Fundraising with a Second Hand Book Sale

Everyone likes to curl up with a nice book. Not only is a book sale a great way to raise funds for your school, church, library, or daycare facility, it&’s also a great way to promote literacy and reading in your community.

In fact, September 8th is International Literacy Day. This event will involve people of all ages, backgrounds, and educations in communities all across North America.

You can promote literacy in your community with a used book sale or swap, along with a celebration of local school literacy achievements, learning center open houses, reading festivals, celebrity book and poetry readings, literacy displays, and any fundraiser that raises literacy awareness in your community.


Literacy is vital to North Americans for the following reasons:

It touches almost every aspect of people’s lives Literacy is important to a person&’s career development and economic opportunity On International Literacy Day, powers that be on a governmental, business, and community level are forced to recognize the importance of literacy in their community, and, if needed, improve literacy in the local community

Another reason to dust off your old favorite reads is September 6th, Read a Book Day! This event only occurs one day a year, but reminds us how important it is to take time out of our busy lives, and put our literary skills to use.

You could arrange your used book fundraiser around Read a Book Day by offering spaces for buyers to cozy up on a blanket, couch, or easy chair – inside or out – and a book they’ve purchased for charity.

Tips for hosting a used book sale

  1. Make your needed funds by accepting donations of used books from your local library or community. Everyone has an old book they don&’t need anymore, but would love to share. And the library will often toss books that are damaged or worse for wear and replace them with newer versions. Instead of a recycling box, offer to sell these unwanted books for charity to improve literacy in your community.
  2. Promotion is vital to a used book sale&’s success. Spread the word via a press release, newspaper coverage, radio ads, or an interview with your organizer on a local television station.
  3. Contact a community celebrity to promote your event. Many local authors, poets, artists, and mentors would be happy to lend their support.
  4. Look to the Web via Facebook and writing blogs to promote the details of your used book sale. If you are promoting literacy, book clubs, educational institutions, community centers, and local freelance writing groups would be happy to jump on board to promote your event.
  5. Put up posters at high-traffic spots. Be sure to include the following pertinent info on your flyers:
    • Name of event
    • Date and time
    • Sponsorship requests (used books, volunteers, money donations)
    • Venue
    • Cost (if you are charging admission)
    • Contact for tickets
    • Press contact
    • Your charity number
  6. Send details through a mailing list or social networking site, like Facebook. Also ask everyone you know to share the details of your event with their friends and contacts.
  7. Set up sponsorship online through Facebook or another social networking site. Sponsorship sites allow you to set up a page where people can make donations directly using a credit card or money transfer. Setting up a sponsorship page online will also help you track your fundraising status, and it will allow you to set a goal and watch the funds come in as you try to meet that goal.

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