21 June 2013

Fund-Raising for your Child's School or Club – How Recipe Books can Bring in the Dough

Getting a good education is possibly more important than it has ever been and after-school activities help a child to grow and develop (as well as sometimes leading to a future career).  The problem is that these days schools and clubs are often desperately short of funds and often welcome help from parents.  Selling recipe books can be a great way to raise both money and awareness.

Get the other parents involved
Most people know at least one special recipe, whether it's been handed down through their family or found in a newspaper or magazine.  They may also be willing to ask family and friends if they can contribute.  Ideally, when the booklet is created, it should really offer something of value to buyers, so that they feel they are getting a useful recipe book rather than essentially just making a donation.

Get all the children involved
Just because the main focus of the book is on recipes, it doesn't have to contain just recipes typed in black ink on white paper.  Get the children to contribute ideas and ideally some form of artwork or other decoration for the books.  These days it's easy to use scanners or even digital cameras to turn paper artwork into digital pictures which can be included in a book.

Older children may well be able and willing to create their work directly in a computer.  If they do this, you need to emphasize that their contribution has to be completely original.  It's fine to look on the internet for ideas, but they can't just copy what they see there.

Include tips and tricks as well as recipes
Just like with recipes, everybody knows some handy way of making some task easier.  Whether it's using bread to clean up broken glass (it picks up all the splinters and nobody is tempted to reuse it) or running a knife under the lid of a jar to make it open more easily (by breaking the air seal which was keeping it closed), everyone can offer something.  These help to get more people involved and to add extra value to the book.

Add some cooking trivia (or other relevant trivia)
To make your book more interesting, add some fun facts.  Did you know that the size of an egg is directly related to the age of a hen but not at all related to the size of a hen?  How about the fact that during the 1950s Kelloggs Frosties used to be advertised by Katy the Kangaroo as well as Tony the Tiger?  Sticking in some fun facts will make the book more appealing.

Bring it all together
First off, you need to find some cheap booklet printing then you need to put the word on the street that the books are available.  This is where having involved as many people as possible will come in handy.  By this point, there should already be a fair number of people aware of (and hopefully interested in) your books.  This should generate a decent number of orders in itself and early buyers can be encouraged to spread the word, particularly if the book includes a contribution by their child.

Kit MacLean is a freelance writer and translator who loves baking but who very rarely cooks these days on the grounds that her partner is much better in the kitchen than she is.  She's always willing to try new foods, particularly if they include chocolate.  Fortunately she is also the proud owner of a very energetic dog.

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