Online Book Fairs as Fundraiser
My kids and I love school book fairs! They love getting new books and insist on going early to school to reserve the books they want before they all disappear. I love that they will read these new acquisitions immediately and with great enthusiasm. It’s fun, also, to see the books they choose that I don’t even think of for them. Joke books. Non-fiction. Graphic novels. Pokémon handbooks.
My elementary school runs a successful book fair fundraiser every fall. Teachers can select books for their classrooms and parents or kids can gift them. Sometimes, one of my kids’ teacher will be busy and will let me pick books for her.
The downside? We need a LOT of parent volunteers to help. Younger classes like Kindergarten need a parent volunteer for every two kids to help them with their money versus book choices. Predicting which books to order is also challenging because books cannot be reordered during the book fair and there are inevitably tears when the last Pokémon book is eyed and grabbed by multiple small boys. One year, our school lost power during the evening portion of the Book Fair which put a damper on book sales. And there is always the displacement of Physical Education since we hold the book fair in the gym. Please do not rain during book fair!
Still, I think physical book fairs are great. But here’s another idea: ONLINE BOOK FAIR as a fundraiser for your school, PTA or little league. Your school might even consider both. I found out about virtual book fairs from Bola of SlimyBookworm. We met on Twitter because we both share a love of children’s books. One tweet lead to another, and she became a guest author for me. I love her blog too.
I’m excited that she is now offering Online Book Fairs! I am also amazed at how easy they are to run.
HOW TO RUN YOUR ONLINE BOOK FAIR
1. Fill out a short form
2. We will get back to you with a unique 5% discount code for your book fair participants.
3. Publicize your fundraiser along with the 5% discount code. Book fairs can run as long as you wish but typically run for 1 month.
4. You may either have each participant place their orders individually online or you can take their book fair orders for them and have it shipped to a central location for distribution by you.
5. You get 20% of the proceeds from the assigned code minus shipping expenses by check or PayPal 7 days after the book fair fundraiser ends.
I am going to check with my PTO to try this out before our March Madness Reading Competition. I think end of February is the perfect time to try an Online Book Fair. The weather is usually terrible in New England and new books will help get kids excited to read. A virtual fundraiser also seems perfect for our middle school because there isn’t time to pull kids out of classroom instruction time to attend a book fair.
Would your school or kids’ sports team be interested? Does your school do a book fair fundraiser now? What do you think of online book fairs?