Fundraising with Magazines

by Deane Brengle, Editor of the Fundraising for Small Groups Newsletter

Selling magazine subscriptions is a long time favorite way for nonprofit groups to raise money.

  • Eight out of ten households purchase magazines each year.
  • Great selections - something for everyone.
  • They make great gifts because everyone reads.

This booklet is designed to introduce you to magazine fundraising if you haven't done it before. If you are already doing a magazine fundraiser this booklet will help you discover the latest offerings and ideas in magazine fundraising.

Overview of this Fundraiser

Magazine subscriptions are sold to parents, relatives, friends, supporters, and the general public by way of an order form/catalog furnished by a fundraising supplier. Orders are taken over roughly a two week period. At the end of the sale period order forms are tallied and your magazine order is submitted to the supplier.

Orders can be taken for new subscriptions, renewals, and as gifts giving you more opportunities to make a sale. Some companies offer alternative ways to solicit subscriptions:

  • by email
  • by website
  • by mail

Potential Income

Fundraising with a magazine subscription program is an easy way to raise funds. There is no risk- no money is required to start and you collect all your money up front. There isn't any product storage or inventory. No delivery. And it's a good fundraiser to repeat year after year.

Most suppliers offer the most popular magazines- everything from news and sports to lifestyles and hobbies, there is something for every interest.

Generally speaking, you can make 40% or more profit. The fine points of each program vary from supplier to supplier and will affect how much money you will make so be sure and ask about them:

  • What kind of support do they offer - some suppliers off a personal consultant who can help you organize your program and motivate your students for a more profitable fundraiser.

  • Availability/cost of a prize program. Some suppliers include a prize program at no charge and for others it's an extra that will affect your bottom line.

  • Cost of the catalogs/order forms/money collection envelopes. Some suppliers include all the support pieces at no charge and some suppliers charge for them.

Be sure to ask any potential supplier for references and check their track record. What a company's customers say about their success can help predict your own

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This fundraiser is very straight forward, but there are a couple of questions you should ask yourself:

  • Minimum order - if you have a small group inquire if the supplier has a minimum order
  • Scheduling- once you determine you want to do a magazine fundraiser, it will take about one week to get your order form/catalogs, two weeks to hold your sale, and one week to get the order forms and money turned back in. That's four weeks minimum start to finish.

Additional Hints

Don't forget to solicit local businesses. Ask for the owner, manager, or the person who makes the buying decisions. They may want to buy magazines for thier waiting rooms, employees, customers, or as gifts. Remind them that renewal orders start after the original order expires.

Recommended Fundraising Supplier

I've taken the time to carefully review all the suppliers that provide magazine subscription fundraisers and I am recommending MagFundraising. This magazine fundraiser is from Readers Digest and uses the power of the internet to raise funds for your group. With very little effort you can make 40% and get paid monthly all year long. All you have to do is send emails to friends and family and invite them to order or renew magazine subscriptions online from over 650 magazine titles offered at sale prices. This fundraiser is the wave of the future. It is another way to expand your fundraising mix without the fear of burning out your supporters.

Find out more about the MagFundraising Magazine Fundraiser.

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