African Library Project

5--Raisingfunds

Step 5 - Raise funds to cover mailing to New Orleans and shipping to Africa

Each book drive organizer is responsible for covering the costs of mailing the books to the warehouse in New Orleans and for shipping the books to the African destination. Most book drive organizers organize events to raise the needed funds and get others in the community involved.

For one library of 1000 mainly paperback books, you will need to raise from $150-$350 dollars to mail the books to our warehouse in New Orleans by USPS media mail. You may need to raise more if you are sending many hard cover books. The book drive organizer will pay the post office for mailing costs. Though ALP cannot provide tax receipts, you may use the post office receipts as proof of contribution for your taxes.

The second stage is sending $250 to ALP to cover your share of the international shipping charges of the container of libraries from New Orleans to their African destination. This money comes directly to ALP, and we issue tax receipts directly to you or anyone else who has donated to help with the shipping costs. You can check on how much money has been to sent to ALP by entering your book drive code here. More information about shipping will be included in the shipping instructions sent to book drive organizers towards the end of their drives.

The best kind of fundraiser gets your entire community into the spirit of contributing to a great cause. You want a lot of "buzz" so that everyone is talking about your library project.

Some guidelines:

  • Create your fundraising plan at the beginning of your book drive, not the end.
  • Set a specific dollar goal and let people know how the money will be used.
  • Let people know that they are contributing to a great cause! Tell them how the money you raise will be used to ship 1000 (or more) books to Africa to start a library.
  • Pick fundraising ideas that you and your volunteers will enjoy doing. Make it fun!
  • Groups of all sizes have successfully raised money by setting up a GoFundMe account. Remember that GoFundMe will charge 10% of the funds raised, so set a slightly higher goal to cover that cost.
  • Consider including some education in your fundraiser so that everyone learns more about Africa and the African Library Project. For example, show African Library Project DVD, House of Books (available on YouTube) to your donors to kick off your fundraising and book collection efforts.

There are countless traditional and creative ways to raise funds for your project. Browse the section Book Drives in Action to see what other groups are doing. And for ideas that will fit your situation perfectly, check out some of our favorites: 

For schools or other large groups
For small groups
For individuals

Remember:  Everyone is more likely to be generous when they understand what you are trying to do and how their money can make a difference.


PreviousOrange                                                                                                      NextOrange

Raise funds to cover shipping and related expenses

Each book drive organizer is responsible for covering the costs of transporting the books to their African destination. The funds are needed in two stages.  
GFor one library of 1,000 books (mostly paperbacks), total costs are estimated at $500-$600 (about $200-$300 for domestic postage for mailing your books to our warehouse and $300 to contribute to international shipping and related expenses.)  

The best kind of fundraiser gets your entire community into the spirit of contributing to a great cause.  You want a lot of "buzz" so that everyone is talking about your library project.

Some guidelines:

Create your fundraising plan at the beginning of your book drive, not the end.  
Set a specific dollar goal and let people know how the money will be used.  
Let people know that they are contributing to a great cause!  Tell them how the money you raise will be used to ship 1000 (or more) books to Africa to start a library.
Pick fundraising ideas that you and your volunteers will enjoy doing.  Make it fun!
Consider including some education in your fundraiser so that everyone learns more about Africa and the African Library Project.  For example, show African Library Project DVD to your donors to kick off your fundraising and book collection efforts.

There are countless traditional and creative ways to raise funds for your project.  Browse the section Book Drives in Action (link) to see what other groups are doing. You might find some ideas that fit your situation perfectly and save you a lot of work!

Here are some of our favorites:

For schools or large groups:
Organize students to “Read for Africa”. Each student estimates how many books they will read, then asks family and friends to sponsor them for a specific amount per book, e.g. $1/book for 15 books equals a $15 donation. This is a great way to promote reading here and in Africa at the same time.
Host a geography or spelling bee and feature African sites and words?  The Zambezi River flows between what two countries?  Can you spell Ouagadougou?  Charge entry fees and admission fees.  Get local personalities to enter!  Get press and with it more books and monetary donations:)
Find two favorite personalities at your school who are willing to help you raise money. Ask them to stand on a chair or ladder about 3'-5’ off the ground next to the wall in the gym. Sell 5’ pieces of duct tape to students for $2 each. One piece at a time, have the students race to tape their favorite to the wall of the gym for the sake of African literacy and guaranteed fun.
Ask the principal or favorite teacher(s) if they will support your efforts by challenging the school to do something crazy if you reach your book and fundraising goals. For example, get a Mohawk haircut in front of the entire school, wear an embarrassing costume, or become a human ice cream sundae.  Kids can vote with their wallets on whether the principal or a teacher should dye their hair pink or purple:)
Hold an African Library Project Fashion Show. Contact local clothing stores to ask if they will donate their clothes for an evening (to be returned) for the sake of African literacy. Ask students, teachers and administrators to be models. If you organize it…they will come!
Launch a “Give Something Up” campaign to encourage people to give something up and donate the money saved to sponsor a library. This might be a morning cup of coffee, a newspaper or magazine, a movie, a dessert, etc. There is a long list of things that we can do without for a day, and this helps us think about how valuable a small personal sacrifice of ours can be in making a difference to another. Try for 100% participation no matter how small the donation.
Ask students and teachers to donate $1/day for 10 days or until you make your goal. By making the amount so small, you should get a tremendous response.
Buy some red vines and wrapped sour candies at a warehouse store in bulk and sell them for 50¢ each at your school’s book fair or lunchtime.
Ask for donations from parents and students. Some people do not have books to donate but are glad to support the project financially.
Request a grant from your school’s student council or parent organization.
Ask students (or churchgoers) to pay to not wear a uniform (or fancy clothes) for a special African Library Project day to raise money (if your school requires uniforms).
Ask a local restaurant if they will donate a percentage (usually 10-15%) of all the meals purchased by your supporters on a certain day or week.  This attracts new and different clientele to the restaurant.  If you have a local African restaurant, even better:)
Ask every child in your class/school to do chores for change at home or for neighbors and donate their wages to the African Library Project.
Raise your shipping money, learn more about Africa and help Ugandan women all at the same time by throwing a Bead for Life (link) handmade jewelry party.  Bead for Life sends you everything you need in a box.  You just invite the guests and get 20% of the profits from selling the Ugandan jewelry to help fund shipping your library.   Bead for Life also offers fabulous free lesson plans (link to http://www.beadforlife.org/5curriculum.html) to use in the classroom to learn more about life in Uganda.  
Ask children to donate coins and put them in a 5 gallon water container. See what $500 in change looks like!
Ask children to do an extra chore at home and donate the $1 they earned.
Children can donate 25 cents to see the librarian or other favorite teacher/administrator read from the school’s roof.

For small groups:

Recycle in a big way! Hold a garage sale and invite friends and neighbors to donate their items and books, then hold a garage sale or parking lot sale.  Make sure all your customers know how the proceeds will be used.  Trunk sales are especially easy to organize.  Ask people to sell items right out of the trunk of their car in a parking lot sale and donate the money to your book drive.
Ask for a cash donation at your book collection box. Place an envelope or slotted container near the collection box with a sign asking for donations.
Get sponsors within your group to pledge money to an individual to swim, skate, walk, bike or read (the best!).
Hold a plant sale, car wash or bake sale. You can even take orders in advance and make baked goods from your customer’s favorite recipe.  Set up a lemonade and cookie stand at an event that will attract many people.
Ask families to donate prizes and hold a raffle. Prizes might include tickets to sporting events, passes to dance/exercise classes and special outings among many others.
Put on a theatrical/singing/talent show and use ticket sales to fund the library costs. Partner with an already established drama/singing group. You don’t have to do it all yourself.

For individuals:

Send an email to your friends and family saying what you are doing with a link to your ALP webpage on our website.  Simply ask people to donate.  A personal appeal like this is very effective because these people know and trust you. Ask donors who work for corporations if they have a matching gift program and you will double the donation.  
Ask a local business or service club (e.g., Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, Soroptimists, etc.) to sponsor the library by donating the shipping costs.
Hold a book sale with the books you have collected that are not suitable to send to Africa. Use the money to pay for shipping the Africa-bound books.
In lieu of gifts for your birthday, Confirmation, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, or other special occasion, request that friends give a donation to the African Library Project in your name.  Encourage donations as a living memorial for those who would like to honor a loved one that has died.
Ask local restaurants, book stores or retail stores to put in a "change jar" at their cashier stands to raise money.  Make a small display to go with the jar or ask us for African Library Project stickers to wrap around the jar.  The servers at one restaurant donated all their tips for a week towards shipping costs.

Remember:  Everyone is more likely to be generous when they understand what you are trying to do and how their money can make a difference.

As you find other fun and successful fundraising ideas, please let us know so that we can share them with others!

Raise funds to cover shipping and related expenses

Each book drive organizer is responsible for covering the costs of transporting the books to their African destination. The funds are needed in two stages.  
GFor one library of 1,000 books (mostly paperbacks), total costs are estimated at $500-$600 (about $200-$300 for domestic postage for mailing your books to our warehouse and $300 to contribute to international shipping and related expenses.)  

The best kind of fundraiser gets your entire community into the spirit of contributing to a great cause.  You want a lot of "buzz" so that everyone is talking about your library project.

Some guidelines:

Create your fundraising plan at the beginning of your book drive, not the end.  
Set a specific dollar goal and let people know how the money will be used.  
Let people know that they are contributing to a great cause!  Tell them how the money you raise will be used to ship 1000 (or more) books to Africa to start a library.
Pick fundraising ideas that you and your volunteers will enjoy doing.  Make it fun!
Consider including some education in your fundraiser so that everyone learns more about Africa and the African Library Project.  For example, show African Library Project DVD to your donors to kick off your fundraising and book collection efforts.

There are countless traditional and creative ways to raise funds for your project.  Browse the section Book Drives in Action (link) to see what other groups are doing. You might find some ideas that fit your situation perfectly and save you a lot of work!

Here are some of our favorites:

For schools or large groups:
Organize students to “Read for Africa”. Each student estimates how many books they will read, then asks family and friends to sponsor them for a specific amount per book, e.g. $1/book for 15 books equals a $15 donation. This is a great way to promote reading here and in Africa at the same time.
Host a geography or spelling bee and feature African sites and words?  The Zambezi River flows between what two countries?  Can you spell Ouagadougou?  Charge entry fees and admission fees.  Get local personalities to enter!  Get press and with it more books and monetary donations:)
Find two favorite personalities at your school who are willing to help you raise money. Ask them to stand on a chair or ladder about 3'-5’ off the ground next to the wall in the gym. Sell 5’ pieces of duct tape to students for $2 each. One piece at a time, have the students race to tape their favorite to the wall of the gym for the sake of African literacy and guaranteed fun.
Ask the principal or favorite teacher(s) if they will support your efforts by challenging the school to do something crazy if you reach your book and fundraising goals. For example, get a Mohawk haircut in front of the entire school, wear an embarrassing costume, or become a human ice cream sundae.  Kids can vote with their wallets on whether the principal or a teacher should dye their hair pink or purple:)
Hold an African Library Project Fashion Show. Contact local clothing stores to ask if they will donate their clothes for an evening (to be returned) for the sake of African literacy. Ask students, teachers and administrators to be models. If you organize it…they will come!
Launch a “Give Something Up” campaign to encourage people to give something up and donate the money saved to sponsor a library. This might be a morning cup of coffee, a newspaper or magazine, a movie, a dessert, etc. There is a long list of things that we can do without for a day, and this helps us think about how valuable a small personal sacrifice of ours can be in making a difference to another. Try for 100% participation no matter how small the donation.
Ask students and teachers to donate $1/day for 10 days or until you make your goal. By making the amount so small, you should get a tremendous response.
Buy some red vines and wrapped sour candies at a warehouse store in bulk and sell them for 50¢ each at your school’s book fair or lunchtime.
Ask for donations from parents and students. Some people do not have books to donate but are glad to support the project financially.
Request a grant from your school’s student council or parent organization.
Ask students (or churchgoers) to pay to not wear a uniform (or fancy clothes) for a special African Library Project day to raise money (if your school requires uniforms).
Ask a local restaurant if they will donate a percentage (usually 10-15%) of all the meals purchased by your supporters on a certain day or week.  This attracts new and different clientele to the restaurant.  If you have a local African restaurant, even better:)
Ask every child in your class/school to do chores for change at home or for neighbors and donate their wages to the African Library Project.
Raise your shipping money, learn more about Africa and help Ugandan women all at the same time by throwing a Bead for Life (link) handmade jewelry party.  Bead for Life sends you everything you need in a box.  You just invite the guests and get 20% of the profits from selling the Ugandan jewelry to help fund shipping your library.   Bead for Life also offers fabulous free lesson plans (link to http://www.beadforlife.org/5curriculum.html) to use in the classroom to learn more about life in Uganda.  
Ask children to donate coins and put them in a 5 gallon water container. See what $500 in change looks like!
Ask children to do an extra chore at home and donate the $1 they earned.
Children can donate 25 cents to see the librarian or other favorite teacher/administrator read from the school’s roof.

For small groups:

Recycle in a big way! Hold a garage sale and invite friends and neighbors to donate their items and books, then hold a garage sale or parking lot sale.  Make sure all your customers know how the proceeds will be used.  Trunk sales are especially easy to organize.  Ask people to sell items right out of the trunk of their car in a parking lot sale and donate the money to your book drive.
Ask for a cash donation at your book collection box. Place an envelope or slotted container near the collection box with a sign asking for donations.
Get sponsors within your group to pledge money to an individual to swim, skate, walk, bike or read (the best!).
Hold a plant sale, car wash or bake sale. You can even take orders in advance and make baked goods from your customer’s favorite recipe.  Set up a lemonade and cookie stand at an event that will attract many people.
Ask families to donate prizes and hold a raffle. Prizes might include tickets to sporting events, passes to dance/exercise classes and special outings among many others.
Put on a theatrical/singing/talent show and use ticket sales to fund the library costs. Partner with an already established drama/singing group. You don’t have to do it all yourself.

For individuals:

Send an email to your friends and family saying what you are doing with a link to your ALP webpage on our website.  Simply ask people to donate.  A personal appeal like this is very effective because these people know and trust you. Ask donors who work for corporations if they have a matching gift program and you will double the donation.  
Ask a local business or service club (e.g., Rotary, Lions, Kiwanis, Soroptimists, etc.) to sponsor the library by donating the shipping costs.
Hold a book sale with the books you have collected that are not suitable to send to Africa. Use the money to pay for shipping the Africa-bound books.
In lieu of gifts for your birthday, Confirmation, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, or other special occasion, request that friends give a donation to the African Library Project in your name.  Encourage donations as a living memorial for those who would like to honor a loved one that has died.
Ask local restaurants, book stores or retail stores to put in a "change jar" at their cashier stands to raise money.  Make a small display to go with the jar or ask us for African Library Project stickers to wrap around the jar.  The servers at one restaurant donated all their tips for a week towards shipping costs.

Remember:  Everyone is more likely to be generous when they understand what you are trying to do and how their money can make a difference.

As you find other fun and successful fundraising ideas, please let us know so that we can share them with others!