I had always assumed t-shirt based fundraisers raised absolutely nothing, because t-shirts are so expensive. I knew because I ran my old dojo’s zazzle store, and to keep the prices even vaguely plausible I had to keep our profit margin below 10%. Throw in the time to administer them, and they’re basically a wash, right? Turns out, nope t-shirts are extremely profitable. A $4 shirt to let you signal virtue seems like a reasonable trade for $65 cash.
The good news is that the bullshit floor for t-shirt fundraisers is actually much lower than we thought (although bad organizations can still dilute their effectiveness, and cash is still better). I thought the bad news was we were all overpaying for novelty nerd t-shirts, but it turns out prices on those have come down substantially since I left the market. I guess capitalism worked?