Don't Sell Candy Door-to-Door; Sell A Fundraising Cookbook Instead

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Ever since man has been on the earth, there have been groups of individuals who have gone out of their way to help others. I suppose that even cavemen had a generous streak in them. "Say Org…Thag's cave has no decent rocks in it. Do you think we should give up a few of ours and take them to his place?" Well, maybe that's a stretch, but I do know that humans are the only creatures that aren't totally selfish. We are a giving species.

What Does This Have To Do With Fundraising Ideas?

Probably not much, but I hope that it helped me gain your attention.


In all seriousness, economic times have caused many charities and organizations that raise money for good causes to take a hit. People are generous, but they aren't foolish. They are going to be more careful about the causes to which they give money. One way to entice potential givers to donate to your cause or organization is to offer something of value to them for their contribution.

What Will Work?

The family style cookbook or personalized recipe book. Instead of going door-to-door selling overpriced candy that no one really wants, or conducting a car wash or dunk tank in the parking lot of the local grocery store, a professional looking cookbook is just the thing to generate funds without having to engage in hours and hours of labor. The return on investment of a fundraising cookbook is greater than about any other fundraising idea.

Tell Me More.

The process for creating a personalized recipe book is straightforward. First you make a committee that will determine who will be involved, when it should start/be completed, and other logistical aspect. Then your group should gather recipes. Everyone in your organization will have several to donate, so you have a fairly good start already. Have those same people talk to their relatives and friends for more. You might contact churches or schools, local businesses, or city organizations like the police department or city hall. There are forms available from most cookbook publishers that make it simple for the contributors.

Once that step in complete, you need to design the actual cookbook. Depending upon your needs, a good publisher will let you become intimately involved in its creation, or they can guide you through the process…or somewhere in between. Make sure that the on-line publisher that you select has the tools and options you want. You should be able to select the basic organization of the cookbook, the type of graphics and pictures, the paper stock, ink, font, and whether there will be dedication and/or advertisement pages included.

Speaking Of Advertising.

Selling advertisements in your cookbook is an option. It can make a great deal of money for your cause if you choose to use it. You talk to local businesses and have them pay to have their company information printed in the book. Tell them that unlike expensive radio and newspaper ads, these will be seen for years to come by everyone who purchases your cookbook.

When your custom cookbook arrives, you can begin selling them. Your first customers will be the people in your group. Almost everyone who was involved in its creation will want one. The others can be sold at street fairs, in schools and churches, in local businesses (especially those who chose to advertise with you,) and by word of mouth. Your imagination is the only restriction.

Find a reputable cookbook publisher. Opt for one that has been around for a long time so you can be assured you are dealing with a solid, sound company. Get started today. You won't be disappointed, unless Org brings a pile of rocks to you instead of a good recipe.


Andy Barber is a retired police/fire/EMS dispatcher. After a quarter of a century of "stomping the pedal," as he likes to call it, he took an early retirement and became a freelance writer. Currently he is working for Cookbook Publishers, a company that has been helping people and organizations raise money since 1947. When Andy isn't writing, he spends time on his eastern Kansas farm with his wife and the 2 younger of their 3 sons. Andy also has a love for Harley Davidson motorcycles. He regularly criss-crosses the USA on his bike to meet with friends and see this beautiful country. Cookbook Publishers has been helping people with fundraisers for years, so check them out and see what they can do for you.

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