Cookbook Fundraising?

Learn How In This Interview With Susan Selasky
From Heritage Cookbook

Susan Selaski of Heritage Cookbook; Providing great information in this Cookbook Fundraising interview.

Cookbook fundraising is a great way of raising those much needed funds and can be used by any organization or individual!

And this interview with Susan from Heritage Cookbook provides some phenomenal information on running this type of fundraiser.

Susan has a history that is totally immersed in the nonprofit and fundraising industry.

She now runs the most amazing cookbook publishing company that is the perfect tool for any group wanting to run a cookbook fundraiser.

With the ability to personalize your fundraising cookbook right over the net from cover, to the divider, to the images, the Heritage Cookbook makes the production of your fundraising cookbook really simple and convenient!

Anyways, let's get on with the interview...

Questions And Answers:

Q1. Could you please briefly tell us a bit of your background? Who are you and what did you do before Heritage Cookbook?

A. I am a woman who has spent many years working in the not for profit sector, raising funds for a number of organizations, big and small.

Prior to that, I taught at school, everything from grade 2 to the graduating year! Throughout, I have loved working with people, helping them reach their goals.

Q2. How, when and why was Heritage Cookbook started?

Just an idea, in the middle of the night (I do my best thinking then!).

I initially wanted to be able to use the internet to "modernize" an old tradition, the family cookbook.

Q3. In your opinion is cookbook fundraising a quality fundraising method and why?

Cookbooks are a fabulous fundraising tool: everyone loves to eat and many cherish family recipes and traditions.

Heritage Cookbook brings together large and small groups who can all work together on a cookbook (we have a limitless number of contributors that can work on one cookbook at the same time).

Generally, the more people are involved, the more people care and will be more likely to participate in the fundraising effort and the overall success of the campaign. is a way of creating an online "village" or community where everyone works towards a communal goal. This translates into success and buy in!

Q4. Please describe how a group goes about running a cookbook fundraiser through Heritage Cookbook?

Groups come together and start working as a team on entering recipes through the site.

An interesting and informative interview with Cookbook Fundraising expert Susan Selaski of Heritage Cookbook. (Photo by Yortw / Flickr)

Photos get uploaded (or artwork, poems) as illustrations and really bring the book to life. There are many templates to chose from including a completely customizable template where a school, church or not for profit can infuse the book with their own visual identity.

From there, the books are sent off to print and received shortly after. I do have a chance to guide along should the need arise!

Q5. How would you advise people to go about finding recipes and images for their cookbook?

Generally, there are hundreds of recipes around us, often sitting with some of the older generations. I still have my mother's cookbook and her recipes have wonderful anecdotes.

Heritage Cookbook allows you to type in those stories as captions for photos that can be used as tributes to some of the recipe authors.

In schools, children produce beautiful artwork that make the books very personal.

Church groups often infuse a sense of heritage and history to their work while not for profits can use stock photography or images that illustrate the theme they are focused on (we have seen people promote environmental and sustainability messages alongside their recipes).

City archives can also be a wonderful source for photography.

Q6. In your opinion, what are the best marketing strategies a group can use to advertise their cookbook successfully?

Local and grassroots tactics work well.

Posters and bake sales featuring some of the goodies from the cookbooks are a great way to promote the book in a church group or school environment where people gather on a regular basis.

But there is nothing like word of mouth and the buy in from having many people involved in producing the book and thus promoting it themselves!

Q7. You advise people to rather have a cookbook of 150-180 pages instead of a larger one of say 300 pages. Why is that?

Most buyers will value a book between 150-200 pages as much as a 300 page book. Quantity of pages is not a selling feature in this case and is often a lot of work for the creator of the book.

Some Heritage Cookbook examples.

In the end, it is much better for a fundraiser to make a book that is a manageable number of pages (especially if many contributors are involved and there is editing involved) and to save the additional recipes for a second volume.

Two books at 150 pages sold one after the other are a sure recipe for success from a fundraising point of view!

Q8. What would be your one piece of advice if someone was asking you how they could make their cookbook fundraising more successful and profitable?

Make sure you involve a lot of people in the making of the book to help with its success.

Use photos and as many personal anecdotes to make the cookbook meaningful and think of doing this as an on-going annual fundraiser: smaller books (they will cost less) on a regular basis rather than one large (and more expensive) book!

Finishing Notes:

I would like to thank Susan very much for agreeing to do this cookbook fundraising interview.

The information and answers she has provided have been excellent and I'm sure they will help you with your Cookbook fundraising.

If you would like to find out more about Heritage Cookbook and to use their services please visit their Cookbook Fundraising website at

Some other resources you might want to look into are these two books on publishing and selling Cookbooks...

Other Fundraising Interviews:

Pamela Grow (Great info on Grant Writing)

Non Profit Fundraiser Interview With Joe Garecht

Where are you?

› Cookbook Fundraising; Susan Selaski

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