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The Literacy LedgerReflections, findings, stories and the lowdown

Stories by David Risher

Four Steps to Successful Giving

November 27, 2018 By

In the next few weeks, you’ll hear from hundreds of non-profits asking for your support. They matter! Non-profits are helping address some of the world’s largest problems that haven’t been adequately addressed by market forces or by government intervention. But you might feel a bit overwhelmed. GuideStar tracks over 1.8 million tax-exempt organizations, every one … Continue Reading →

Our 2017 Annual Report

June 20, 2018 By

Worldreader is eight years old. A lot can happen in eight years: in 2010, the iPad had just come out, fewer than 35% of Americans owned smartphones, and the Mars Rover had not yet landed on the surface of our next-door neighbor. Today, tablets and mobile phones are everywhere, 77% of Americans own a smartphone … Continue Reading →

All Hands on Deck to End Illiteracy

September 7, 2017 By

Three quarters of a billion people can’t read this sentence, and perhaps one billion more are being held back through lack of access to books and low levels of literacy. Today on International Literacy Day there is a lot to celebrate. But the reality is that these statistics have remained stubbornly stable over the past … Continue Reading →

From 5 Million to 1 Billion Mobile Readers

September 29, 2015 By

David Risher and Bill Clinton at the CGI 2015 Annual Meeting

Last year at the Clinton Global Initiative Annual Meeting we made an ambitious commitment. We pledged to bring digital books to 5 million people in three years. Instead, it took us only one. That’s an enormous achievement. It means that in just one year, millions of more people around the world are now able to … Continue Reading →

5 Million People Reading. What It Takes.

October 26, 2014 By

Lila Tretikov with David Risher

Way back at the beginning of Worldreader, my friend Mike Sundermeyer told me a story about commitment that goes like this: A pig and a chicken were walking down the road. They passed a church and notice that a potluck charity breakfast was under way. Inspired to help, the pig suggested to the chicken that they … Continue Reading →

The Fun in Fundraising

December 22, 2011 By

All non-profit enterprises raise funds. It comes with the territory. After all, if an organization could pay all its bills by selling its services at a profit, it should probably do so and allow Adam’s Smith’s invisible hand to do the heavy lifting. People in our field sometimes complain about having to raise funds.  And to be … Continue Reading →

Sources of Inspiration

November 5, 2011 By

Stephen King says that when fans asked him where his ideas came from, he answers: “Utica. They come from Utica, New York.”  So here’s my version: “My ideas come from the dentist’s office.” A few weeks ago, I took my younger daughter to a new dentist.  She wasn’t a big fan, but what’re you gonna to … Continue Reading →

Power to the people

August 19, 2011 By

Worldreader is conducting a small trial at our US Test Facility (OK, my back yard.)  In June, Jon McCormack took a charger to Kenya to see how it would hold up in the field. It worked well, and will work even better once we address some practical questions about whether to charge directly or load up … Continue Reading →