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Thanks to everyone who responded to my question about fundraisers.  Since I got SO 
MANY great responses, I'm basically going to cut & paste them here.
Thanks again! You guys are the greatest!
PS-I really liked the suggestion about the pencil dispenser-- but WHERE do you get 

Sell magazines through QSP


Each year in December the PTA runs an "In Honor Of.." program where 
anyone can purchase a book for the library  in honor of a special 
person.  Many, many families buy books in honor of teachers as holiday 
gifts.  I compile a wish list of books, families select a title and an 
alternate, when all the requests are in I order the books from my usual 
vendor so they arrive shelf-ready, then the PTA provides a label for 
each book noting the donor and the honoree.  It's a win-win situation 
because we get great new books for the library that everyone can use and 
enjoy (this year we got about 200) and the families are happy to have 
something to buy for the teachers for the holidays that supports the 
school. This year one family wanted to give books in memory of a 
grandmother who loved reading; we ended up selecting 50 new American 
Girl novels with this family's generous gift.


Great American Opportunities Magazine Fundraiser & Barnes and Noble instore book 


In southern Indiana, the school raffled off a rifle.  Probably  
wouldn't work for a library, though.


My public library does a "Book & Bake" sale where patrons donate used books for 
resale. Paperbacks are $.50 and hardcovers are one dollar. Staff and others also 
bring in baked goods to sell. The sale is seasonal, and seems to do well.


Perhaps you might try a birthday book club. There is plenty of information about 
them in the archives. I am in a high school and tweaked it a bit into a graduation 
book club but the concept was the same.


I also wanted to do something different for a fundraiser this year.  I 
was happy enough with many aspects of the Book Fair we'd done for the 
past few years, but thought it was time for something new.  I went to 
the principal and offered to do an all-school fundraiser, and that I 
would split the profits with her 50/50.  We had not done an all-school 
fundraiser for three years, and the activities fund was very depleted.
I contacted QSP Reader's Digest (our rep was John Ronzone, and I 
expect you could find out your contact person online).  They have 
several different catalogs from which I could choose, and they 
suggested I choose three.  I selected: chocolates, candles, and a 
variety catalog that had gift wrap, magazines, and various doodads.  We 
kicked off the fundraiser in early October, and the kids could sell for 
two weeks.  Once we'd collected the order forms, we sent them along to 
QSP; about a month later, the boxes came in with all of the orders 
already separated into bags.  There was very little work involved on my 
part, and the company was quick to make right any errors there may have 
My middle school has two hundred students.  We ended up selling about 
$12,000.  The school's profit was $6,000, and my half of that was 
$3,000.  My principal was thrilled, and it was a huge boost to my 
library.  To top it off, I then spent part of the money at a Scholastic 
Warehouse Sale (at 50% off), and most of the rest through the 
district's Baker & Taylor account, at a 40% discount.  I was, 
therefore, not limited to whatever I could get from the company through 
which I did a book fair, unlike years past.
If you have questions, please feel free to contact me at your 
convenience, and good luck with whatever you decide to do.


We have a relationship with a local bookstore which gives us ca. 5% of the purchase 
when person mentions our school. We made over $500 over the last year-and-a-half.


I have a pencil dispenser (25 cents each).  I Keep it stocked with novelty pencils 
that the kids seem to like.  It doesn't generate great amounts of money, but I'd 
say between $50-75 a year.

Our 5th grade teachers require their students to use "planners."  I get to sell 
those as well.  I make 50 cents each on those, so that's another $50 or more.

I keep notebook paper, but that hasn't sold well the last two years.

I've been recycling printers cartridges and cell phones.  Pretty
painless and good for the environment.  Not a huge moneymaker,  but it's
working for me.   If you decide to try it, please reference me so I
can get a tiny bonus for the referral. 


I started a Birthday Book club last year.  Last year, students could join by paying 
$10 and then choose a hard cover book I had on the special "birthday shelf" to 
donate to the library.  This year, I gave the option of paying the $10 and picking 
one of my books or going to the bookstore themselves and purchasing a new hardcover 
book.  Some chose to get a book themselves (only 2 seem to be unwanted books from 
home, but still in good shape).  Inside would be a bookplate with the student's 
picture and date and that student would be the first person to check it out.  I 
also put a birthday sticker on the spine to identify the book from the Birthday 
Book Club.  Some of the books I purchased from Junior Library Guild for $5 or $8 
from their "left over stock".  I did, however, allow students to choose from all of 
the books I had in the library office that were new and not yet on the shelf yet.  
The first year I had about 130 students join (that = $1,300!).  We're in the middle 
of the BBC right now and seem to be around that same number with particpation.  
They really seem to love opening a book and finding someone they know had donated 
it!  I do this for about a 3 week period around Dr. Seuss' birthday.  I'd rather 
not be doing this process throughout the year as a student's birthday comes along.  
I encourage them to join "now" and it doesn't matter when their birthday is!  I 
usually introduce it to each class by reading a birthday themed book and then 
handing out the papers.  It's relatively easy to do....I got the idea from Junior 
Library Guild but adapted it a bit to fit my school.


I sell lollipops from

We've not done this for library funds, but this idea has been very successful for 
many other fund raisers.
Teachers and staff donate $5 to dress down for the day. We print stickers just 
using the regular avery labels and when someone donates they get a sticker to wear 
that day. I don't know about where you work... but we look for any excuse to wear 
jeans and sneakers, so nearly everyone contributes!!! Good luck!

This is my 2nd year as a LMS, but this was the brainchild of the librarian before 
We have a used book sale in the fall.  We call it our "Bounced Around Book Sale".  
Everything is donated by students, teachers, community members, anyone. We put rock 
bottom prices on everything such as 25 cents or 50 cents, or if it is something big 
deal it's a dollar or so. 
We are a rural PreK-5 school with about 465 students. This year we make $1,200 at 
this sale.

One of the most exciting fund-raisers we did was an author quilt. We had
a quilter in town who volunteered her services.  I got the addresses of
dozens of authors and sent a square of muslim fabric and a fabric pen.
I wrote a nice letter asking the author to please sign the fabric and
return in the postage-paid envelope.  My quilter put them all together
by genre and she made a beautiful twin size quilt with 12 different
author signatures, (including Eric Carle!).  We raffled it off and made
quite a bit of money, but now I can't remember how much (we did this
about ten years ago).
We also got Stephen King's signature and did a tapestry wall hanging and
raffled his off just by itself.  
This was a VERY exciting fund-raiser.  99% of the authors sent the
square back.  The one that surprised me was Danielle Steel. She sent a
letter saying that a long time ago she had decided to only sign her
books and therefore could not sign our quilt.


I know that you're at the Elementary level. We have a VERY lucrative coffee cart 
that we serve hot chocolate, cappuccinos and lattes. When I was in elementary 
level, we made and sold popcorn once a week-that was a good money maker, but very 
time intensive. One year, I collected recipes from all of the kids and made a 
really cute cookbook. That was a fiasco! I WOULD NOT recommend it

Every fall, during parent Open House, I have a "Book Share" program. Simply put, I 
display the new books I have already ordered for the upcoming school year, and ask 
the parents if they would like to dedicate one (or more) of the books to their 
child. This entitles them to take the book home that night, and share it with their 
child. Then when it is returned to the library (to "share"), I place a dedication 
in the front of the book. I find this works better than a "birthday book " type 
thing, since I am getting the parents to pay for books I chose, and they are 
already processed for the library.

Beth Davis
Media Specialist
Model Elementary School

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