Fundraisers are another way that dealers can generate year-round sales. These events can produce great interest and provide your company with a positive image. Fundraisers are different from your on-location sales, Give-A-Book projects, and hospital programs. Usually, the organization provides the labor of selling the books and you become the supplier. Many dealers have participated in successful fund-raising projects using Create-A-Book books. Here are some guidelines to consider when thinking about a fund-raiser.
What are the different ways to manage a fund raiser?
Basically there are two types of fundraisers. One is called interactive and the other is passive.
- In an interactive fund raiser, large groups of volunteers go out and raise money. Donors are asked to contribute money for a cause or to purchase a product to help the group with their projects.
- Passive fund raisers do not utilize the door-to-door approach. This system of fund raising uses direct mail to solicit funds. Implementing this method, work directly with the group to develop a mailing piece (brochure, catalog or coupon) that would be used to sell the books.
How do I find a fund-raising group?
Check with your local Chamber of Commerce for the names of different organizations in your community who do fund-raising activities. We contacted the local Chamber of Commerce and compiled this list that may have a local chapter in your area.
- Boy Scouts Girl Scouts Lions Club PTA's
- PTO's Band Boosters Firemen Policemen
- Shriners Sororities Fraternities AMA
- Medical Auxiliaries Home Extension Quarterback clubs LVA
- Junior League Women's groups Churches Synagogues Sertoma American Legion YMCA Hospice Grant-A-Wish Jaycees Kiwanis Rotary Yearbook Committees Town Councils Library Support Groups Search and Rescue Groups
- Navy Officer's Wife's Clubs
- High & Junior High school special interest groups & athletic associations
How do I determine which group to approach first?
Research the groups and organizations to find out about their goals, interests and missions. If they are into children and/or educational projects, then this is a natural product for their fund raising campaigns.
How do I get started?
- Hopefully, your company has decided to become a known entity in your community. One of the first things you should do is join your local Chamber of Commerce. Become involved so others can spread the word about your books. Also, join the Better Business Bureau.
- There are local organizations in your area that might help develop good contacts (help networking in your community). You never know where some of these leads may take you. A few of our dealers have large corporate accounts now because of the local networking they did initially.
- The International Reading Association (IRA) has a state chapter and a local Chapter. Call the school board office and ask to speak to the Director of Reading to find out more about the local reading association. The membership fee is usually very nominal. Join and attend the meetings. Let them know about your business. Keep brochures, order pads and sample books in your car at all times.
- Generate as much free publicity as possible about your company and what you're offering. Call the local newspaper and have an article written about your business for the money or business section. Call your radio station and see if they have a talk show. Do the same thing with local television stations. Donate books for local charity events. Make presentations to organizations in your community, and be the guest speaker. The most important point here is to have the community learn about your company and know it is a reputable part of the community, not a "here today, gone tomorrow" type of company.
- For as little as $10.00 a year (for a corresponding membership), look into joining the Women's National Book Association. "The WNBA is the only organization in the book world open to women and men in all occupations allied to the publishing industry: publishers, authors, librarians, literary agents, editors, illustrators, designers, educators, critics, booksellers, and those engaged in book production, marketing, finance, subsidiary rights, and personnel. WNBA also publishes The Bookman three times a year to inform the book world about its activities. Each issue contains regular columns written by the president, the book review editor, and a correspondent from each chapter, as well as major articles about news or developments of special interest to book people. This publication is sent to all corresponding members.
Fundraisers are a great way to expand your business. You are not limited to the Christmas season, and there is no rent to pay. This method of sales is virtually risk free. Re-read the above information from time to time to absorb the material, and then go out and get yourself several fund raising projects. You will find the experience rewarding!