Church Fundraising: How to Make and Distribute a Church Cookbook

When it comes to raising funds for your church, take into consideration the ages and interests of the majority of your congregants. One activity that people of all demographics enjoy is cooking, so putting together a church cookbook chock-full of recipes from members of your congregation can be an enjoyable and profitable activity.

Gathering Recipes

While you might know who makes the best casseroles at your church potluck, don't use this as a criteria for inviting people to submit recipes. It's likely that those who have shared delicious goodies and received a great reception will submit those crowd-pleasers. Encourage your congregants to submit a variety of recipes. Desserts, soups, appetizers, main dishes and salads are all great, as are ethnic dishes and those that have been passed down within their families for generations.

Ask your pastor to make an announcement on Sunday morning and add your request for recipes to the church bulletin. Set up a table during your reception hour for people to stop by and pick up a flyer filled with ideas for types of recipes to submit. As a side benefit, members can place their cookbook orders at the same time.

Publishing the Cookbooks

There are many companies that you can send your recipes out to in order to get the books published. Look at all of the options to find the most cost-effective package. In some cases, you will be able to print out more than originally ordered, while in others, it will cost more to do this. Depending on how many pre-orders you get, consider buying ten to twenty percent more cookbooks for in-person sales.

Maximizing Your Sales

When pricing your cookbooks, keep in mind how much you're paying to have them published and how much the people in your church are able to afford. Consider going for a less expensive option if your congregants tend to have lower incomes. In a wealthier area, adding photos and a nicer cover and binding can allow you to raise the price somewhat to increase your church's profit.

Another great option is to offer a PDF file of the recipes for a lower price. For example, if you're charging $15 for the physical cookbook, consider charging just $5 for the computerized file. This will allow people to pay a reduced rate in exchange for having to print their own pages.

A church cookbook is a great choice for fundraising. Look into all of your options to keep costs down and enjoy the experience of cooking other members' favorite recipes!

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