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Journey of a dollar at Room to Read

December 01, 2023


When you donate to a nonprofit like Room to Read, you want to know that your donation will be handled responsibly and, most importantly, have an impact. 

You might wonder: Where does my money go?  

To give you an idea, let's take a trip.

We're going to follow a single donation — say, US$100 — from the moment it packs its bags and sets out on a mission to improve a child’s life through education. 



Receipt of donation 

First, the donation arrives in Room to Read’s secured and protected bank account, the first leg of the journey complete.



Financial oversight 

The donation then passes through a security checkpoint, handing over identification for inspection. Room to Read’s rigorous financial controls mean that every incoming donation is monitored to ensure accuracy and security.



Gift allocation 

Next, the donation joins hundreds of other donations — all eager to make a difference — as they line up to travel to different destinations, depending on where they can do the most good for the most children, based on the current needs and goals of our teams and partner communities around the world. 

Assignment in hand, this particular donation is on its way to Cambodia.  



Program implementation 

After a layover in Room to Read’s secure bank account in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, where the donation passes through another security checkpoint by local Room to Read staff, it travels to Room to Read’s local community-based office in Prey Veng, Cambodia.

Here, local Room to Read staff review the plans and budget for the month. There is a new library being established at a school in a remote part of the province, and books need to be ordered.  

This US$100 is turned into 100 Room to Read children’s books, written and illustrated by local book creators, and printed in the local language of Khmer. 

These books are lovingly displayed on the library bookshelves where hundreds of eager young readers can enjoy them and learn from them over and over again.  


Room to Read staff check on the donation at its new home to make sure the program at the school is going as intended. The team records data on the progress of the students and the success of the library, which is uploaded to Room to Read’s global database, and shared through stories in Room to Read’s monthly newsletters and annual report. 


Room to Read is consistently recognized for our exceptional fiscal responsibility. We take great pride in our financial efficiency, transparency and accountability. For every US$1 donated, 86 cents goes directly to our programs, with the rest helping to cover expenses such as operational support; compliance and accounting; research, monitoring and evaluation; and IT support. There are internal controls at every step of a donation’s journey to ensure that it has a meaningful and measurable impact.  

Ready to send your donation on a journey that will transform a child’s life?

Donate now