How to Put the “Fun” in Fundraising

As an educator, your mission is to teach and develop your students’ ability to write and communicate effectively. It is a vital skill for their academic ease and success as well as their future employment. But what if you could combine the creative process of writing a book with the pride that comes with raising funds for the class or their school? If this sounds interesting, there are online sites that can help you plan and orchestrate the perfect book making/Fundraising.

Writing is an essential part of life and communication as well as being a skill that employers within a myriad of professions will look for. The best way for kids to develop these skills is through writing their own stories to share.

Children also learn to better organize their thoughts, and even communicate better by crafting their own stories, according to an article on readwritethink.org. Writing also helps improve reading skills, and helps kids to understand and connect with other people’s writing with greater ease.


Students can easily take their writing skills to the next level and make their own real book.
So, if you have considered a class project where students create their own book, you might want to add to the fun and make it a class or school (get other teachers and their classrooms involved) fundraiser.

What’s the Story?

There are online sites like Bookemon.com, one of the first to cater to teachers with a special edCenter that allows your class to create and publish their own book with impressive, professional results, then to orchestrate a fundraiser where parents can order their child’s book and a portion of their purchase goes toward your fundraising event.

Writing, creativity with photographs or illustrations, and the entire process of organizing and making a book can be a huge source of pride for students. Knowing that their work is helping raise funds for their class or school is even more inspiring.

Welcome to edCenter, Where Their Books Become a Reality

Bookemon created edCenter for educators like you to set up a secure, private and friendly environment for their students and fellow staff members to create, purchase or sell their books. Essentially, an edCenter can be created for your individual class, as a special group project, fundraiser or for a specific grade level of students at your school. It may also be used by those in a school-related non-profit organization.

First, students write their book, save it in a Word Document, PDF file, or jpg image, and then it can be uploaded into Bookemon’s easy to use book making templates in your edCenter. Students choose where photos or illustrations go and can even add special fonts and clip art. It is creative fun!

Meanwhile, edCenter gives you, the educator, access and the ability to guide your students’ book projects, but the digital software is so complete (with all those templates, clipart, and easy to use design tools) that this project can really be managed well by students with very successful results.

How to Get Started with Your Student Book fundraiser

First, join the Educator Program, by going to our Educator’s Program Page at www.bookemon.com/educator-home, click “Join Educator Program”. There your will identify your position at your school in the following categories: teacher, administrator, staff member, or support group, Select your K-12 school, non-profit organization or college from our Educator’s Program database and then you are allowed to create your edCenter, while completing your membership registration, or you may wait until after you have joined the Educator Program at Bookemon.

How an edCenter Fundraiser Works

Once your students have created their books with Bookemon’s digital software accessed through your edCenter, it is time to get the books in your edCenter bookstore. This is a central place where all of the edCenter published books including public or edCenter member only books are listed.

Creating your bookstore is easy. When you initially create your edCenter, you are provided with the steps to set up your edCenter Bookstore, name, passcode and mission statement to introduce your edCenter bookstore for your fundraising or rewards.

You can also set up the edCenter bookstore anytime, by signing in and entering your class edCenter, you can always find “edCenterStore” on navigation bar. Click it and you will be able to “set store passcode” or “reset store passcode” for your edCenter member only books.

To share your edCenter bookstore, you can always find “edCenterStore” on navigation bar after you enter the edCenter. Click “invite parents to store” where you can fill the email addresses where you want to send the passcode. This way, parents can buy the books created within edCenter easily without using kids’ or your login information.

Parents can buy edCenter only books anytime they want simply visiting the edCenter bookstore, and they can find the book they wish to buy with the passcode provided. It will eliminate your administrative work to collect money, order and distribute the books.

Access to your class’s edCenter bookstore is controlled by your exclusive passcode assigned by you, the founder of the store, and sent to parents in that invitational email. Only those with the passcode can view and purchase the edCenter member only books.

You raise funds through the sale of each book, essentially by setting up author profit when you publish the books. For example, if you set author profit for each book as $2.00, then every time a copy sold to people other than yourself, your fundraiser earns $2.00. You can set the value to whatever you wish, as long as you think it will still sell, but it should not exceed 50% of base price. The base price is listed during your publish process. As an author, you buy your book at base price all the time.

Safeguards for Student Accounts

Student accounts are designed to help educators enroll their students into the edCenter without the use of email invitations. Additional safeguards are in place for these accounts, like activities online are confined within the edCenter, in a secluded online environment. All student accounts are linked to the educator that creates the edCenter. So, any communication from Bookemon to the student members would be sent to the email address of the founder.

More Benefits of an edCenter Fundraiser:

  • Group Privacy: At your discretion, books and information can only be accessed by members.
  • Student Accounts: Teachers can add student accounts for added privacy and ease of oversight on students’ works.
  • Free for educators: There is no cost to create your own edCenter. There is no obligation to purchase.
  • Educator Discount on Purchases: You receive 10% off the cost of books you purchased.
  • Mobile Access: Using bookPress or Bookemon Mobile apps, you can access your edCenter via iPhone, iPad or Android devices.
  • Membership Control: Management tools for founder/administrators to control who can join your group.
  • Ability for Group Collaboration: Members within the group can create book collaboratively.

Access to bCloud for edCenter

If you would like a secure, online storage space for edCenter members to capture favorite photos, documents, page designs and artwork, bCloud is a feature that provides that secure space to contribute photos, creative writings and designs, which can be sent from an iPhone, iPad, Mac, or a PC. This allows complete collaboration on a yearbook or other group project, allowing students and staff to create a collective keepsake together.

Perfect for Student Learning and a Fun Fundraiser

There may be a few options out there, but you want to choose a format that is easy to use, allows students to be able to customize their book, the overall design, all the small details right down to the font. This gives students the ability to really make their book their own. Fundraising with student book sales is simple, fun, requires no money collection or delivery issues for you to manage, and the product is something parents will want to buy.

The free software allows for endless possibilities to publish virtually any type of book. Students can publish works of fiction, non-fiction, a memoir or even a comic book. Class photos can be preserved into a keepsake book that can be purchased by parents, which makes the perfect fundraising project!

The variety of books students can create, and fund raise with, is limited only by their imagination. Getting started is quick and easy and will open up a world of learning possibilities for your students and well as put the fun back in fundraising.

Don’t Just Tell Tall Tales – Write Them

Do you have a talent for telling tall tales? Can you craft stories that delve into the world of fantasy, but are so detailed that they actually seem believable? If you do, you should be using your talent for more than just storytelling around a campfire or a creative bedtime tale; you should be writing them (and preserving them) in a book.

Children and adults love to believe that a fantastic fantasy world exists, which is why tall tales are so popular. Children often begin to grow and express their imagination by telling tall tales, and for some, their story-telling skill continues to grow into adulthood.

If telling tall tales is one of your passions, write and preserve them to publish and share.

  • Perhaps that is how you began, telling an innocent, imaginative fib, like you saw a dinosaur at school and he took you to a lost world where you ate ice cream. Some parents may try and squelch this creativity, and get concerned when a child tells what the parent feels is a lie. But experts say that fibs are nothing to worry about when they are simply tall tales that fuel the imagination and are so entertaining to hear or read about.In fact, some experts recommend a parent engages in the fantasy and shows the child that they are interested in their world. Imagination is born. It is believed that tall tales began way back in the 1800s when frontiersmen would gather around the fire and would compete for who had experienced the wildest adventure. They are part of American folk literature.So, if you or your child have wild and entertaining tall tales to tell, one great way to compile your stories is to create a book. This is something you could hand down through the generations, give as gifts to friends, and family and treasure reading together at bedtime or as you gather around summer campfires.

    What is a Tall Tale?
    Essentially, a tall tale has wildly exaggerated elements to the story. Whether it is giants, or talking vegetables, or a doll that comes to life, your story will need to explore the impossible and there are many examples out there that you can follow; like the story of Paul Bunyan.

    Here are a few tips to spark your creativity and get you started:

  • Begin with a story that is typically relatable to anyone. Like you are walking in the park or collecting shells in the sand along the beach. Used plenty of detailed words to describe the setting. Make it real for the reader.
  • As you dive into telling the “tall” part of the tale, remember that the more outrageous and exaggerated the better. You did not just battle a big sea shell but you were almost eaten by a gigantic one, the size of an elephant. Again, use plenty of descriptive words to paint the picture for the reader.
  • Keep it short. You want to take the reader on a short, incredible journey while you hold their attention and imagination.
  • End the story with a cliffhanger. Like there could be another adventure coming because the story was not completely resolved. For example, the mammoth sea shell slipped into the waves but vowed to return to fight again. Get the idea? The adventure has the potential to continue, and your reader could encounter this giant one day.

Your tales can take a reader on an incredible adventure, but only if you write them down.

Publishing Your Tall Tale

The next step, once the tale is written, is to preserve it in your own book. You could piece together your own book, or use a kit from the craft store, but if you really want to create a beautiful, professional-looking keepsake that is treasured year-after-year, than publishing your book through a site like Bookemon is a quick, affordable solution.

It will cost you nothing to get started on your book and it is very simple to do. First, create a free account, then upload the content of your book from PDF or Word Files. Next you can customize the pages and layout with the easy to use tools and templates. You can even upload and edit photos or illustrations to your book and add special borders and clip art.

Once you have created a professional high-quality book, you can share it through email or social media or you can choose to purchase and order printed copies. The results are a beautiful book that looks like it came from your favorite bookstore.

Whatever your tall tale adventure, digital book-making with Bookemon, will provide professional looking results, quickly, easily, and will transform your tales into a keepsake for your family to treasure. Start creating your book today!

Thought Leader Series: To Impress Recruiters Create a Hardbound Portfolio of Your Career Experience

Mark Babbitt is the CEO and Founder of YouTern, a Forbes “Top Site for Your Career,” and is co-author of A World Gone Social: How Companies Must Adapt to Survive.

Although it’s improving, the job market remains ultra-competitive – and many job seekers are looking for any edge that will help them stand out.

Infographic resumes, video introductions, mini-business plans – even making your resume look like an Amazon product page – have all been tried. Some successfully… some not so much.

Here’s one idea you may not have thought of yet: A hardbound book that outlines your career experience, page by page. Here’s how to use this unique personal branding strategy successfully.

Create a Compelling Title

Step one is to create a title that will grab the attention of the hiring manager – somewhere between a boring cliché (“Mary Stevens: Recent Graduate from Sycamore State”) and overzealous (“Mary Stevens: The Best Hire You Will EVER Make!’).

Something that shows humble confidence works best. For instance: “Mary Stevens: Ready to Help Your Business Succeed.” If you are so inclined, and the company culture most attractive to you leans toward edgy and bold, try “Mary Stevens: Ready to Help Your Company with World Domination.”

Tell Your Story

Every good book has a solid beginning that hooks the reader, a middle that moves the plot along and intrigues the reader, and a fulfilling ending that nicely ties everything together including – preferably, for you and the company – a happy ending! (More on that in a minute.)

Guide the hiring manager through your story by answering these three questions:

  • What am I really, really good at? And why does your company need that?
  • What do I stand for … and how is that aligned with the culture and mission of the company?
  • How will I add value; specifically, how will my skills help achieve the organization’s goals?

IMPORTANT: As you tell your tale, be sure to make the story about the reader, not you. Take a “here’s what’s in this for you” approach rather than “here’s what I’m looking for” perspective.

Use Numbers and Dollar Signs

Your future employer doesn’t so much care about what you did at work. They want to know what impact your work had on the organization. So as you weave your story, talk about your direct impact to previous employers by using numbers, the dollar sign and the percentage sign. For example:

  • Exceeded quota by 132% over two years
  • Promoted three times in 18 months at ABC Company
  • My fundraising efforts lead to an additional $27,000 in donations, which enabled the organization to feed 125 more children in 2014

Remember, this is a non-fiction book … your book can’t be a fairy tale! So use accurate figures to demonstrate your impact and contributions.

Everyone Loves a Picture Book

Throughout your book, sprinkle in images that support your most important points. Graphs, examples of your work, and logos of the companies you worked for, or with, all lend instant credibility to your story. Other examples may include:

  • If you are in the creative fields, this chapter of your book is incredibly important; this is where you show off your best work!
  • If you are an engineer or business major and worked on a relevant class project, show pictures of your team working together as well as the end result of your work.
  • If you demonstrated leadership during college or are doing volunteer work now, use images to reinforce the passion you brought to those roles.

Write That Happy Ending

Finally, in the last chapter of your career book, show the reader what success looks like – with you in that role!

  • How will you be a champion of the brand?
  • What will you accomplish in your first 30 days? 90 days? Your first year?
  • How do members of your team work together two years from now?
  • How will you have helped move the company mission forward?

Use your words and images to draw them a picture … so they see you as the person they need to hire!

The moral of the story

Be creative. Have fun. Show your unique value, and personality. A hardbound portfolio just may help you turn the next page in your career.

Start creating your book now!