Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Let's Put the Fun Back into Fund-Raising

by Author Alan Jordan - The Monster on Top of the Bed

There was a time when parents didn't worry about a school's financial survival. Unfortunately, those days are past. In addition to paying taxes and tuition, many parents now find themselves helping to raise funds for schools. If you are one of those parents, or feel that you might one day be faced with helping a school or library raise funds, this post proposes an enjoyable solution that you can suggest to your school or library to raise thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars.

Let's examine how you might help an elementary school to raise funds:

A typical elementary school has between 200 and 500 students. Most of those children enjoy a good picture book like my book, The Monster on Top of the Bed, and they are excited about sharing the book with other people. If asked, children will happily spend five minutes telling an adult or another child why they like the book. Assume that one of your neighbor's children came to your door, and hands you a form to chocolate and a book. The child says, "My school is raising money to remodel the nurse's office. Would you like to buy a some chocolate or a book.?" How do you react?

You're familiar with chocolate, but not with the book. The front cover is interesting, and you turn over to the back cover. There's a picture of the school nurse, and something like this:

Our school needs to raise $8,000 to remodel the Nurses' office.This book is a part of that fund-raising effort. We decided to ask students, and their parents to sell it because children really like it, it helps them to banish the fear of monsters, it helps children make friends because children who read it discover that friendship conquers fear, and because the characters convey the Golden Rule. For every book sold, the school makes $10.00.

This book also has some special features:

  • You can go the the website, http://www.monbed.com/, click on the listen tab and do a free download 98.mp3 files that feature six different readers, who read the story in English, Spanish and Italian. This encourages literacy.
  • Children are encouraged to draw their own illustrations for the book and to give them to their teachers. Our teachers will scan the pictures into a special e-book version. Children who submit a picture will receive a free copy of the e-book that reads the story while displaying pictures. This encourages drawing, and builds self esteem.
  • You get a free chocolate bar with each book.
If you could afford it, and if the child went on for three or four minutes explaining why they loved the book, would you buy a copy? If not, might you buy a couple of packages of popcorn for $2 each?

Let's look at the math:

  • Assume that 200 children sell 3 copies each and that their parents also sell 3 copies each. That's 1,200 copies.
  • Assume that the book and the popcorn together cost $11.
  • Assume that the book sells for $20.
  • $20 - $11 = $9 profit from selling a book and chocolate bar.
  • 1,200 x $9 = $10,800 raised, doing something that's fun.
But, it doesn't stop there. Suppose you also placed a request for donations on the back of the book. Perhaps some parents would later mail in donations. In fact, you might even get donations years later because books, unlike cookies or chocolate bars, have a long shelf life and are given to other children.

Also, it's possible to work with the publisher to set up a special web page where people from around the world can buy the book. This means you can send an e-mail out to different people and raise money for the school, or you could distribute press releases, and get orders from people whom you've never met.

Finally, it's possible to sell popcorn, chocolate bars, cookies, or hard candies to those who don't buy the book and make money from that too.

In other words, you can raise a lot of money, using a product that excites children, and helps them to prosper. For more information visit; http://fundraising.max-opp.com/

What's your child's school in need of?  Leave me a comment and you could win a Fund Raiser Starter Kit which includes:
  • 10 booklet-size copies of The Monster on Top of the Bed
  • 1 CD/booklet combination
  • 1 digital multi-media version that lets teachers upload children's artwork into it
  • Suggestions on how children can use these samples to take orders for the book and how the school can raise money.
Contest ends Sunday March 6th.  Good Luck!


Susanmeep said...

Found you on a blog hop I would love this for my daughters school. I follow you via gfc suelee1998 @ gmail.com

3 Boys and an Old Lady said...

This PTA president would love to win this for our school fundraiser.

Tclarkusa @ gmail.com

Marcy said...

Such good inspiration! I'm a new follower from Thirsty Thursday, would love a follow back at www.lifesgristle.blogspot.com


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