Food for Thought: Is a school cookbook the perfect fundraiser?

Food for Thought: Is a school cookbook the perfect fundraiser?

Food for Thought: Is a school cookbook the perfect fundraiser? 1914 1492 Spacific Creative

Browse most family kitchens and you will find an abundance of cookbooks, written recipes and pages torn from magazines of cakes and desserts. Regardless of heritage, age or occupation, food is an important part of people’s lives and cultures, used to celebrate and to connect.

Due to their popularity and purpose in daily life, cookbooks are the perfect fundraising item. They are a great tool not only for raising money but also for reinforcing relationships with both your students and the wider community.

Benefits of a Cookbook


The primary reason for producing a cookbook is often to raise money. Cookbooks are a great seller and thus a popular fundraising item. They are useful, attractive and people will cherish them for years.

Whether you are raising money for new school facilities or an important charity, make sure to let people know where the proceeds will be going. Potential buyers will be more likely to make a purchase if they know that the book is for a good cause.

Include sponsorships from local businesses to increase the profitability of your cookbook. Allow them to advertise their services in your book in return for compensation. Reach out to your school community, as there are sure to be parents with business who would love to be involved. Just make sure the ad space does not detract from the main content of the book.


A school cookbook is great exposure for your school. Cookbooks are kept and treasured for years, and recipes shared with loved ones. Producing a quality cookbook that reflects your school is an excellent marketing opportunity.


A school cookbook is enjoyable for both your school and the local community. Students and their families will love to contribute recipes or provide sponsorship. Equally, theme your book to appeal to your local area and cement your school as a pillar of the community.


Don’t underestimate the use of a cookbook as an education tool. Share recipes that are healthy, environmentally friendly or culturally significant. Alternatively, include information or history that informs readers about your school.

Cookbook Themes

There are a lot of cookbooks on the market, so it is important that your book has a unique selling point. For a successful fundraiser, create a cookbook that reflects your school or community. Below are some themes to explore and to inspire.

Garden to Table

Garden to Table Cookbook

Does your primary school have a community veggie garden, or is there a strong push for healthy habits? Create a cookbook with recipes that encourage students to learn where their food comes from. Celebrate fruits and vegetables with recipes for jams, colourful veggie dishes and fruity desserts! Expand this idea and include tips for planting, growing and cultivating produce. Easy how-to illustrations for creating a veggie garden will elevate this cookbook, making it a must-have!

Keep It Local

Keep your book local

Choose recipes that reflect the location of your school. Consider a beachside barbecue book for a seaside school, or a book focused on agriculture and land for a country school. This theme will be a popular purchase not only for your school but also for the wider community. Consider marketing the cookbook to local residents, or offer it for sale at sponsoring businesses.

Around the World

Create a diverse cookbook

Alternatively, go the opposite route and celebrate your school’s diversity. Ask your school community to contribute their favourite recipes that best reflect their heritage. This is a great way to encourage students to feel proud of their culture and excited to share it with their peers. This theme also lends itself to being a great gift for overseas relatives.


Student-friendly book

Create a cookbook aimed at young adults who are learning to cook for themselves. This popular theme is great to target at Year 13 Leavers who are set to be flatting or in a university environment. Include recipes that are easy, affordable and quick to make. Parents will like the idea of sending their child off to uni with their new cookbook.

Food Science

Food science cookbook

Create a fun baking book that combines cooking with science. Food science includes looking at different ingredients and understanding how they interact. Combine recipes with scientific explanations about raising agents, acids and heat. Get creative with interesting desserts and bright designs!

Dining Hall Days

Dining hall days

This idea is for schools with a rich, boarding school history. Publish a cookbook filled with dishes that were served to the Old Boys or Old Girls in your school dining hall. Include traditional recipes for stews, shepherds pie and biscuits. Consider expanding the contents of the book to create a school timepiece. Include history, traditions and photographs that reflect school life in the early years. This is a great theme if you are commemorating a school centenary, or if you simply wish to create an archival book.

Cookbook Distribution

Involving your school community is a sure way to create a buzz. Those with featured recipes will likely want to buy the book, either for themselves or to be used as gifts. For this reason, it is a good idea to have the cookbook ready for print by mid-November. This way, your cookbook can double as the perfect Christmas gift!

The most effective way to sell cookbooks is by using an opt-out method. Send a letter or email to everyone in your school community to notify them about the cookbook ahead of time. Make sure to include all fundraising information and the intentions of the proceeds. Parents can then request to not receive the book and they will not be charged. For those who do not opt out, they will be sent a finished cookbook and be charged accordingly. Make it clear to your community where they can buy extra copies of the book if they desire.

If you have local sponsors, ask if they would be able to offer the cookbook in their place of business. This is a great way to involve the local community and to get the word out.

If you are considering a cookbook or have questions about the process, reach out to Spacific Creative! We offer a DIY service, with access to our software if you would like to design your own cookbook. Alternatively, hand over the job to us and let Spacific Creative create a custom designed book for your school. Check out our Specialised Books Portfolio for some inspiration!