One of the best ways to increase circulation of your digital collection is to consistently add new content for your students to enjoy. While in an ideal world you would be able to easily acquire funding to constantly add new carts of titles, we understand that this isn’t a realistic expectation for all schools and districts. In order to continue providing new and exciting reads for your school community to enjoy, we suggest looking into the time-honored tradition that schools have used for sports, drama clubs and many other extracurricular clubs: fundraising! Here are a few suggestions for ways to raise money to support your digital collection:


Parent donations

One way that physical school libraries obtain titles is through donations by the community. Make this idea digital by showing off book jackets during open houses and parent-teacher conferences and offer parents the chance to “donate” these titles by giving money towards the purchase of the eBook or audiobook. You can thank them in newsletters or programs for school events.


Crescent School in Ontario successfully introduced this idea for their school last year. Library Technician Lisa Elchuk shares,


“At our Parent Volunteer reception, we chose and displayed titles for donation to our collection. I slid the covers into glass photograph frames, which we displayed on a table, for selection by the parents. Once a parent chose a title, they autographed small labels that we affixed to the eBook covers. We will display them on the library shelves, as well as recognizing the Parent Volunteer in our ILS and on a specially created shelf on our OverDrive site!”


Vote for your favorite eBooks

If you’ve ever been to Starbucks (and I’m guessing you have), then you may recognize tip jars that look like this:



By making tipping a game, Starbucks baristas make giving money fun. You can do the same by posing questions to your school community about which eBooks they would rather read. Whatever title wins, put the money towards purchasing it for your collection. If you get enough money, buy both titles! You can put these out at lunch, at events or at the front of classrooms to raise awareness. Even if students just donate small change from their pockets, it can add up.


50/50 Raffle

50/50 raffles are also popular at many high school events. People purchase raffle tickets and a winner is drawn. They get half the money earned through the raffle and the other half can go towards new digital content.


Pass the Hat

Passing the hat (or boot if you’re a fireman) is a time honored tradition at baseball and football games here in the United States. Simply pass a hat amongst the crowd during halftime at a game or a break in the action and use the donated money to purchase new titles. Make an announcement to explain what you’re collecting for and help raise awareness about your school’s digital resources!


Cookies and Candy

Who doesn’t love a good bake sale!? I personally think “Cookies for eBook-ies” would draw in a good crowd, if you’re looking for a clever poster.


Grant Writing

While not technically fundraising, grant writing is an excellent way to increase your digital collection. You can find programs like the Innovative Approaches to Literacy Program, which North Little Rock High School wrote about previously that help provide new titles for your students as well as funds for devices and much more.


Just Ask!

The easiest way to raise funds can simply be asking for donations from parents, staff and the community. This is also a great way to introduce them to the service if you haven’t done so already. You can use our Letter to the Community template to inform parents, alumni and your neighbors about the exciting digital collection you offer, share how it benefits your students and ask for donations to add new titles.


Fundraising can help strengthen your school community, improve your eBook collection and raise awareness for your digital resources. The possibilities are only limited to what your imagination can think up!


Adam Sockel is a Marketing Communications Specialist with OverDrive.


Comments are closed.