November 30 marks #GivingTuesday—a day dedicated to encouraging generosity in all of its forms to transform our communities. To help you get started, we’ve put together a list of charities and organizations where you can donate to this holiday season, as well as ways you can support your favorite authors, bookstores, and libraries. Help spread joy and literacy to readers everywhere not just this #GivingTuesday, but all year round!
We recommend your first stop be at your city hall. Many towns host their own gift or food drive this time of year, and a government rep will be able to direct you to the drop-off location.
There are a number of other organizations in your community that may also accept book donations including daycares, schools, homeless shelters, pediatric wards, or domestic violence shelters. Give each organization a call or email to confirm their donation and drop-off policy.
Book Industry Charity Foundation helps to support bookstore employees who are facing financial hardship. Make a donation here!
Prison Book Program
Prison Book Program has been sending books to men and women in prison since 1972. They send books that help support their readers’ personal, spiritual, and professional development. Their website even includes a list of the most requested genres, favorite authors, and more—making it easy to shop for the right books to send.
Here’s a tip if you’re shipping a box of books: Tell the post office it’s media mail and the cost will be lower than standard shipping.
Better World Books
Better World Books donates one book for every book that you buy on their website to organizations like Books for Africa and Feed the Children. Plus, they accept donations to their drop-off locations and have Annual Literacy Grants that fund literacy nonprofits and libraries.
World Literacy Foundation
The World Literacy Foundation has a goal of eradicating illiteracy by 2040 and you can submit a one-time or recurring donation to help them reach that. Donations go towards books and literacy support for children around the world.
If you are not in a position to make monetary or book donations this holiday season, there are still ways that you can give your support to the literary community!
Support authors by…
Writing and sharing reviews
All NetGalley members know that reviews are powerful. By writing and sharing reviews on retail sites and social media, you’re connecting your favorite authors’ books to new readers!
Subscribe and follow
Are you signed up for any authors’ newsletters? Do you also follow your favorite writers (or audiobook narrators!) on social media? These are both great ways to be the first to know about upcoming books, giveaways, and more. You’ll also be able to easily share and amplify their announcements to your own followers!
Request (and check out) their books at your library
I often check out books I’ve already read from my library. Why? It shows my library that this is an author, book, and genre that I love. Librarians learn about their community by engaging with patrons and by looking at their behavior. If your library doesn’t have your favorite authors’ books, ask your local librarian how to submit a request to acquire them!
Support bookstores by…
Leave a review
Reviews aren’t just for books! Writing a review of how amazing your favorite indie bookstore is and how wonderful the staff are is a great way to help readers discover the store. You can leave reviews on Google, Trip Advisor, and Yelp.
Bookstores (and libraries!) offer a variety of both in-person and virtual events. If you sign up for the store’s newsletter or follow them on social media you’re guaranteed to never miss out!
Add Bookshop and Libro.fm to your wish list
Next time someone asks what books are on your wish list, remind them to shop at Bookshop and Libro.fm! Bookshop offers readers the option of buying books from a specific store or making a purchase where earnings are put into a pool that’s evenly distributed to different stores (including stores not on Bookshop!).
Libro.fm is an audiobook subscription service that connects to the indie bookstore of your choice. Every purchase you make helps support a bookstore!
Support libraries by…
Check out more books
You may think it’s greedy to take out more books than you can carry, but libraries want you to! The more books you borrow, the more libraries can purchase their collections. Plus circulation stats can have an impact on library funding. So bring a tote bag and stock up or use your library’s virtual lending library with handy apps such as Libby or Hoopla.
Libraries are built to serve the community and to best do that they need to know what their readers enjoy. Don’t hesitate to ask if they can begin to stock your favorite series or author. Chances are, you aren’t the only reader looking for those books and your fellow patrons will reap the benefits.
Advocate for them
Keep an eye on local politics to ensure that you’re prepared to show up and vote for legislation and candidates who support your branch. While you’re at it, it never hurts to remind your local government how vital you think libraries are to the wellbeing of a community. Send your representatives a quick email to let them know you want to see continued support for your branch. Not sure how to contact your rep? We’re pretty sure your local librarian would be happy to lend a hand.