Schools are always in need of a good fundraising idea or fundraising project. They are becoming even more important with today’s economy. Budgets are tight and schools are among the departments that feel the financial squeeze. Usually the first things that a school district cuts are the “frills” like academic events, athletic teams, and music departments. They don’t necessarily eliminate them, but when a trip for a competition is asked for, the answer is sometimes, “No. We simply don’t have the money.”
Raising Money For Your School.
The booster club often sells T-shirts emblazoned with the school mascot, or they might conduct a chili or pancake feed. Bake sales are popular, and so are car washes in the parking lot of a local business. Other options include selling candy, popcorn or magazine subscriptions door-to-door. All of those fundraisers have some merit, and may even be ideal for your school’s particular need, but there is one fundraising idea that is always a good idea.
Family Style Cookbooks.
Personalized, custom cookbooks have been raising money for organizations for decadesâ¦generations, actually. One cookbook publisher has been in business since 1947, so it is obvious that the industry is solid.
The books are filled with the best recipes from the finest cooks in your school. This includes the teachers, the administration, staff and parents of students, too. Imagine owning a professional looking cookbook that allows you to make some of those dishes that everyone in the community has heard about. Aunt Mildred’s coffee cake, or Mrs. Aldrich’s chicken casserole, to name a few.
Will It Work For Our School?
I’d say, “yes.” Personalized recipe books are popular for more than their recipes. By designing it to reflect your school, it shows school spirit. Put the mascot on the cover, or a photo of the school building. How about a photograph that shows all the teachers for that year? Parents and students will want one for that idea alone.
People will also buy them simply because it is for the school. As generous as people are, they still are on the lookout for a good deal. When they see that they will be receiving a fine cookbook for their donation, they will be more anxious to fork over their hard earned cash.
How Do We Do It?
Simple. Find a reputable, on-line cookbook publisher. Google is your friend, so do a search and see what pops up. Make sure that the publisher you look for has been in business for a long time. You can be sure that you will be dealing with a stable company that way. Also, the company should allow you to make the design decisions. Don’t let them con you into using one of a handful of templates. Your school is unique, and your cookbook shouldn’t look like that of another school’s book, but with a different name on it. Other design options must include the organization of the book, the paper stock, the style of graphics or pictures, the dividers, and whether you wish to include dedication pages or to sell advertising. If your publisher doesn’t have those choices, then perhaps you should move on to one that does.
On the other hand, you may not want to make every single decision like that. If that is the case, the publisher can help you by making suggestions. Therefore it is important that you are able contact them either by phone and/or e-mail.
That is another simple procedure, especially for a school. Send a note home with each student and explain what the project is all about. Ask for one or two recipes. Think of the response you will get from the number of students in your school! You will probably end up with enough for several personalized cookbooks. Have the teachers and staff contribute recipes, too. You could even opt to have a special section for recipes from the younger students. That part might not contain the best recipes, but the “cute factor” would be a great selling point.
A few publishers have a relatively new feature that allows you to submit the chosen recipes on-line. That makes the process much simpler. You fill out an on-line form and press a button. Boom! It’s done. That would be another thing to look for in a good publisher.
Marketing The Cookbook.
Schools have a unique advantage over most organizations. If you have 500 students in your school, you have at least 500 potential customers. Add to that the staff, teachers and administration and you have a huge customer base. You can also sell them at school activities, at street fairs, in local businesses that will provide a little counter space for a stack, and to your neighbors and friends. Historically, schools have no trouble selling the cookbooks.
The key to a successful cookbook fundraiser is to work with the best publisher. Do your research and find the one that fits your needs. There are a handful of publishers that offer a guarantee, too. Think about it. A guarantee doesn’t cost anything, so why would you work with a company that refuses to guarantee your fundraiser?
Get started today. Time is wasting.
Andy Barber is a retired police/fire/EMS dispatcher. After a quarter of a century of “stomping the pedal,” as he likes to call it, he took an early retirement and became a freelance writer. Currently he is working for Cookbook Publishers, a company that has been helping people and organizations raise money since 1947. When Andy isn’t writing, he spends time on his eastern Kansas farm with his wife and the 2 younger of their 3 sons. Andy also has a love for Harley Davidson motorcycles. He regularly criss-crosses the USA on his bike to meet with friends and see this beautiful country. Cookbook Publishers has been helping people with fundraisers for years, so check them out and see what they can do for you.