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.
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