Homeless youth

Homeless youth
People we don't see.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Have a Book Sale

I love books. Love them. I have always had more books than I know what to do with. At any given time I am reading two or three, and then looking at buying another one!

This past February we decided to help donors and supporters who have too many books by asking them to donate their books to us for our first ever Humongous Book Sale. What a success!

The whole idea started when one of our local business partners, Joyful Furniture, asked us if we would like to do a fundraising event during the winter. The great folks at Joyful host our annual Humongous Yard Sale, and we decided to try something new with a book sale.

The basic premise is to gather books, CDs, DVDs and vinyls and plan a sale. We called ours the Humongous Book & Media Sale. This is a great way to engage your donors and supporters as well as raise a little cash.

Before you begin to ask people for donations for the sale, find a location for the sale and try to find a location where books and other items can be dropped off. If you can collect all of the sale items at the same place where the sale will be, you will save a lot of time.

Through an email blast, Facebook, Twitter, and a simple postcard announcing the sale, we invited people to donate books and media items. Our donor and supporter base is incredibly diverse, and you could see that in the selection of items donated. We were thrilled as boxes and boxes of books were brought in. As the items began to take over space, it was time to start organizing books into categories, an organization that continued while new books arrived and made the setup for the sale much simpler.

This type of sale can be labor intensive. The less you move around the books the better.

Our volunteers were crucial to the success of this event.

The day of the sale I was blown away by the roughly 3,000 books that had been donated. In hind sight, I realize that a book sale is a bit different in a yard sale in that people take much more time looking at books. In the future I would plan an event that was longer and that stretched over two days.

I'll create a check list for your book sale in the next post.

Start thinking about whether or not this idea would work for you and your organization or cause!

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