How to Create a Charity Cookbook

Many people around the world are involved in charity organisations. Some give money, some give time and all give thought, prayer and effort to the charity of their choice. If you want to increase your activity level in a charity or raise funds for a specific cause, you may want to consider creating a charity cookbook.

These are great fundraising endeavours because not only do they bring large groups of people together, but most of the people who donate recipes will buy one or more books to give to friends and relatives or to keep for themselves.

Pick a cause. This will be the focus of your charity cookbook. Your cause can be a person or a group or organisation. For example, if you are raising money for Joseph Timmton, the local fireman who was severely burnt rescuing a baby from a burning building, then you will put an explanation in the front of your cookbook that explains what happened and what the money from the book will go to--for example, helping out his wife and kids with the bills while he recovers in the hospital. On the other hand, if you want to raise money for a specific organisation, like your church's meals-on-wheels program, then you will need to use the dedication pages to explain the program and how it will use the money.

Solicit recipes. Ask everyone you can for recipes. Good places to ask are church organisations, social groups like book clubs or garden circles and family members. Most people will be happy to donate a recipe to the book. You can put announcements in church bulletins and school newsletters as well as in the local paper if you choose to do so.

Enter all the recipes on the computer. You can make them as fancy or as plain as you want. It is a good idea for sales to cite who contributed what. For example, if Gladys Sedwater contributed a recipe for "Ladybird Egg Sandwiches," then you might put her name directly under the name of the dish or at the conclusion of the recipe. This will make Gladys proud of her contribution and more likely to buy multiple books.

Format the recipe book. This includes placing the dedication pages at the beginning, making a table of contents and getting all the recipes into the same document. Also, if you wish to have pretty fonts, bold or italics in certain spots or images on some of the pages, this is the time to do this type of "fine tuning." Generally you should use a word processing program that is fairly ubiquitous so that you will have no problem taking the file to the printer.

Have the books printed and bound. You can often simply e-mail the file and instructions to a local printer for an estimate. Make sure they know that they book is for a charitable cause, as you may qualify for a discount. You can have the books spiral bound (cheap and effective) or your can have them bound more professionally. It is entirely up to you and the budget you have.

Sell the cookbook. Make sure that everyone who donated a recipe knows that the cookbooks are ready. Also, contact every organisation that you can think of that might be interested. Examples are local churches, schools, Elks' Clubs and social circles. Generally people sell this type of cookbook for £6 to £13. You may also wish to put a notice in your local paper. Make sure that everyone knows who or what the book is dedicated to as well as how to get them. You may wish to set up a designated e-mail address where people can place orders or put someone in charge of taking phone numbers.

Send your money to the place that you said you would. Some people are amazed at how much money they are able to raise with this type of fundraiser. The potential is staggering. However, make sure that you handle all money in exactly the way that you said you would. For example, if you do not state that you are going to recoup your costs for the cookbooks out of the profits, then you should not do it later. This can cause serious legal trouble because it appears to be a misrepresentation on your part even if you do not mean it to be.