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How To Create A Collaborative E-Book For Easy Fundraising {Part I}

Tangible goods aren’t the only “goods” out there so I want to talk about how to create a collaborative e-book you can sell to benefit a nonprofit organization.

Whenever I talk to people about all the ways they can make things to help their favorite nonprofits, many often reply, “but I’m not very crafty.”

So I am saying, on the record, that we need to broaden the definition of what it means to “make” things. I mean, once Etsy started classifying digital downloads as handmade goods, that’s about as ‘new word in the OED’ and mainstream as it gets.

So why not use this new definition of “making things” to generate all kinds of innovative ideas related to what can and should be made by our brains and our hands?

Collaborative E-Books Repurpose Existing Content

In a sorry attempt at filming my first YouTube video, I talked about how content is king. And the thing about content? There is A LOT of it already in the ether as well as offline. Some of it is really great and some of it, well…

But as you may have already experienced, the really great content isn’t always the content that gets the most online hits or public notoriety. So everyone is continually looking for creative ways to promote what they’ve done to rise above the noise.

Enter a collaborative e-book.

Creating a collaborative e-book is a straightforward, useful, and easy way to package existing content. I think many of the cool kids may refer to it as a “joint venture” or “JV” for short, and they’re all doing it, so why don’t you?

Seriously, though, packaging existing content is what a lot of the successful online business folks and bloggers do in order to create passive income. One of the reasons these e-books are so popular is because not everyone has the time, inclination, or internet bandwidth to click and scroll through blog post after blog post. And for those who aren’t avid blog readers, they already prefer neatly packaged information.

Having a book people can read without internet access and even print if they so choose (enter a PDF stage right) is the perfect solution. And when instant gratification in the form of an e-book is available for the low, low price of just $4.99, the psychology of marketing kicks into high gear.

Create a collaborative e-book to build your nonprofit's community.

Why People Should Create A Collaborative E-book To Benefit A Nonprofit

Creating and selling an e-book as a new approach to nonprofit fundraising is a low-cost method with endless possibilities. A well-designed e-book will provide value to the nonprofit’s donor community, while also solidifying the nonprofit’s message.

This is also an opportunity to engage with relevant bloggers, existing and prospective donors, clients, and community members who may have relevant content to contribute. Since not everyone can donate cash during the yearly appeal why not offer a no-cost alternative that still provides great value? Even better, an option they can do at any hour of the day and, if they so choose, in their pajamas!

5 Steps To Creating A Collaborative E-book

Learning how to create a collaborative e-book may sound daunting, but once you understand how to approach each of the moving pieces it will feel a lot more manageable.

You don’t need to pull together a large team for this effort, but it does help to have a couple of people working on it together. You will find that some steps require a different skill set or even general mindset. For example, some of the tasks are more creatively focused while others need someone who can effectively manage people while also organizing content within a set timeframe.

And by now, you’re probably thinking, just tell me the steps already! So I have provided them below as a humongous (pinnable!) image as well as basic text with some additional details.

Create a collaborative ebook

The five steps to creating a collaborative e-book are:

Step 1: Brainstorm e-book topics and content ideas. Pick one and stick with it.

Step 2: Create a project timeline and set up project infrastructure.

Step 3: Connect with prospective contributors and collect content following project guidelines established in Step 2.

Step 4: Compile the content and create an e-book.

Step 5: Launch and promote e-book.

The steps to create a collaborative e-book are explained as broad topics because this is a multi-part series because I intend to provide information and instructions. Each part of the series will share a detailed explanation on how to accomplish the steps along with possible pitfalls, key tools and resources, and relevant worksheets or templates.

And who knows? I may just turn this into an e-book of my own once the whole series is done!

Share The Goods And Comment Below

Have you created an e-book before? If yes, what were your learning lessons? If not, what has kept you from creating one?


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How To Brainstorm Interesting Ideas For An E-book {Part 2} | Goods Giving Back

Wednesday 15th of March 2017

[…] Part 1 of this series, I introduced the 5 steps to create a collaborative e-book and even made the handy dandy graphic to the left so that you would have a high-level reminder (or […]


Friday 24th of February 2017

I have never thought of this strategy before, but I love it. We have such easy access to publishing these days. i like the permanance of an e-book rather than buying some consumable food item. I will pass this on to my daughter, who works in non-profit. #PitStop


Saturday 25th of February 2017

Michele, Thank you for the kind words. And yes, I am excited about this option because sustainability is also important to me. An e-book presents so many opportunities while also being mindful not to produce stuff.

If your daughter has any questions, please feel free to send her my way. I will be writing about each of the outlined steps with detailed information about the tools and resources in the coming posts. So, I welcome questions, comments, and concerns.

Glamor Hippie

Wednesday 22nd of February 2017

Incredible post! I hadn't heard of a collaborative eBook before! It's a brilliant idea and to create one for non-profit organisations is a wonderful idea. Thanks for the tips and steps on how to do this, great work!


Wednesday 22nd of February 2017

Thank you for the kind words. Yes, a collaborative e-book is a great way to provide value and a possible passive income stream for nonprofits in need. I'll be launching a recipe e-book in March so hopefully, you'll stop by and let me know your thoughts!

Debora Rodrigues

Wednesday 22nd of February 2017

I never thought about writing a collaborative ebook, but you make it look much less complicated than I thought. Thank you for organizing these tips!


Wednesday 22nd of February 2017

Thank you for stopping by. The coordination of it all is what I think is what stops some people but I will have a variety of recommended tools and templates that should make it much easier.


Wednesday 22nd of February 2017

I like the idea of giving back with the proceeds! Good on you, I hope to eventually do the same with my blog once I start making an income from it! Definitely interesting read, you make a seemingly daunting task appear much more manageable! Have you got an e-book to download?


Wednesday 22nd of February 2017

Thank you for the kind words. All of the handmade items sold in the Goods Giving Back shop benefit one of the member nonprofits so adding e-books to the mix will be a wonderful addition. And yes! I have a recipe e-book that was the inspiration for this series that will launch in March. I hope you'll stop by and take a look.

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