resources and are often understaffed. We want them focusing on their missions!
Why don’t I just buy the apparel directly from the nonprofit?
Nonprofits often aren’t experts in designing and selling hip gear. Sometimes they don’t sell apparel at all. We want to take this project off their plate. So they can focus their time and limited resources on their mission and doing social good, not on running an apparel business. Our ambitious pace and spirited approach will grow a nonprofit’s brand faster than it could on its own. And it doesn’t cost the nonprofits a cent!
What does it mean that CLOZTALK donates 20% of net profits back to its nonprofit partners?
Net profits is how much money is left over after all expenses have been paid. To keep our costs as low as possible, we do not take salaries today or ever intend to (so we only make money if the nonprofits make money). CLOZTALK spends about $200 to onboard each nonprofit, and our other expenses include making the apparel, fulfilling the orders, operating the website, etc. We donate 20% of net profits back to the nonprofits, based on their pro rata share of CLOZTALK's total retail sales for that year. For example, in 2020, if CLOZTALK has $100,000 in net profits, and 5% of CLOZTALK sales were from Nonprofit XYZ's apparel items, then CLOZTALK will donate $1,000 to Nonprofit XYZ because 20% of net profits is $20,000 and 5% of $20,000 is $1,000.
Does CLOZTALK donate funds to its nonprofit partners now?
No. Unfortunately, right now, CLOZTALK loses money every month and has not yet made a profit. So, CLOZTALK is unable to donate at this time. However, we believe -- this is not a guarantee -- that in the next 1.5 to 2 years, CLOZTALK can break even and become a sustainable for-impact company. We're confident we can get there! CLOZTALK spends about $200 to onboard each nonprofit, and our other expenses include making the apparel, fulfilling the orders, operating the website, etc. CLOZTALK does not pay salaries -- nor have we ever taken salaries -- to keep the costs as low as possible. Note that CLOZTALK puts in writing that it will donate 20% of net profits to its nonprofit partners after it breaks even and there are profits to distribute. The team is determined to get to profitability and to donate to its nonprofit partners as soon as possible. In the meantime, and always, our nonprofit partners receive free marketing and promotion.
When someone places an order, you email information about that specific nonprofit to the customer. Why?
We want every person to understand the mission of that nonprofit. So we send an email that includes some important facts about the nonprofit: mission statement, headquarters location, reach, founded date, website, and contact information. People can then speak in an informed and articulate way about the nonprofit and its mission. That customer is now a positive ambassador for the nonprofit and volunteering just by walking around town. This is the start of the ripple effect that raises awareness across a community.
How long does it take for a nonprofit to become a CLOZTALK® nonprofit partner?
A nonprofit first fills out the online application on the Nonprofit Application page of this website. The nonprofit will then receive a one-page Nonprofit Partner Agreement that is emailed to it. The nonprofit signs the agreement. Next, CLOZTALK reviews the application. If the nonprofit is accepted as a nonprofit partner, CLOZTALK signs the Nonprofit Partner Agreement and the onboarding process begins! The onboarding process takes about one month. During that time, we design your apparel and webstore, create your information emails to be sent to customers, and upload your nonprofit information to the CLOZTALK website!
Does a nonprofit need to sign an agreement in order to become a CLOZTALK® nonprofit partner?
Yes, each nonprofit signs a Nonprofit Partner Agreement with CLOZTALK. The agreement is one page. The nonprofit gives permission to CLOZTALK to use its name and logo for the apparel. The agreement states that the nonprofit is not obligated to pay or promote CLOZTALK in any way at any time. In other words, CLOZTALK never asks anything of the nonprofit except permission to use its name and logo. The agreement allows the nonprofit to terminate the partnership at any time and for any reason, at no penalty ever. The agreement also requires CLOZTALK to donate 20% of net profits to the nonprofits based on each nonprofit's pro rata share of total sales for that year.
Can I see the Nonprofit Partner Agreement that is emailed to the nonprofits after they complete the online application?
Sure, take a look! Just click here. We are transparent. Just remember, the real Nonprofit Partner Agreement (which looks just like this one) will be emailed to the nonprofit, and the nonprofit must sign it electronically. This way we can better keep track of all our awesome nonprofit partners!
Who creates the designs?
CLOZTALK uses the nonprofit's existing logo and creates the apparel designs. The only thing each nonprofit has to do is approve our designs. We never proceed without the nonprofit's approval. We want each nonprofit to stay focused on what they do best: delivering a mission that makes the world a better place!
What if the nonprofit already has its own apparel or its own webstore?
No problem at all! CLOZTALK only adds to an organization's offerings, never subtracts. We are not exclusive, so the CLOZTALK line of apparel is just an additional offering that is separate from the organization's existing apparel. We hope both webstores sell as much as possible! CLOZTALK has no requirement of exclusivity. CLOZTALK is just another channel for the organization to sell its apparel and therefore to raise more awareness. We never require an organization to change anything that it is already doing.
Why does CLOZTALK offer only black-and-white apparel?
We offer black-and-white (and a few gray-and-white) items based on more than a decade of working with nonprofit apparel. Through our experience building Imerman Angels, talks with everyday people, and discussions with branding experts, we have found that black-and-white apparel appeals to the most people, is considered to be the most fashionable, and most importantly, is worn to the most places. While colored clothing may be popular to wear at a nonprofit's 5K, which is great, it is often not worn beyond that event. This is a missed opportunity to spread the word for that nonprofit. We believe nonprofit apparel must be cool, so that people wear their charity gear to the grocery store, at the gym, around town, out in the evenings, and so on. We also don't want anything to detract from the clarity of the nonprofit's name and logo, so we make apparel with no colors, no taglines, and no other distractions. Black-and-white fits with our "less is more" approach to quickly get people's attention with a cool, bold look that makes an impact and sparks a conversation! That is the essence of CLOZTALK: clothes are the key to raising awareness about amazing causes in our communities.
Does CLOZTALK offer bulk order pricing?
Yes. We offer bulk order pricing to any nonprofit partner or customer, based on the order price (excluding sales tax). There is no discount for orders up to $5,000. If your order totals $5,000 to $7,000, you get a 3% discount. If your order totals $7,000 to $10,000, you get a 5% discount. If your order totals $10,000+, you get a 7% discount. We also offer bulk pricing for any t-shirt or tank top orders of 100 units or more. We are able to offer this 100+ unit special pricing because we pass along our price breaks directly to the customer. Please contact us directly for 100+ unit orders of t-shirts and tank tops. We do not receive price breaks on the other items (embroidered items), so we are unable to offer bulk pricing for those items. All bulk orders receive free shipping.
What does the word "nonprofit" mean?
A nonprofit is an organization that is not conducted or maintained for the purpose of making a profit and, as presented in its mission statement, provides help to those in need or furthers a particular social cause. All of our nonprofit partners are 501(c) nonprofits, which means that each nonprofit has been vetted and approved by the federal government under the United States Tax Code. Each nonprofit must adhere to government regulations and submit financial records every year to maintain its 501(c) status in good standing.
Is CLOZTALK® a for-profit company?
Yes. CLOZTALK is a for-profit, social impact company. A social enterprise is a venture that uses business strategy to achieve its central mission of improving human or environmental wellbeing. CLOZTALK -- not the nonprofits -- takes on all of the business risk. The nonprofits have nothing to lose, and only brand awareness and donations to gain. At CLOZTALK, our positive social impact is as important to our bottom line as any potential profit.
How does a nonprofit sign up to partner with CLOZTALK®?
Please go to our Nonprofit Application link, fill out your information, and click submit. You can also email us at info@CLOZTALK.com. Thank you!