Better World Books Celebrates Literacy With ‘Book for Book’ Matching Initiative

Published on August 15th, 2011 | by

A world renowned purveyor of new and used books, socially-responsible bookseller Better World Books (BWB) celebrates its fiscal success by giving back to those in need.

Unlike Barnes and Noble or Amazon.com, BWB raises funds for non-profit partners with every book sold, and this philanthropic business model has paid off: Today, with company revenues on track for its strongest year to date, and over $10 million raised for literacy, the company announced its “Book for Book” initiative: for every book purchased on www.BetterWorldBooks.com or www.BetterWorldBooks.co.uk, the company will donate one book to charity. Donated books will go directly to non-profits Feed the Children and Books for Africa.

“Reaching the $10 million fundraising mark and launching this powerful new Book for Book matching initiative is exciting for our entire company,” said Better World Books co-founder Xavier Helgesen.  “But it means even more for the social entrepreneurship landscape as a whole — specifically, that it has come of age. We’ve shown – and continue to show – just how successful a company can be when it leverages environmental and social impact.”

The company pioneered the social capital movement in 2003, when it launched with a simple but revolutionary business model: collect discarded books destined for landfills, sell them online, and give back a portion of each book sale to non-profit literacy partners Books for Africa, Room to Read, Invisible Children, the National Center for Family Literacy, and Worldfund.

And with roughly two billion pounds of books thrown away in the U.S. every year, Better World Books’ does more than support global literacy – it protects the environment by keeping discarded books out of landfills.

BWB is a great example of the way more businesses should operate: with humility and compassion. Not only are books, especially those by independent authors about socially and environmentally responsible topics, an under-appreciated resource in today’s technology-dominated society, but transparency and philanthropy are qualities sorely lacking in the business world.

Note to those returning to school: BWB also offers textbooks! Most are 90% off retail prices.

 

 

About the Author

Beth believes many societal problems can be solved through sharing or other alternatives to the corporate system. I'm interested in exploring the growing collaborative consumption movement and how sharing is changing the way we work and play. See what I'm up to by following me on Twitter as @ecosphericblog.