– by David Murphy, CEO
Tomorrow morning at 9:00 am EST we will announce the winners of our first ever LEAP Awards (Literacy and Education in Action Program). There will be seven non-profit organizations who will collectively receive a total of $125,000 in funding from Better World Books. While the vast majority of our funding to our Non-Profit Literacy Partners and our library partners is unrestricted (meaning they can use the monies from Better World Books as they best see fit), the LEAP Awards will be used for very specific/targeted funding of pre-defined programs and/or initiatives. The funding for these LEAP Awards is part of our mission and brand promise to fund literacy and education from the sale of each and every book. Specifically, this restricted funding comes primarily from the sale of our any book that we acquire for which there is not an NPLP Partner or library pre-defined as the beneficiary of the sale of that book.
We will share with you who our winners are; the specific projects we are funding; and the dollar amounts of each of the seven grants. We are creating a section on our website that will launch tomorrow as well, and we will use this section going forward to provide all kinds of updates, tracking of progress, reporting of relevant metrics that help define the level of impact the grants are having through a particular literacy/education initiative. Moreover, we will have lots of pictures, video and first-hand stories to share here that will not only speak to the impact of the grants and the difference we are making through this funding, but will help connect all of us on a more personal and emotional level to the work of our literacy partners.
And this is just the first chapter in a very exciting story! In May, we will be announcing our first ever LEAP Awards for the library community. Grant requests will be made from many libraries throughout the United States and Canada (public and academic; large and small; urban and rural) for targeted funding opportunities over the next 4-6 weeks. Targeted funding: an additional $75,000.
I would like to thank our Literacy Council for all of the work they have put in to helping screen and evaluate the grant submissions (and for their efforts over the coming 90 days in helping to select our Library LEAP Award Winners). Our Literacy Council is made up of six members from all across the Company (the Council reports directly to me) who are deeply passionate about literacy and education and who invest a lot of their time to better understand who the thought leaders are in this space; who is delivering real impact and how is that measured; how can monies be best spent to deliver real and sustainable impact over time; etc. They volunteer a great deal of their time to not only educating themselves on what is happening in the world of literacy but then taking that knowledge to help better position our Company for a more meaningful allocation and delivery of funding to our NPLP and library partners.
Tune in tomorrow morning for all of the news!