Online Book Fair Fundraiser for Schools and Sports Teams

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.

I picked these for my 4th Grade teacher’s bin

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!

My picks for my Kindergarten teacher’s bin

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.


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.

Picks for Middle School 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?

By Mia Wenjen, PragmaticMom


  1. A great idea – we love book fairs, too – this would work really well for middle schools and high schools!
    Capability recently posted…Back to School is for Moms, too! (Psst…Cute shoe giveaway)My Profile

  2. vanita

    ya know, high schools here in nyc don’t do book fairs. now that younger teen is off to high school, i’m going to miss those take home book fair forms that are given out. they always induced excitement for all of us. we’d try to make it to the fair first, so we can grab exactly what we want. i’m going to miss those fairs. luckily damian starts school next year so i get to do it all over again. lol. i want to join the PTA when damian starts school, so i’ll definitely bookmark this page and save it for then. this is a wonderful idea girl.
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    • Hi Vanita,
      I hope you try it out as a fundraiser at your school. It’s easy to do and if parents buy books for their kids, it helps with literacy. I’m going to suggest it at my middle school.

  3. What a great idea! I can’t remember any book fairs at my schools here in Germany, but I definitely loved the school library (and the librarians loved me, I think). And flea markets, of course! So many books….
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    • Hi Saorise,
      I am a sucker for book fairs too! I can’t resist buying books but this is a great way to also raise money for schools as well as get kids excited to read. Even if some parents buy just one book, it’s worth the time and effort since it’s easy to do.

  4. Ann

    Great idea! The in school ones do seem like a lot of work!
    Ann recently posted…We Saved a BirdMy Profile

  5. It’s really great idea to online book fair fundraiser for schools and sports teams. Thanks to share this wonderful post. I am collecting donation for charity and fundraising by using Facebook.

    Nicole Martin

  6. Great artcile indeed. Thanks for this great idea for schools and sports teams!

  7. Davyd Ramirez

    My daughter loves books. She always makes me boos for her at the book fair at school. I am sorry to see that there is no online option for PTA organizations anymore. Her bank has a summer reading list and she gets $10 every summer for reading ten books. Maybe this could be a great over the summer fund raiser for every school. They have great banking service for kids at TD bank.

  8. This really good and interesting. Your blog reminded me the book fairs i have studied in the schooling. Those are really awesome books which moves us from boredom.
    Ashley recently posted…Impact of Online School Education on Child’s CareerMy Profile

    • Hi Ashley,
      I think there are tons of great nonfiction books out there and ones in a book fair are especially great. What I like about school book fairs is that kids can pick books that interest them (which is now our school fundraising book fair works) and my son would spend his money on 100 Most Disgusting Creatures and other nonfiction books from that series. My point, in a comment earlier, was really about nonfiction test prep magazines that my kids hated reading at school. They, all three, complained about how boring it was. Not just the test prep, but the content in the magazines that they were forced to read. I think it’s critical to match nonfiction topics with interest or it IS boring. Sorry, I wasn’t more clear.
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