Amazon Launches Fund to Support Kindle-Driven Literacy

The online retailer is working with an array of nonprofits to donate Kindle e-readers and digital books to people in need. The approach is a formal expansion of the company's prior charitable endeavors.

For the past nine years, Amazon’s Kindle device has redefined reading—sometimes in controversial ways, especially for readers who prefer the printed page.

But one place the e-reader undoubtedly has an advantage is in the developing world, where the cost of distributing electronic books is substantially less than the cost of distributing their printed equivalents.

It makes sense, then, that Amazon’s newest charitable effort is focused on expanding the potential of that mission. On Wednesday, the company announced it was launching the Kindle Reading Fund, which aims to bring books to underserved audiences.

“Our vision has always been to make every book in the world available to our customers in less than 60 seconds, but with this vision, we recognize that not everyone has access to the books they want or need,” wrote Dave Limp, Amazon’s senior vice president of devices and services.

Amazon is teaming with several nonprofits to bring that vision to life, including Worldreader, which focuses on expanding the global reach of digital books. Amazon will donate thousands of Kindle devices to support Worldreader’s mission.

The company will also work closely with literacy efforts at local schools, libraries, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations. And it is continuing its relationship with the National PTA, which has made the Kindle its official e-reader and integrates the device into its Family Reading Experience program.

TechCrunch notes that Amazon has traditionally supported such endeavors but the new fund formalizes that charitable approach.

Amazon is making new requests for donations from schools and 501(c)(3) organizations around the country. Organizations interested in signing up can learn more on the Amazon website.


Ernie Smith

By Ernie Smith

Ernie Smith is a former senior editor for Associations Now. MORE

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