December 12, 2008

Putting the "fun" in Fundraising

Book sales can offer people hand-selected, new release titles made easily available on a particular Sunday morning. Woodbury Lutheran Church in Woodbury, Minnesota, recently hosted a book sale with over 40 titles available. Books, audio books, Bibles and DVDs were clearly displayed on banquet style tables.

At the beginning of the shopping experience, "shoppers" were handed a check-list of books that included relevant information and prices. When shoppers were finished looking at the books on display and checking off what they wanted to purchase, they handed their list to the sales clerks (aka church librarians) who had the books available behind the counter.

The books were themed around marriage and family issues and the book recommendations came from the pastors of the all the ministry areas at the church. Tanya Smith, lead librarian, said the idea for the book sale surfaced when pastors found they were directing congregants to purchase certain books and then got feedback that the recommended books were hard to find.

Bibles, especially for children and youth, can be hard for people to select due to the overwhelming number available. Displaying the Bibles with Pastor's recommendations provided a valuable service to church members. Books were ordered in advance from Library and Educational Services Berrien Springs, MI .

Library and Educational Services has two distinct programs which can help church libraries raise funds and request new books for the library collection. NCLA contacted Dorothy Carscallen to find out about their programs.

Book Fair Program:
  • The Book Fair Program offers church librarians the opportunity to order books from either the regular catalog or online.
  • All books and media are offered at 30 to 70% off retail prices.
  • Shipping is free.
  • If a pre-paid order of over $1,000.00 is placed up front, an additional 10% discount is applied if unsold books are not returned. The discount is 5% if books are returned. Up to 50% of pre-ordered stock can be returned.
  • The nice thing about this program is that church libraries can offer their books at prices that are slightly less than retail and still make a profit.

Fundraising Program:

For churches that don't have the resources for the Book Fair Program, the traditional Fundraising Program may be just what you are looking for.

  • All purchases are made from a specific catalog.
  • You can still pre-select titles from the fundraising catalog and order samples at a 50% discount plus free shipping.
  • A 50% commission is given for all book orders over $1,000.00;
  • sales under $1,000.00 result in a 40% commission.

If you have additional questions about this fundraising opportunity, Dorothy said she'd welcome the opportunity to customize a fund raising program for interested NCLA members. Dorothy can be reached at 1-219-695-1800 or email Additional fundraising opportunities can be found in the links portion of the NCLA website

Have you had a successful book fair? How did you organize it? Who did you order books from?