When I was teaching at a grade school a number of years ago we decided to sell magazine subscriptions to raise money for Reading Counts! library books. We chose the selling of magazine because we felt that we would be getting good reading materials into the homes of our school community as well as getting quality books in the Media Center.

We asked for teacher and parent volunteers to set up the program under the leadership of the Media Specialist (me). It is very important to have the cooperation and support from staff members and parents when planning a fund raiser. We had a number of informal meetings where members of the team shared information on various Magazine Fundraiser Companies, and there are a lot of companies in this business. Once the information was gathered we looked at the options to see what would be best for us.

When selecting a company we looked at the following criteria: •

  • Were magazines appropriate for families? •
  • Did the list of magazines include some for all age groups? •
  • Did the list include some for various sports interests? •
  • Did the list include some for various activites such as cooking, crafts, collecting, and so forth? •
  • Was the cost of the subscription reasonable? • What was the length of the original subscription?

Parents checked the prices of the select magazines on the store rack, and staff and parents checked out the price of a subscription online from the sellers of select magazines. Once the companies were narrowed down, members of the team went online to checked the history of Fundraising Companies and reviews about them.

Another consideration was the percentage we would receive from selling the subscriptions. We were in the business of raising money for books, not selling magazines although getting magazines in family’s homes was a great side benefit.

Once we had chosen a company we contacted them. We asked for a representative from the company to meet with the team and bring all of the information and the contract. A number of our parents work in the legal field and one of them volunteered to check it over for any hidden problems. This is very important. What the representative says is meant to get you to buy into the program. Be careful to check out any hidden commitments.

We were happy with our company and we went forward with the program. We decided on a reward program. The parents suggested that the best reward would be free subscriptions to the magazine, and this was included in the contract. We also decided to have little incentives such as a pizza party for the top class and cookies or little prizes for those who achieved certain goals.

We obviously did not want to spend a lot of money on prizes and we received donations from parents for the prizes. A brand new stuffed animal that a child does not want makes a great prize for another child.

The fundraiser ran for 3 weeks. You do not want to run it for too long or people lose interest. We had it for 3 weeks so people could sell to extended family members. We ran it over Thanksgiving vacation since this is great time that extended families get together.

Needless to say, the fundraiser was a great success. And even though I am no longer Media Specialist at the school the magazine subscription fundraising program is still a part of their yearly fundraisers.  

I hope you can use my experience to encourage others. Thank you.