PPAI recently became aware of a program sponsored by Capital One, #GoSWAGless, that encourages businesses joining the bank to donate some or all of their marketing budget spent on merchandise—promotional products—to support charities and nonprofits. The Association has reached out to Capital One to offer a counterpoint that promotional products are invaluable tools for supporting the mission of charities and nonprofits.

In the Association’s letter to Capital One, PPAI President and CEO Paul Bellantone, CAE, says, “We couldn’t agree more with Capital One’s efforts to serve and support its communities. However, we respectfully recommend Capital One and its associates #GoSWAGfull by designing thoughtful promotional products programs nonprofits can use to raise awareness and funds to serve their communities.”

Capitol One’s #GoSWAGless program began with the team behind its developer portal and has been used at several conferences, inviting attendees to vote on which charities the company should donate the budget it would have spent on promotional products for the event. Over the summer, it released guidelines and tools for other organizations to establish similar programs.

“Promotional products educate, recruit, highlight safety awareness, urge organ donations and encourage healthy living and lifestyle choices,” Bellantone says. “Promotional products recognize and reward employee achievements and inspire action. Promotional products are used to celebrate milestones, sign legislation and reinforce life-saving messages. They are one of the most effective, longest-lasting and best-loved communication tools in the world.”

In closing PPAI’s letter, Bellantone offers, “PPAI and the promotional products industry would be glad to work with Capital One to develop meaningful community engagement programs that leave a lasting impression.”