On Saturday I did my first school fundraiser with Barefoot Books, and I am definitely planning to do more in the future.
I found out about the event from my Ambassador Team Leader - she had done this particular event in the past but couldn't do it this year. I was a little nervous about doing my first big event in person, but I knew the time was right to take that step.
The fundraiser was for a pre-school in Cambridge. They do it every year around the holidays and have good participation from parents of current and former students at the school, as well as parents of prospective students. They were selling Christmas trees and wreaths outside, coffee and baked goods and pizza and other food inside, and had a couple of vendors like me who had agreed to donate a percentage of our total sales to the school.
I already had a few books in stock that I could bring to the event, but I had to place a large order to make sure I would have enough on hand. Time was tight with Thanksgiving falling right before the fundraiser, but the books I ordered arrived in time. I made sure to have plenty of board books for the pre-schoolers (Bear and Cleo the Cat are my favorites), and stocked up on as many singalong books as I could because those are a huge hit at my house and they are probably the books I know best from the Barefoot collection. I added some books for older kids - pre-schoolers have older siblings too who need gifts too! - and a few holiday-themed books since the event had such a Christmas feel to it. The school offers bilingual classes in Mandarin, Spanish, and French, so I also ordered a selection of books with a Chinese theme; my Team Leader lent me a good amount of Barefoot books in Spanish and French, so I would just have to reimburse her for the ones I sold and return the rest.
I fell a little short of my sales goal for the day, but the school will get a $70 donation from me and I got some great experience plus a lot of potential new customers so I think it was a win-win situation all around. And, one of the teachers took a catalog from me and wants to place a large order for the school; I told her that I would give them a 10% discount if they ordered at least $250 worth of books from me, so the win-win will last a little longer too! I would love to do this fundraiser again next year, and by then I should have plenty more experience to help me get those sales numbers up, up, up!
If you are located in the Boston area and would like to use Barefoot Books as part of your fundraising efforts for a school or other type of organization, please contact me at inventingliz(at)gmail(dot)com so we can work out the details. I'm sure we can figure out a way to create a win-win situation for your organization as well!