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Managing a Fundraiser
by Deane Brengle
Cookbooks have been popular fundraisers for years. They started out with church and women's groups and have now spread like wildfire. It's because they can be produced by almost any size group, club, team, or nonprofit organization. Much of the increased popularity can be attributed to the use of the internet by cookbook publishing companies and the ease of producing a cookbook online.
Despite the spread of cookbook fundraisers, they remain a good source of fundraising income.
How It Works
Custom cookbooks are, by far, the most popular option when it comes to fundraising with cookbooks. A custom cookbook allows you to use your members' recipes, personalize the cover, choose from different layouts, choose the binding, and include pictures in your cookbook.
Your group will collect recipes and pictures from your members, family, and friends and submit them to the cookbook company. The company prints your custom cookbook and ships them to you. Payment is required up front.
Start with a little planning.
Many hands will make light work with your cookbook fundraiser. A committee of 6 - 8 members will help spread the work with gathering/submitting recipes and with sales.
The cookbook publisher you choose will have an established process for you to follow. Be sure you commit to a publisher, contact them, and understand their specific requirements before you start to collect recipes and pictures. Things to look for include:
The profit you make from your cookbook will vary depending on how large your order is. The more books you order the cheaper each one is. It will also vary depending on the makeup of your cookbook. Color covers, pictures, and overly large books (over 200 recipes) will increase the cost.
A good rule of thumb is expect to at least double your money. So, if your cookbooks costs $6, it should retail for at least $12.
Another rule of thumb is expect to sell 3 cookbooks for every recipe contributor. This will help you decide on how many cookbooks to order.
A great way to reduce the cost of your cookbook is to include advertising. Just a few ads can significantly reduce your costs.
There are several ways to increase the desirability of your cookbook which will increase sales:
A technique used by some groups is to pre-sell your cookbook. Taking orders and collecting money before you order will reduce your out of pocket expenses when you publish.
Always order extra copies and make sure your cookbook information is stored by your publisher for reprinting later.
Other suggestions to increase your sales:
I've spent some time and researched all the publishers offering cookbook fundraising programs and I'm recommending Cookbookfundraiser.com for all your group's cookbook fundraising needs.
They offer an easy to use online format for entering all your recipes and step by step instructions for creating your cookbook. They even offer a free sample cookbook so you can see what a finish product will look like and an online calculator to help you figure your cookbooks cost.
About the Author:
Deane Brengle is the editor of several free online publications that cover fundraising for small nonprofit groups. You can visit these publications and read more about fundraising in articles by him and other experts in the field at The Fund$Raiser Cyberzine, The Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter, and Fundraising Booklets.
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ISSN 1530-6127 - Library of Congress, Washington DC, USA
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