It may seem odd at first for a non-profit to turn to self-publishing. But, like any for-profit business, competition for dollars, donors and volunteer time is fierce. Writing a book allows you to gain exposure, attention and generate a little extra revenue.
How is it different from what you are using now? Books don’t get thrown away. People value the content in a book more than magazines, newsletters or blog posts and certainly carry more value than little plastic promotional items. People you feature will feel valued and want to share it with their friends. It is also a lasting record of those who make your organization successful and who it serves.
Here are a few ways to present a book for maximum impact:
The content of your book
Success stories – Recount the effect of dollars, donations and time on primary recipients and residual effects on caregivers, parents, teachers or whoever also feels a positive impact by the organization
Research – Explore who is doing research, what they are finding and what they still need to do to find a solution to the problem your organization is targeting.
The system – Perhaps there isn’t research, but a system that makes it all work. Go behind the scenes or do a day in the life of the organization.
Volunteers – Interview volunteers and give their profiles. Announce evergreen volunteer opportunities. Let people know the big and little ways their time impacts the recipients.
Donors – Shine the spotlight on one or more longtime donors and praise their impact on the organization.
Vision for the future – Use this format to spread a vision of hope for a cure, a solution or the best possible outcome for all of those who currently benefit from your services.
Collect recipes from those associated with the organization.
Collect stories or quotes from children around a particular theme.
How to use the book
Use as a thank you to donors or volunteers. An ebook is a cost-effective way to deliver your message and thank your donors and volunteers. A printed version is inexpensive enough to include in a thank you bag at a gala event.
Use as an opportunity for press coverage. Send out a press release for a book launch, to do interviews and to gain social media attention.
Use as a source of residual donations. Place a link on your website, sell at events and sell at your location.
Use as a way to attract donors or volunteers. Mail books to past donors and volunteers, give away at trade booths or use as silent auction item at events.
With services like CreateSpace, publishing a book can cost as little as free with revenue for the publisher taken only when books are sold. You don’t have to buy any books or you can purchase them at wholesale cost. If outsourcing is needed for editing, formatting and cover design, sponsorships are a great way to cover the cost. If you have a DIY staff and need some direction, check out The Self-Publishing Roadmap for step-by-step instructions for getting your idea launched.
How can a book impact your organization?