Literacy is an issue of major concern to parents, those in the field of education, and, to a degree, each of us. So if there was a literacy digital platform that was generating 20,000 new users every school day, you might be interested in knowing what they’re doing, and how they were doing it. And you’re going to find that out tonight with Michelle Brown, the Founder and CEO of CommonLit.
Many parents complain that their children spend far too much time on their cell phones and are delighted when they put it down for a minute and pick up a book. But in many parts of the world, such as sub-Saharan Africa, that book simply does not exist, and it’s a cell phone that brings the magic reading and books to millions upon millions; and that’s due in large part to an organization called Worldreader, and it’s a pleasure to have with us its co-founder and president, David Risher.
You can count on one hand, quite literally, the number of nonprofit organizations founded since 2000 that have surpassed $50 million in annual revenues. For an organization to achieve that milestone, they must have an extraordinary program, measurable results, and exceptional marketing and fundraising initiatives. And that description perfectly fits Room to Read, and it’s a pleasure to have with us their Chief Executive Officer, Geetha Murali.
There were many hardships faced by the people of Houston, Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands as a result of Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. But one of the more underappreciated ones was damage done to books and other educational materials in home and school libraries. This was not lost, however, on the nonprofit and social enterprise First Book. And we have with us now to tell us what they’re doing about it — one of our favorite guests here on The Business of Giving —
Kyle Zimmer, their President and CEO.