Can you send the founder, CEO, or Room to Read staff to speak at my event?
Due to the limited availability of staff, we typically cannot accommodate requests for speakers. We encourage you to complete your Annual Plan and share your event plans and needs with us in advance.
People sometimes feel they need to be a pro to speak about Room to Read. We couldn’t disagree more. You need to be passionate about the cause and be able to personalize a message (why did you get involved, what has impressed you about this organization, etc.). And guess what? As part of our volunteer network, you are passionate! To prepare any talking points, see the Media section of the Room to Read website, or the Communications tab on this Hub.
Where will event donations go?
Gifts will be used where and when most needed, allowing us to deliver a comprehensive and holistic approach to education. Your gift, combined with those of other donors, is a powerful means to provide the skills and confidence young students need to escape poverty and build brighter futures for themselves, their families, and their communities. Don't worry, if you notify us about donations that you solicit, we will give you credit in our back-end systems.
I/we want to run a big fundraiser. Can you send funds for the cost of the event?
Unfortunately, we cannot send funds for the cost of volunteer events. We take great pride in our financial efficiency, our transparency, and our accountability to investors and the communities we serve. We keep our overhead below the industry average to maximize the percentage of your contributions that go toward our programs, and we spend our program funds wisely so that millions of children may benefit from our work. To learn more, visit the Financials section of our website.
Can I pay for an event using funds raised at the event?
Any donations received at the event must be treated with the highest integrity and cannot be used to cover event expenses. However, there are a few creative ways to ask donors for event support and keep your costs as low as possible.
1) Find sponsors or vendors (like venue or catering) to underwrite part of the cost of the event. Many of our volunteers partner with venues to bring in business through the event on what would otherwise be a slow night. In fact, many bars and restaurants have programs where they will offer a portion of the proceeds to a charity for a night. Look for opportunities for gifts-in-kind, i.e. donations for food, beverages, or other elements of the event.
2) Some volunteers also "sponsor" the event, paying for a portion or all. Depending on the details, often a gift-in-kind tax receipt can be offered for such sponsorship details. Let us know the details and we’ll get back to you to let you know what would and wouldn’t qualify.
3) You can designate a portion of pre-event ticket sales to cover event costs. Be sure that the language you use to sell tickets is very clear so it does not give ticket buyers the impression that the cost of the ticket is a direct donation to Room to Read. You'll also need to share your language with Room to Read so we can receipt donors only for the amount donated to and received by Room to Read.
Remember, likely, one of the reasons you chose to support Room to Read is because much of the funds we raise go directly towards our programs (roughly 85%). This means for every $1 raised it takes $0.10 to $0.15 to raise it. Events that benefit Room to Read must be cost-effective and viewed as appropriate to the community. If your costs are a large percentage or more than what you know you can raise, that means you are investing a great deal of resources (time, effort, money) with very little to no return.
Can you send me your children’s books for a local event that I'm hosting?
The books that we have are printed in-country and are used for Room to Read programs in those countries, so unfortunately, we are not able to send books for your event. However, our digital platform Literacy Cloud hosts a large number of our books in many different languages – and it’s free to access!