First Fundraiser: A Review

It turns out event planning is tougher than I had expected.
I had given a talk on eating disorders and my book at Aquinas College in 2014 and 2015, but all I had to do for those events was practice my presentation. Thus this past February when Hossein Sadat of Peaches Cafe proposed we host the first fundraiser for the book publication at his restaurant, I figured I would have to do much of the same kind of preparation–plus, of course, a little advertising.

As I began to prepare, I realized how important and big advertising, planning, and organization were for a fundraiser. Thus began a crash course in event planning, self-taught by Rachael with some great wisdom and advice from Hossein. Create flyers? Design posters? Spread the word? Important details? Attract strangers who knew nothing of the book? All of this, and more!
And in came the mistakes–like forgetting to put my name on the business cards I handed out to share information on my event. Or posting flyers around town WITHOUT THE DATE (at least someone pointed this out early-on). Or maybe even having to color in the extra letter “t” that didn’t belong on a beautiful $10 poster, which, additionally, I found out I could have had printed by a friend for free.


I saw how much I’ve grown as a person in that I didn’t obsess over how “imperfect” I was for making mistakes. Instead I saw the mistakes as great learning experiences for an even better event next time, as well as for strong future events with a published book I can hold in my hands.
I’d say the event went well for a first-timer! We raised $500, I gained more self confidence, learned how to promote the book, found additional ways to spread the word, I began planning future events to help others (not just fundraise), and I built new friendships and relationships in the community.
a6I’m excited to keep working on this adventure in book publishing. I know I would do this whether or not I earned money from producing the book (as that’s not the focus), because the message is something I’m passionate about sharing and writing is what I love to do.
And I’m pretty sure event planning will start to be just as fun.

About Rachael

Rachael Steil is a graduate from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan with a Bachelor of Arts. Steil an author, speaker, and a recipient of the Spirit and Outstanding Runner award for the Aquinas College cross country team and has received 6th place All-American accolades in cross country as well as 7th place in the NAIA track nationals.

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