Last year our church decided to do a fund raiser that would not cost a
great deal of investment. So many times the fund raiser dinners or
selling items for a company takes the largest amount of the funds raised,
so that the profit margin is small. We had held several bake sales and it
seemed that people were getting tired of donating and buying. We held a
rummage sale in the spring; however it was a great deal of work
collecting, organizing, pricing and then getting rid of the items that
did not sell. One thing that we did notice during the rummage sale was
that people liked books. We had many books donated and all of them sold.
We decided that we would have a used books sale. We made arrangements
with the local library to take any left over books that we might have.
The library offered to donate some books for the used books sale.
I went on line to see if I could get some ideas to make this a successful
event. I also talked to an owner of a book store to find out the best way
to organize the books. The store owner suggested creating an atmosphere
that people would want to linger in, the more time people spend looking
through books the more apt they are to purchase them. This gave me an
idea. We would create a coffee shop book store atmosphere in the
gathering space and classroom areas of the fellowship hall. We asked the
congregation to donate books. We called several of the elderly people of
the congregation to see if they needed help getting their books to the
church. We asked everyone to sort their books into categories prior to
donating them so that we would save time setting up the used books sale.
We bought gourmet coffee grounds and brewed up several pots. We asked
people that did not have books to donate to make bars and cookies, which
we sold individually. We placed groups of chairs in secluded locations
throughout the space and invited people to spend as much time as they
wanted browsing, drinking coffee and reading the books. We placed all the
devotionals, spiritual books and self help books by our chapel area so
that people could reflect in a quiet space. We placed the children’s used
book sale in the nursery area and invited several people to read stories
to groups of children through out the day. This allowed the parents time
to look through the used books sale while their children were occupied.
The used books sale was a huge success. We had received many books and
the majority of them sold. We made a great deal of money on the coffee
and the sweets. The few books that were left were easily packed up and
brought over to the library. Many people commented on what a relaxing
time they had selecting their books.