Books for International Goodwill
Spreading Literacy by Keeping Books Alive
   home    |    about B.I.G.    |    contributors    |    map    |    how to help    |    contact

Rotary Logo


Books for international Goodwill is always looking for recipients who can effectively handle a shipment of 20,000 books in a container.

We sort books for condition and into 3 categories: college texts, high school and elementary text and general reading for libraries. We try to make sure that all college texts are less than 10 years old and high school and elementary less than 15 years old. On the high school and elementary level, we do not send purely American oriented subjects (U.S. history, social studies, etc.).

Our storage and supply chain constraints require sending mixed shipments. We can generally guarantee 60% in one category. We encourage recipients to develop distribution procedures for the books they can not use. A number of our recipients simply place all the books they can not use in a large area (gymnasium, dining hall, etc.) and invite local schools and libraries in to pick what they want. It is a nice community service.

While we prefer to ship directly to a Rotary Club for distribution, we will work with an established school, library or social welfare agency. We ask the recipient to:

  • Outline the needs (type of books they most need)
  • Develop a distribution plan
  • Assure us of their ability to clear a container through customs
  • Provide a brief follow-up report, preferably with pictures.
While we do not require recipients to pay for port to port shipments, those able to share some of these costs will have their request move higher on the list. A typical shipment will cost us about $5000 in shipping costs and $500 in supplies. We do expect recipients to take care of any in-country costs (customs clearance, storage, distribution). Although at times, we can give small grants for this purpose. In order to get a firm coast, we would need to know what port the shipment would go to.

At times we do small shipments 5-10 boxes of targeted books (i.e. all children's books, or just nursing texts, etc.). Using this method the cost increases tenfold, but may be more appropriate. Boxes sent this way cost about $50 each for a box of 25 to 30 typical books. Using this method, we do expect the recipient to pay at least half the shipping costs.

The lead time for a large shipment is usually about 3 months. Small shipments can be sent out within a month.

Contacting Books for International Goodwill
Telephone: 443-219-6778

©Big Books