If you are raising funds to send a BFA shipment of books to Africa, here are some ideas and real-life projects to inspire you.
Become a container captain and deliver a whole container of books to a specific place in Africa. Many people fundraise for a whole container (ranging from $10,300 to $16,000, depending on the destination) over a period of months by posting their project on the BFA website and asking friends and family to sponsor books to Africa- you can see examples of container fundraising projects on our
50 cents sponsors one book in the container! Once the full funding is secured, you remit the BFA Book Order Form for 20 pallets of books and BFA loads the container and ships it to your destination. We require $1,000 remitted towards a new container project before posting in on the BFA site (this is waived for Peace Corps Volunteers).
To learn more about the process of shipping books through BFA and how to preapare to receive a shipment of books, see our Manual for BFA Container Captains, Consignees, Recipients, & Volunteers.
Manual for BFA Container Captains, Consignees, Recipients, & Volunteers
Manual for BFA Container Captains, Consignees, Recipients, & Volunteers [condensed file for slower internet connections]
For more information about becoming a container captain, email
Use your personal and professional connections to find financial sponsors. Many BFA shipments are funded by Rotary clubs, churches, and nonprofit organizations with ties to Africa. Some container recipients have corporate sponsors. If you or a friend works for a corporation, ask if they have a grant program.
Host your own fundraiser. Past donors have sold pickles and collected spare change at school. An Eagle Scout had a Guitar Hero contest, and several donors had birthday parties where they asked guests for donations instead of presents.
Post your project on the BFA website and ask everyone you know to make a donation. (Please view the Projects page for ideas.) Drive as much traffic as possible to your project page. Once the money is secured, we will arrange shipping.
To post your project, please send an e-mail to Books For Africa with the following information:
- A name for your project.
- A photo showing the need for books (preferably a picture of the students in Africa who will be using the books).
- A description of your project: what the need is, who will be receiving the books, how the potential book recipients currently learn in Africa (do they have books? a school?), how the potential book recipients' lives will change upon receiving a shipment of books, etc . Make your case for why people should donate to your project. This should be about two to three paragraphs of text.
- Contact information, such as an e-mail or website address.
- A name for your project.
- Peace Corps Volunteers (PCVs) in Africa who wish to fund a BFA shipment can utilize the Peace Corps Partnership Program (PCPP). The PCPP requires PCVs to complete an application and to have significant community support and contribution (a minimum of 25% of project cost), but it is a very simple process. For ideas on how to fund and organize a BFA shipment, read this brief firsthand account of a 2008 shipment organized by Rose Zulliger, a former PCV in South Africa. For details on how to implement a BFA shipment in conjunction with the Peace Corps, here is the long version of Rose Zulliger's work in South Africa.
- University students who wish to host a fundraiser on campus can visit our Campus Outreach page.
We’ve got a warehouse with a million books which are already owned by the African children. We just need to raise the funds to get them there.— Tom Warth, founder of Books For Africa