Over the past few weeks the YALSA Financial Advancement Committee has been posting about Booze for Books. It’s the YALSA event scheduled for April 12 that focuses on raising funds for the Books for Teens initiative.  If you haven’t read about Booze for Books yet, check out these two YALSABlog posts – Booze for Books: Don’t Miss It and Thinking Outside the Booze Box.

Once your Books for Teens fundraiser is planned and you have a catchy name (Mocktails for a Mission, Libations for Libraries, Tea for Teens, etc.), how do you get the word out?  Your event involves socializing; doesn’t it make sense to use social media to get the word out. Or does it?  Getting the word out can be challenging.  Snail mail or email?  Email will limit you to only those in your address book but I guess that is true for snail mail too. Do people still have a print address book? Hmmm, the question to ask yourself is how much time do I have/need to get the invites to donors, I mean your friends? If you start now snail mail will work for you.  You will have a couple more weeks if you use email.  Not much to think about with these choices.

Social media is the answer, right?  It can be challenging to get the word out electronically. What forum to use? Do all of my friends use social media? If I use only social media will I neglect those friends who are not using social media?  Should I Facebook or Tweet? What about Pinterest for posting images of the refreshments we’ll have?

If you have a Facebook account, create a page just for your event and invite all of your friends.  You can create links to Facebook and the Books for Teens page.  This will allow you to reach as many friends as possible. They can then connect directly to the Books for Teens page and to YALSA’s page.  Who knows–you may be creating YALSA friends for life!  Those who are not able to attend your event may become so inspired that they will donate to this worthy cause anyway. 

Tweeting can omit important details.  If you do decide that you only have time to tweet, be sure you include all of the details–when, where, why and directions if necessary.  Tweets may be good to use as a reminder for the event.

There are so many social networking sites available.  I cannot begin to list them all. Whatever your social networking site of choice is, be sure to use it to its fullest to get the word out.

Electronic invitations are a good way to get the word out as well if you want to control who gets invited. You can send invitations with Facebook or with a site like Eventbrite.

A Google map has been created for you to pin your party location.  As it gets closer to April 12, people may be looking for events to attend in their area.  Voila, another guest and a new donor! You will have raised more money and a teen in an underserved area will love you.  Now that’s reason to get the word out.

Your event may not be difficult to advertise.  Many people throughout the country have already read about Booze for Books. The catchy theme stirred up some talk. Don’t let the controversy over the title discourage you.  Call the party whatever will get the majority of your friends and family members together to donate to Books for Teens, a very worth cause.  Check out Thinking Outside the Booze Box for catchy theme ideas and the YALSA Fundraising Guide for even more suggestions.  Have fun with your theme. 

GET THE WORD OUT!

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