The best fundraising ideas for kids with a happy ending.

You would have surely asked yourself, “What does a happy ending have to do with fundraising at all?” The answer is very simple, it’s a tale, however, it is not just any tale. It is your fundraising tale, with stories, with feelings, with dragons and castles where we all become kids again.

Fundraising Ideas For Kids

I have only written a couple of lines, yet, I have already revealed the ending of the story. In this way, I will probably not have much success as a writer, but the point is not the ending; instead, it’s about what you can achieve and how you can do so.  I think I’ll save that part for later :).

This post has three clear objectives:
1. To obtain the maximum benefit for your fundraising cause.
2. For you to have fun while learning.
3. To create new fundraising ideas for kids.

All of the content that you find on this website is free, practical and simple. You will gain at least a 70% benefit for each sale and at no initial cost. You will only have to invest time and imagination for fundraising.

The endpoint of this guide is not only to learn how to raise funds, but also to teach virtues to kids as well as adults, so that nobody forgets that we were all kids, once upon a time. How do we plan to achieve this? The best way to do it is to create a book of short stories created by and for kids. The point of this is for kids to have fun and I assure you that they will because you and I will be in charge of that. While they have fun, they will learn about teamwork, their creativity will expand, reading will be encouraged and most importantly, they will be a little bit happier.

Achieving all of this has not been easy. We have had to evaluate many ideas to raise funds, consider different focus points and try different platforms for book publication as well as text-editing and photo-editing software. After having organized all of this information, I have started to write with the same enthusiasm of a little boy.

The trend of the editorial world is the digital book, this affirmation is based on different studies but one of the most important ones has been done by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC), which shows that electronic book sales will exceed those of printed books before 2018 in the United States and in the United Kingdom.

Consumer book sales

Further on we will explain how to have the book printed as we have done all throughout life (paper copy), but the reference point will be an electronic book.


To create the future book you have 3 options:

1. Design and create yourself (Do It Yourself – DIY) the book with a book cover to later use files such as pdf, docx, txt, jpg, png and/or tiff.
2. You can use the tools or software of digital platforms.
3. You can hire professional services.

We tend to combine option 1 and 2 the most. Ideally, the short story book should be edited with a text editor (Microsoft Word or LibreOffice Writer) and images with GIMP so that we, as authors, have control of the work at all times. An alternative is to directly use software from big digital platforms which makes it easier to create books based on each platform’s publishing requirements; however, it will limit the format of the book and its compatibility between the different platforms. All different types of formats would have to be exported and imported through Calibre based upon the platform. We present you with all the options and you choose the one you like the most.

The target audience for the creation of the book, as well as the reading aspect, are young students, more specifically, elementary school kids. It is important to have one or several adults, great kids and small geniuses that coordinate the creation of the book (teachers, parents of the students, volunteers, schools and/or associations). With this group of people leading the project, everything will be very simple.

Just as great cuisine dishes have detailed ingredient lists, here are the ingredients (software) we need for the book.

  • Gimp : “is a free and open-source raster graphics editor used for image retouching and editing, free-form drawing, resizing, cropping, photo-montages, converting between different image formats, and more specialized tasks”.
  • Microsoft Word: “Commercial versions of Word are licensed as a standalone product or as a component of Microsoft Office.”
  • LibreOffice:“Is the most actively developed free and open source office suite, a project of The Document Foundation. It was forked from in 2010, which was an open-sourced version of the earlier StarOffice. The LibreOffice suite comprises programs for word processing, the creation and editing of spreadsheets, slideshows, diagrams and drawings, working with databases, and composing mathematical formulae. It is available in 110 languages”.
  • Calibre: “Is a free and open-source e-book computer software application suite which runs on multiple platforms, allows users to manage e-book collections as well as to create, edit, and read e-books. It supports a variety of formats (including the common Kindle MOBI and Nook EPUB formats), e-book syncing with a variety of e-book readers, and conversion (within DRM restrictions) from different e-book and non-e-book formats”.
  • Sigil: “Is open-source editing software for e-books in the EPUB format. Sigil is distributed for the Windows, OS X and Linux platforms under the GNU GPL license. Sigil supports both WYSIWYG and code-based editing of EPUB files, as well as the import of HTML and plain text files”.

Typology of kids’s stories.

  • Fantastic stories for kids of 6-14 years old.
  • Fairy tales for kids of  2-10 years old.
  • Popular stories for kids of  2-14 years old.
  • Science fiction stories for kids of  8-14 years old.
  • Children’s Stories for kids of  2-8 years old.
  • Horror stories for kids of  12-14 years old.
  • Tales of Mystery for kids of  10-14 years old.
  • Detective stories for kids of  10-14 years old.
  • Historical tales for kids of  12-14 years old.
  • Realistic stories for kids of  12-14 years old.

Size of the Book.

The American Library Association (ALA) establishes size references for editorials in the United States:

Book formats and corresponding sizes

The most common sizes for short story books in a physical format are 8” x 10”, 10” x 8”, 8” x 8”, 8.5” x 8.5”, 8.5” x 11” and 11” x 8.5”. For a digital format, the software itself automatically makes the necessary adjustments.

Parts of the Book.

The different parts of a book are not fixed; they can be adapted to the needs of the reader or according to the author’s judgement. They normally tend to have the following layout:

  • The cover. Is the main page in which the full title of the book, the full name of the author(s), the place and year of printing and the publishing house will appear. The back cover, as the name states, is the rear part of the book.
    In the following websites you will be able to find free cover page templates which you can modify to your own liking: hloom, freepik, All free download.
  • Copyright Page. It is found behind the cover page and it is composed of authorship credits, translation credits, legal elements such as the copyright holder, the barcode and the ISBN (International Standard Book Number– a unique commercial book identifier). If you are interested in publishing the book in paper form, it is strongly recommended that you purchase an ISBN code; you can find agencies that sell it here. An ISBN code is not mandatory on digital platforms. Most people generate a similar code which is free but only valid in their own virtual e-book store.Example of a Copyright Page
  • Foreword. Written by the editor or a person with greater responsibility, not necessarily a person that is closely associated to the text, but one associated to the editing aspect of the book. In this way, this part could explain the purpose of the book or indicate the fact that funds will be collected for a specific cause.
  • Preface or Introduction. Written by a person that generally understands the subject matter of the book like an editor, a teacher or a specialist, which explains the motivations behind the book or the fundraising ideas.
  • General Index. List with each of the short story titles, indicating the starting and ending page. In that starting page, both the title of the short story as well as the name of the author will appear.
  • Prologue.Written by the author and discusses the contents of the book.
  • Body of the Work. The main text of the book.
  • Acknowledgement and Dedication.

There is more information about the structure and the design of books on Wikipedia.

You can also download templates for LibreOffice Writer or Microsoft Word  which would probably be easier for you.  It is mandatory, as well as common, to have the cover page (in formats jpg, png, or tiff) and the contents (in formats txt, doc, docx, odt, mobi, epub, or pdf) of the book, separately.

Stories with Vignettes or Illustrations Stimulate Reading. Kids that don’t like to write can draw about each of the stories of the book. Later, those same drawings can be used in the book; that’s called team work . If they draw on a tablet, it is perfect because the drawings are directly saved in a jpg or png format. If it is done on paper, then, the drawings will have to be scanned or photographed and made into a digital version through GIMP . I will leave this tutorial video here so that you can see that it is not a difficult process.

Tutorial! How to Clear up Scan image with Gimp

If no one volunteers to draw, that is not a problem because here I am showing you more than 40 websites with free images.

Which platforms are the best for selling digital books?.

The market share distribution of e-book sales is shown in the graph below.

 Distribution of e-book sales


The main platforms are Amazon with 74%, Apple iBooks with 11% and B&N Nook with 8%, which is why we are going to focus on these three companies.

Software and platforms to edit or sell electronic books for fundraising.

The goal of this post is clear, to gather the greatest amount of money for your specific cause, which we will achieve with the best digital book platforms:


There are two featured applications on Amazon. One of them is Kindle App Reading which is used to read e-books or snippets of text. While using this reader, you will have access to other books for kids which could be useful inspiration for your future book.

Another application is Kindle Kids’ Book Creator, which as its name implies, is also useful for book creation. It is available for Microsoft Vista, 7 or later versions and for Mac OS X 10.9 or later versions. There are two versions; download the first one because it is the most complete one and uses 272MB of space.  It would be very courageous of me to say that Amazon is the best book editing and publishing platform; there would have to be exhaustive studies done on it, as well as comparisons with all other platforms to make such statement. What I can state is that Amazon is one of the best book editing and publishing platform for its added value:

  • It is easy, free and fast; you don’t have to go through a great amount of paperwork. The book takes less than 48 hours to appear on the Amazon website.
  • The platform uses a good system, both intuitive and well-assisted until the publishing process is completed.
  • You have many available resources such as software, videos, tutorials and a wide online community or forums to discuss any doubts.

Amazon currently has a market share of electronic book sales close to 74%. The future electronic book is not only meant to be sold to family, friends or acquaintances. Make sure to keep the mindset that the more people you can reach through the internet, the easier it will be to raise funds.

Here you will find a tutorial on how to create a book with Kindle Kids’ Book Creator.

Using Amazon’s Kids’ Book Creator for fundraising

The space limit for a book created with Kindle Kids’Book Creator is 650 MB. Once the book has been created, you will have to visualize the book and verify, with the simulator, that it looks pleasant for the different devices where electronic books can be read, such as e-nik, Fire and IOS. If the result is what you expected, the next step is to save the book or file in a mobi format. We now have the file ready to be published on the website. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to consult the Amazon help section. It is also important to read the small print that appears during the work publication process, for example, Amazon will have exclusive rights to your work for 90 days, which could condition the publishing of it on other platforms.

Publishing an eBook on Amazon.

You simply have to follow the proceeding steps:

  • Go to and sign up. If you already have an Amazon account, you don’t need to sign up again, you would only have to log in.
  • Register and enter your tax information for your e-book sale.
  • Click on “Bookshelf”, then, click on “Add new title”.
  • Fill out the form, including a title, subtitle and a description.
  • Verify the publishing rights.
  • Add categories and keywords (Books, stories, adventures, children, etc.)
  • Select a pre-sale and release date.
  • Upload the book cover.
  • Upload your book file.
  • Select “Worldwide rights”.
  • Choose 70% of “royalties” for your e-book. For these settings, you are required to price your book between $2. 99 and $9.99.
  • Click on “Save and Publish”.

Amazon will send you an e-mail stating that your e-book will be available for sale in less than 48 hours.

Once published, verify that the electronic book is available on Kindle App Reading, this software supports any Android, IOS or Windows device.


Apple’s virtual bookstore is called iBooks Store, it is available in 51 countries and it is considered the 2nd web portal in the United States, due to its sales. The size of the file is limited to 2 GB, with an EPUB 3 format. Apple keeps 30% of the revenue that the work generates. To publish books directly on the iBooks Store, it is mandatory to have a computer with OS x 10.10 or a later version. The Apple software that allows you to create and edit electronic books is called iBooks Author.

You can watch this tutorial which explains how to use this editor.

Books created in an EPUB 3 format with iBooks Author or Calibre must follow the guidelines found on the Apple style guide called “iBooks Asset Guides”.

Publishing an eBook with Apple.

These are the steps:

  • Download and install iTunes
  • Create an Apple ID. A credit card will have to be registered for the iTunes Store.
  • Sign up for iTunes Connect for iBooks to enable login with your Apple ID.
  • Access iTunes Connect and choose between:
    – Offer free books.
    – Offer free books and sell them, for which they will require your tax and banking information.
  • Install iTunes Producer, which can be downloaded from iTunes Connect.
  • Upload the e-book cover on iTunes Producer, then, fill out the metadata, pricing and the remaining information.
  • Load a previously created .ePub file or an electronic book with an .ibooks extension that has been edited with iBooks Author.

If it is still not clear how to publish a book with Apple, this video explains the process very well.

How to upload and publish your ibook using Apples iBook Author for fundraising

If you do not have a computer with OS X 10.10 or a later version, you will have to use a web aggregator or web partner so that you may continue the publishing process. You can find them on this search engine.  There are many web aggregators but an outstanding one due to its free service is Smashwords; you can find a user guide on its website. One of the key factors in Smashwords’ favor is the distribution of books, since they can not only be published on iBooks, but also on Barnes & Nobles, Scribd Oyster, Kobo, Yuzu, Blio and Inktera, Baker & Taylor Axis 360, Gardners, etc. The electronic book must be registered in the Premium Catalog, meeting all the editing requirements of the editorial itself, in order to be able to publish it on multiple platforms.

Barnes & Noble

Nook Press is the Barnes & Noble self-publishing platform. It has an online, free tool for editing electronic books; this tool is a multi-user one in which two or more people can work on the same book. It also contains a very useful support centre.

Publishing an eBook with Barnes & Noble.

To publish on Nook Press you must:

  • Register on Nook Press.
  • Fill out basic information about the e-book: title, author, keywords, collaborators, categories, etc.
  • Have the front cover and back cover of the book in a JPG or PNG format.
  • Have the book contents in an DOC/DOCX, TXT, RTF, HTM or EPUB format.

If you have any questions, you can watch the following video which shows the whole publishing process.

How to Self-Publish Your Ebook on Nook Using Nookpress for fundraising

After having explained how to self-publish electronic books, we are going to explain how royalties for fundraising work. The total number of sales will determine the benefit, and the royalties of each sale will depend on the final price of the book according to the following table:

 eBook Store  “Royalty” percentages paid based on eBook retail price
RETAIL PRICE $.01 – $2.98 $2.99 – $9.99 $10+
 Amazon Kindle® 35% 70% 35%
 Apple iBooks® 70% 70% 70%
 B&N Nook® 40% 65% 40%

Table of Royalties

When creating a book, I recommend not making it too lengthy, 100 to 200 pages are enough, with simple, easy-to-read vocabulary and with pictures. Design a pretty book cover, with a unique title that is attractive, since this is a determining factor along with a well-structured and well-formatted content for clients to purchase the book.

Do not forget to promote your book on social networks like Facebook, Google+, YouTube, Twitter, Pinterest, and/or Instagram; also promote it on digital media, both local as well as national ones. You now have the necessary tools to self-publish and commercialize an electronic book.

If you need more help regarding publishing in a digital or physical format, here is a list with more than 50 companies that specialize on self-publishing. In this way, you will have more available resources.

Tricks for Fundraising.

The best option or fundraising idea to create a physical book is through Print on Demand (POD) without intermediaries. The fundraising profit margins will be better with these tips and tricks:

  • There are many Print on Demand companies but an outstanding one due to its pricing and services is Blurb Inc. It contains a free, easy and intuitive editor called Bookwright. It is compatible with Windows (Vista, Windows 7 and 8) and Mac OSX (10.7, 10.8, 10.9 and 10.10). When editing and publishing with these, you will be given an ISBN number for free, which would normally cost $125. You get a simulator to calculate printing costs and another simulator to calculate delivery costs. Remember that the most common size for short stories is 8” x 10”. Ask for only one copy of book the first time you print it, just to confirm that you do like it. Later, order as many as you desire. It is easier to get rid of one poorly edited book than trying to get rid of 50 or more. Print on Demand was made so that we, ourselves, can re-sell our books to the people that surround us, with a minimum benefit of 200% or more.
  • Did you know that one of the factors that increase the cost of the book is color printing? I advise you to have drawings that have the silhouette or the outline in black and then rest in white without any other colors. In this way, printing will be more affordable and kids will be able to color the drawings to their own liking, enjoying the book a lot more!

That is end of the story, and like a good story, they published happily ever after.

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