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How to Start a Book Drive

Last Updated: Apr 22, 2015 09:53PM EDT
What is a BookMentors’ Book Drive?
A BookMentors’ book drive is a fun, engaging way to generate books for public and charter schools, using “leaderboards” to encourage fun gamification incentives for donors! Schools listed on can participate.
The "Start a Book Drive for a School" option on BookMentors’ homepage allows a particular school’s teachers to collaborate together and compile a list of book titles under a drive for their school. When a teacher starts a book drive, s/he is able to forward emails provided by BookMentors alerting potential donors. Donors and organizers are also encouraged to start a book drive following these same steps.
Almost anyone can start a book drive! Similar to BookMentors book “requests,” teachers may ask for as many books as they like. A leaderboard appears when donors begin to donate books on the BookMentors site, showing the names and current scores of the leading donor competitors. 
BookMentors’ virtual book drives are perfect for parent-teacher organizations, Scout Troops, book clubs, and so many other groups! Book drives are ideal for community organizations wishing to promote learning and literacy for our youth by giving amazing new books to needy schools while enjoying the fun of a scoreboard and healthy competition.

How the Book Drive Works:
  1. Click on the link "Start a Book Drive for a School" on BookMentors homepage.
  2. Identify the school you are choosing by clicking on the state where the school is located.
  3. Type in the school name, district or city (a drive page will appear with the name of the school).
  4. If the book drive organizer is not the teacher(s) in need of books, the organizer will invite the teachers from the school of his/her choice to post book requests, which will appear on the book drive page for their particular school.
  5. Book drives work well when you ask for one book at a time. This may seem daunting if you want 20 copies of the same book, but many of our donors can only buy one book. Also if you enter the books separately, it’ll increase the competition!
  6. The gamification leaderboard lists the names of the donors and number of books they've purchased.
  7. Once a donor buys a book, the teacher will receive it, regardless of whether or not the entire book drive is fulfilled.
  8. If you create a book drive and make one request of, say 20 copies, a donor has the choice to “offer” fewer than 20. The teacher may choose to accept. If so, the donor is alerted to a match and can then donate his/her offer. If the teacher does not accept the offer, then the number of 20 copies stays on the site. And if the teacher accepts the offer of fewer than 20 copies, s/he can always go back on the site and ask again for that same book.
  9. Books are delivered automatically by mail to the school’s address.

Frequently Asked Questions:

Which Schools are Eligible for a BookMentors Book Drive?
BookMentors is a non-profit 501C-3 whose purpose is to assist needy public and charter schools. Public and charter schools listed on are eligible.

Who Can Start a Book Drive?
  • Teachers can start their own book drives.
  • Donors can start a book drive at a particular school and invite the teachers from that school to post book titles in the request section on the BookMentors site.
  • Organizers of book drives can start a book drive, even if the organizer is unable to also be a donor.  Children with the help of a parent or guardian can start a book drive. The organizer helps by bringing donors to the book drive. 
  • Older children (aged 13 and over) who can personally reach out to teachers from a specific school can start a Book Drive for that school.
How Do I Start a Book Drive?
Click on "Start a Book Drive for a School" located on the BookMentors’ homepage.  Then follow the instructions on the screen and in the emails you'll be receiving from BookMentors related to your book drive. Or click on this link:

How do I Invite Teachers to Post Book Requests on My Book Drive?
BookMentors will send you an email once you start your book drive that can be forwarded on to teachers. Although old- fashioned phone calls or in-person visits are also fun ways to tell teachers what you are doing for them!

How Do I Reach Out to Potential Donors?
  • Share the link to your book drive page with anyone who might be interested in donating books. The advantage of a web-based book drive is donors from all over the world can contribute. 
  • Some donors do want to help their own communities, so reaching out to local businesses and social groups is a great way to let them know how they can help schools in their area. 
  • Remember to share the link to your book drive through email, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media. Use the social media sharing buttons on your book drive page.
Do Teachers Need to Create Book Drives to Post Requests?
No. Just click the “Request Books Your Students Need” button on BookMentors’ homepage and follow the instructions.

What Happens if a Teacher Has a Previously Requested Book Prior to the Book Drive? 
Whenever someone starts a book drive for a school, all book requests for that school are automatically listed on the newly started book drive page for that school. Book requests remain open on BookMentors even after the closing of the book drive.



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