Have a Successful Fundraiser:

Retirement used to be an end of life journey, but not anymore. Today’s seniors are more active than ever. They’re going on mission trips to help people in third world countries, volunteering in soup kitchens and helping charities near and dear to their hearts, like the church.

In fact, when Concord Baptist Church in Van Buren, Ark., needed to raise money to participate in a women’s ministry retreat, it was their senior members who made some of the greatest contributions. “We have a lot of great cooks and bakers in our congregation and the fundraising committee thought a bake sale would be a great idea. But during a lengthy discussion, we decided it would be even more profitable if we could gather those great recipes our senior members have, and share them with the younger generation through a fundraising cookbook,” says Tami Walker, the women’s ministry coordinator for the church.

Walker had worked on a fundraising cookbook that was very successful for another organization in the past, and knew exactly what to do. “I put out a call for recipes in our church newsletter and through oral announcements at church functions. They quickly started pouring in,” she says. “I think it was a matter of pride for a lot of our members. They looked forward to the opportunity to share their traditions with others, and see their names in print.”

When it came time to decide who would print the book, the congregation took bids from a number of companies, and in the end chose to go with Fundcraft, a family owned business that has been printing promotional cookbooks since the 1940s. “We were especially impressed with all the options and assistance they offered,” says Walker, who really appreciated the free how-to kit they received.

It included samples of covers, dividers and bindings. There was a step-by-step catalog that outlined the process they should follow, and there were tips on how to be successful, including these pointers for better profits:

* Set a goal. Know how much money you want to raise and set the price of your books accordingly. It will establish how many books you need to order.

* Publicly display your progress. Put the group’s purpose and progress chart on public display in a high traffic area to help drive sales and support.

* Sell advertising. Get the local grocery stores and restaurants to run ads in the cookbook. Ask your advertisers to submit a recipe to run on the page facing their ad to show personal involvement and support. The fees will cover your start-up costs.

* Start selling before you get the books. Advance sale coupons and gift certificates (included in the marketing kit) allow selling cookbooks before your shipment arrives and when your supply runs out. Since the second cookbook order is discounted, you’ll make even more money on the reorder.

* If you want or need extra recipes to enhance your cookbook, select one from Fundcraft’s sister Web site, Cookbooks.com. Choose from over one million free recipes.

Concord Baptist Church didn’t need any additional recipes. “If anything we had too many,” says Walker, who explains there were multiple submissions for the same types of dishes.

They ordered 500 of their cookbooks and sold them for $10 per book, a great profit margin since they cost less than $3 apiece to print. “We had a lot of people buy more than one cookbook so they could share them with close friends and family,” says Walker.

“These books are the recipe for success to meet your fundraising goal,” says David Bradley, Fundcraft Publishing’s president. “A personalized fundraising cookbook for your church, school, favorite charity, civic organization, hospital group or employee group will raise $1,000 to $10,000 every time.”

Fundcraft Publishing is the largest and most respected cookbook publisher that provides a guaranteed cookbook program designed to guide any group, step-by-step, in creating their very own cookbook. Get started on your fundraiser by signing up for your free fundraising kit at www.fundcraft.com or by calling  (800) 853-1364, ext.206.

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