Teachers Holding Books at Fundraising Event

Five Great Ways to Find Funding for Books and More

This guest post was written by Haley Brown, a First Book marketing and Communications Intern. She is currently an undergraduate student at The George Washington University in Washington, D.C. 

We know that many First Book members often buy books using money from their own pockets. Others have budgets that just aren’t big enough to meet the need they have. So, First Book created a fundraising toolkit designed to give you ideas and tools to explore other sources of funding! It provides actionable ideas that we hope will help you secure the funding you need to help your students succeed. Here are our top five tips from the toolkit, available for free on the First Book Marketplace!

Teachers Holding Books at Fundraising Event

Invite Local Businesses to Help

Local organizations and businesses can be great sources of support. They are already a part of the community, and often look to support initiatives that benefit residents and/or help them attract new customers. Create a list of businesses and organizations in your local community that you’d like to partner with to fundraise, then reach out to the owner or manager explaining your fundraising and partnership goals! Many national restaurant chains, including Panera and Chipotle also offer profit share opportunities that split sales with organizations on a certain planned date!

Host a Fundraiser

Hosting a fundraiser will require planning, support, and input from your school/program community. Whether you opt for a bake sale, selling concessions during a school event or something more creative, there are many options to generate funds to purchase the resources you need for the kids you serve. The toolkit provides a sample event checklist as well as a press release template to help you plan. Check out our blog post on fundraising ideas to help you start brainstorming!

Ask Your Program or School Leaders

Use this option to reach out to your school or program leaders to explore available funding from your organization’s general operating budget or other special funding, such as Title I funding. The toolkit features a suggested email or letter template to send to your principal/director. Be sure to include a summary of the items you want to purchase, the purpose, number of kids you will reach, and your savings by purchasing from First Book!

Seek Local Government Funding

This option involves reaching out to your local elected officials to ask for their support for your students. This could be city council members, the mayor’s office, or county or state representatives. Think immediate vicinity, and think big! Your first step will be to identify these individuals and find out who has supported your school/program in the past. A good source of this information could be your school/program leader. The toolkit includes a sample letter to a local elected official to help you get the conversation started!

Start an Online Crowd-Funding Campaign

Online crowd-share fundraising has become an increasingly popular method of connecting with community members. First Book has created its own crowd-funding platform to help support our educators and members! Create an account on our user-friendly site and set your fundraising goal. Write your project summary, add a photo, and you are nearly finished! The last step is to share your initiative with your social network and encourage others to spread the word. Now, folks who want to support have an easy way to do so, and you have got the word out to many, many people! Click here to start your easy online fundraiser.

Join The Network

The toolkit is available for free on the First Book Marketplace, along with tons of other free resources for educators. Join First Book’s Network — the largest and fastest growing network of educators, schools, and programs serving children in need across the United States and Canada — to bring new resources and supplies to the classroom.