Running a Book Drive

How to get started

  1. Fill out the form and let us know your contact information so that we can be of help.

  2. Select a time frame to run your drive. Perhaps you would like to tie in with a holiday or special theme.  We suggest a two to four week window for your drive.Choose a few sites within your community to set up collection bins. Please be sure to visit each site and gain their permission. We would suggest giving each site a folder with some background information on Books2Connect so that they understand the need in our state as well as your commitment to collect books for an organization that will ensure that your books are placed in the hands of children in need. Be sure to include a sheet with your contact information, as well as the dates of the book drive as well as when they can expect you to pick up the books.

  3. Start locating boxes to place at the collection sites. Plastic storage bins work best for heavy books.

Promoting your book drive

  1. Once you have your details set, prepare a press release to send to the local papers. We have prepared a template for you to use.  Be sure to contact your local school system and see if you are able to submit your release to their community bulletins or school newsletters

  2. Create posters to hang up around the school and your community.

  3. Create posters with information on Books2Connect at each drop-off site to not only attract attention to your boxes but to add a level of professionalism to the project. People like to have information about the organizations that will be receiving their books.

  4. Send a personal letter to friends and family letting them know the details of your drive. For out-of-town family and friends, let them know that you are willing to purchase new books if they prefer to send a donation.

Running your Drive

  1. Once you begin your drive, be sure to visit your collection sites periodically to pick up books so that they do not overflow and create a hazard.

  2. Continue to reach out to community members to remind them that the book drive has begun

  3. Send out an email blast to different contact groups on your list reminding them that your drive has begun and by donating just one book they will be reaching out to make a difference in the life of one child.

Sorting

  1. Once you have finished your drive, please go through the boxes and sort for quality. Remember, these books will be cherished by children and we want them to be in good enough shape to last for years. Please discard any books that have scribbling or writing on the pages, as well as books that have torn bindings or pages. While we welcome classic literature, please be sure that non-fiction books are modern in content and have been published in the past ten to fifteen years. We also do not collect encyclopedias or textbooks. If you are unsure about the condition, leave the book in the box and we will make the final decision. 

  2. If possible, try to sort by age level. Please know that many books span multiple categories, so just make sure it fits one of the categories on the list. In fact, feel free to place copies of the same book into multiple categories. (still working on this)

We currently shelve according to these levels:

  • Picture books – books with limited words and few pages

  • Beginning readers such as Cat in the HatFrog and Toad, Arthur, Amelia Bedelia.

  • Early chapter books, ranging from 30-90 pages, such as Boxcar Children, Encyclopedia Brown, books by Andrew Clements.

  • Middle- to upper-elementary school books with more complicated language including authors such as Kate DiCamillo, Sharon Creech, Dear America series

  • Grades six and above would include classic literature, Fever, Hoot, Stargirl, Holes and Crispin.

  • Teen-themed books with mature content, such as Twilight, Catcher in the Rye, Lord of the Rings, books by Sarah Dessen.

  • Non-fiction books such as biographies, history, science, etc, should be placed in a separate box to be sorted on site.

  • Count your books, label them in boxes and contact Books2Connect to set up a time to deliver your books. 

Final Stages

  1. Have a photo taken of you sorting your books and send it with a press release to local papers celebrating the success of your drive and the number of books collected for children in need.

  2. Continue your association with Books2Connect by helping to shelve and sort the books on site.

  3. If possible, we will help to arrange a visit to one of the beneficiary organizations that receive your books so that you can see firsthand the impact you have made and perhaps establish an ongoing relationship with that organization. Who knows, you may be able to visit and read a story to children, or help with homework, or just hang out and be a friend.

Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County | 4200 Park Avenue, Suite 300 | Bridgeport, CT 06604 | 203-226-8197 / fjp@jewishphilanthropyct.org

Federation for Jewish Philanthropy of Upper Fairfield County is a 501(c)(3) organization. Donations are tax-deductible. Tax ID #06-0994563

© 2018 Federation for Jewish Philanthropy