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Monday, February 14, 2011

Kid's Books and Fundraising For Your Child's School

Please see the following guest post by Alan Jordan:

Baby Brandon is not yet three, but he may already be affected by the state of the economy.  It's possible that the day care center or school that would best help Brandon prosper may be in dire financial straights.  It's even possible that by the time that Brandon is five, the school might close.  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 posts proposes an enjoyable solution that you can suggest to your school or library to raise thousands, even tens of thousands of dollars. 

Since Brandon is a baby, 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 the book.  Assume that one of your neighbor's children came to your door, and hands you a large chocolate bar candy and a book.  The child says, "My school is raising money to remodel the nurse's office.  Would you like to buy a chocolate bar or a book.?" How do you react?

You're familiar with the chocolate bar, 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 has some special features that may not be obvious.
  • You can go the the website,, 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 that reads the story while displaying pictures. This encourages drawing, and builds self esteem.
  • You get a free chocolate bar with each book.
If a child is showing you this book, ask her or him if he has read it, and why they like it. 
The answers are likely to warm your heart.  Please consider buying The Monster on Top of the Bed for your children, or as a gift.

How would you react?  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 chocolate bars 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 chocolate bar 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 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 chocolate bars (or 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 Baby Brandon and other children enjoy and helps them to prosper.  Brandon's a little young now, but you never know in two or three years, he may be out there telling other children how much he likes the book, and helping his school.  For more information call me at (775) 453-6636, or fill out the form at the bottom of this web page.  

P.S. For Jennie Yuen's review of the The Monster on Top of the Bed see

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