These days there seems to be a lot more good causes to support and a lot less money to do so with. I like to help, but my wallet doesn’t always agree. As an author, however, I have a unique opportunity that other people don’t. After doing a bit of research, I have found there are ways to raise funds for a worthy cause without dipping into personal reserves. In fact, I can actually make a little money, gain important exposure and help at the same time. It’s only a matter of thinking outside the box. Whether you have a large budget set aside for donations, or nothing at all, you can make a difference.
Donating books can cost you a pretty penny and isn’t an option for everyone. It is however, the easiest and quickest to do. Depending on the charity, you can also chalk the cost involved up to your annual marketing expenses. You are bound to get oodles of free publicity for your generosity.
Do you have any misprint books laying around that you don’t know what to do with? Why not apply stickers on the inside cover stating the error(s) in them and donate them?
ASK ABOUT EVENTS.
Pick out a local charity that you love and ask if they have any events scheduled this year. You may find that a homeless shelter is having a street festival one evening right in your community or a local school needs to raise money for a new computer for their library. These are usually the least expensive events you can attend and what you do spend on your table goes straight to the charity.
OFFER TO MAKE A SPECIAL APPEARANCE.
Think of smaller community programs and nonprofit organizations you would like to help. What about your local animal shelter? It doesn’t hurt to offer to spend a day there doing a book signing with a portion of profits going to the pets. You could offer a free bookmark to anyone bringing in a pet food donation as well.
We have all heard of toy drives, but what about books? Gather your local authors together and raise funds; put out a few raffles; sell tickets to a writer’s discussion panel, then use the money to buy the books of the authors involved to donate. You could even arrange to give the books away at a parade or other social event. Don’t forget book swag as well.
We all enjoy giving and helping without receiving compensation and when you are a world famous author with a six figure annual income, it will be much easier to do so. For now, however, while you are still on the road to discovery, the above are viable plans. I think you will find your local non-profit organizations are thrilled to have any help they can find. Don’t forget to send out press releases. The better you do at an event, the better the charity does as well. The publicity is an added bonus to both of you. After you are finished, make sure to obtain an official receipt to claim a deduction on your income taxes. In the end, whatever you choose to participate in, teaming up with charities is a win-win situation.