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BREASTFEEDING ANSWER BOOK Sales as a Fundraiser

Terri Maloney Houston
Columbus, Ohio, USA
From: LEAVEN, Vol. 33 No. 3, June-July 1997, p. 55

Our Group discovered an easy fundraising idea several years ago when the first edition of the BREASTFEEDING ANSWER BOOK was published. Not only did it add money to our Group Treasury, it put a valuable LLLI publication in the hands of health care providers in our area.

When the BREASTFEEDING ANSWER BOOK became available in 1991, Leaders in our Group bought copies and began to use them right away. Impressed with the organization and clarity of the resource, the comment was made that every health care provider in the community should have one. We decided to explore the idea of buying them at a quantity discount and reselling them to doctors.

Our first step was to test the market. I had a good relationship with my son's pediatrician who is supportive of breastfeeding and who knows I am a Leader. At one of my son's office visits, I mentioned that I found the book particularly useful and thought she might like a copy for her practice. I offered to loan her my copy for a month to see if she agreed.

At the end of a month, I called the office secretary and asked her to remind the doctor about my book. I asked for a time to call the doctor for her feedback.

The doctor said her office staff was delighted with the BREASTFEEDING ANSWER BOOK and wanted to know if she could order a copy. In addition, she said that her professional organization, a regional pediatric society, would probably be interested in publicizing the book in their newsletter. She gave me the name and phone number of the president.

Next, I called the president and told him my pediatrician had suggested I call with this idea for the pediatric society newsletter. I offered to let him review the book, this time for a week, after which I would call him for feedback. Once again the BREASTFEEDING ANSWER BOOK got rave reviews. I was referred to the society's administrator who puts their newsletter together.

My next step was to call the administrator and find out the deadline for the next issue and the format for our "ad." She asked for a full page and gave me the deadline and address. The "ad" included a mail-back section that pediatric practices could use to order the book directly from our Group.

This project was particularly successful because LLLI sells the books at a substantial discount when ten or more are purchased. We sold the books for the regular retail price (no Leader or member discount) plus tax and made about $10 (US) profit on each. Most were delivered by Leaders; those that were not were mailed "book rate."

With the 1997 edition of the BREASTFEEDING ANSWER BOOK now available, Groups or Chapters might want to think about this double-benefit fundraiser.

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