Charities page made clearer

March 9, 2008

I often get the question “are there any BookMooch charities in my country” as well as “are there only four charities available?”

The problem is that the charity page wasn’t very clear, and it also was a lot of work to find a charity in your country.

I’ve reworked the charity page a bit, and it now looks like this:

Newchar

The way charities receive points on BookMooch is either:

a) I (me, John, the guy who runs BookMooch) give a specific charity points from one of the four funds I run. Most people give points to the funds, as that gives me the greatest flexibility in handing points out to worthwhile causes. Currently, there are four funds: Public Libraries, a General Fund, Books for Prisons, and Children and new Mothers. Generally, I don’t have to give out from these funds that often, I just help them get started, because the active charities tend to receive gifts from individuals.

b) you (the BookMooch member) can give points directly to any charity. You can find charities by going to the charity page and clicking the “charities” button next to each fund.

A few changes I made to the charities page:

  • the explanation of our charities was completely rewritten, and now is: “You can choose to give some of your points to charities, so that they can get books they need. BookMooch runs several funds which give points to specific charities. You can choose to give points to a fund, or browse and give points directly to a specific charity.”
  • the funds no longer say “USA: CA” after them, which mislead people into thinking these were USA charity funds, rather that just meant I had created the BM accounts for those charities when I was in California
  • A “Charities by location” feature was added. You can see that most of the charities are in the USA, but this is not by design: I would love to get more non-USA charities involved.

    Here is a list of all the charities currently on BookMooch, sorted by location:

    Australia: Windana
    Israel: Kaplan Hospital
    Madagascar: Chrysalis School
    New Zealand: Auckland Women’s Centre Library
    Serbia and Montenegro: blackbird books kosovo
    South Africa: iCommons
    USA: Books Through Bars Philadelphia
    USA: CA: Eco-Libris
    USA: CA: HEROES
    USA: CA: Living Free Recovery Literature
    USA: CA: Word Of Life Library
    USA: CA: Willow Creek Library
    USA: CO: Prison Dharma Network
    USA: IL: Creve Coeur library
    USA: IL: Jacksonville Public Library of Illinois
    USA: IN: Not Forgotten Ministries
    USA: IN: Midwest Pages to Prisoners Project
    USA: LA: Books 2 Prisoners
    USA: LA: eLearningK12
    USA: MA: 826 Boston
    USA: MA: Prison Book Program
    USA: MA: The Prison Book Project
    USA: MA: Reader to Reader
    USA: MD: DC Area Books to Prisons
    USA: MD: The Awareness Center, Inc.
    USA: MI: First United Methodist Co-operative Nursery
    USA: MI: La Leche League of Huron County
    USA: NY: Altamont Free Library
    USA: NY: Books Through Bars NYC
    USA: NY: Robert F. Wagner, Jr. School
    USA: OH: Cleveland Rape Crisis Center
    USA: OH: Dar a Luz Network
    USA: PA: Comics 2 Kids!
    USA: PA: Hercules Invictus
    USA: PA: operationpaperback
    USA: TX: CrossPointe Counseling
    USA: TX: Inside Books Project
    USA: TX: Quinlan Library
    USA: VA: Alexandria Law Library
    USA: WI: Butte des Morts Elementary School
    USA: WI: Town Hall Library
    USA: WI: Youth Initiative High School
    USA: WV: Books 4 Kids And Their Providers Project
    United Kingdom: ASDfriendly

    One thing I noticed is that a fair number of these charities are no longer active. That’s a shame, but probably a natural consequence of volunteer churn at these organizations. In the future, I’ll likely institute a policy where a charity loses the points it has accrued if it hasn’t logged in 3 months. We’d give the points back to the charity if they did re-appear, but in the meantime I’d return the points to a charitable fund for others to use.

  • 10 Responses to “Charities page made clearer”

    1. Rena said

      Cool! Thanks!

      – Rena

    2. lakeylady said

      I’d like to donate 1 point to operation paperback
      thank you

    3. jeanne said

      John, thanks that was a quick fix to the question I put out there earlier today. I know there are a few librarian on here that use this to provide more books for their small community libraries. Getting the word out to these librarians so that they can apply as a charity is another great thing I would like to see. I see alot of teachers using this to help supply there classroom with books as there schools have no libraries and the school are located in high poverty areas. I am working to send 160 books that I have traded for on here to a teacher in winterhaven, florida for a classroom of third graders who read at K-3 grade level and are in a high poverty area. So this website has been a bless for me and many others. thanks again, jeanne

    4. That’s a great idea Jeanne, about getting the word out to the small community libraries so they can apply as a charity!

      I would be happy to manage (and pay) for a mailing of a one page flyer to 200 or so small community libraries in the US. Does anyone have access to a list with contact names and addresses?

    5. chunnie said

      Yay, well done that man! The charity page is much better, and the pull down menu is particularly nifty! Love it!

    6. Kirstin said

      How does one go about applying to become a charity? I sent an email using the ‘suggest’ button a few weeks ago but didn’t get a response one way or the other. [I work at a small public college.]

      It is a much clearer page now; good work!

    7. Lisa Carol said

      Hi to all, I just wanted to say our small community library is a BookMooch charity and as the solo library staff I must tell you all the BookMooch Community is awesome. This site has helped me tremendously in finding replacement copies and copies to fill in the missing books in series. Virtually everyone I have communicated with has shipped quickly or explained why they could not. I try to acknowledge all gifts on my friends page, however as the solo staff I am swamped and may have missed someone. I apologize if I have missed adding a donor to my friends page.
      Keep mooching, keep offering great titles, keep donating and READ as often as you can. : ) Lisa

    8. Matt said

      could there be a way to rank charities in need? i just went through a list of the six charities that interested me the most and i found that the majority of them has twice as many points as items on their wishlist – so they obviously weren’t in need of points!

    9. […] and publishers. Added to the existing cool stuff like the ability to donate your BM points to charities, the ability to download every bit of information in the BM database (except user email and snail […]

    10. […] As you know from a previous posting, I have been using BookMooch to trade used books. This week I received a mooch from “Prison Book Program“. […]

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