Questions & Answers
What’s a social venture?
A social venture is a kind of business model where success is measured by the positive impact it makes in the world; specifically in addressing a social issue. At Helping Hands Books, it’s all about youth development. Social ventures harness the power of capitalism to generate a “social profit”- which is the portion of sales that ends up benefiting our non-profit youth development agencies.
How does a book drive work?
Once you’ve chosen a youth program in your community, or one of our featured youth programs, a book drive has 5 Simple Stages:
- Get people involved: Try and team up with another group or organization. The more people you have on board, the better!
- Organize the drive: Hold a meeting to delegate drive activities.
- Promote the drive: Spread the word! Create a Facebook event, make an announcement in the school paper, post flyers, etc.
- Collect books and media items: Place collection boxes in strategic areas on campus (i.e., library, bookstore, student union, dormitories) at least a week before finals begin.
- Pack and Unload: Pack up books and call us to come and pick them up!
What kinds of books and media items would generate the most money for fundraisers?
In general, academic textbooks and study guides have the capability of generating the most money for you. Most of the textbooks we receive are used copies that campus bookstores refused to buy back from students. We also accept antique books, vintage and antique magazines, comic books, CDs, DVDs, and video games.
You donate up to 20% of your sales to local youth serving agencies, but where does the other 80% go?
Operating a business like ours takes time and money. We need to pay for storage, bookshelves, shipping materials, promotional materials, collection boxes, and storage boxes. We also have to pay for the gas and tolls it takes to pick up people’s donations. Ebay, Half.com, and Amazon all charge us fees for listing and selling on their sites, and we have to pay monthly for our website domain name and hosting. We have college students who we pay to sort and list, and of course we have to pay ourselves for the time we put in. Finally, Uncle Sam takes a chunk in the form of taxes. Would we like to give more? Of course! However, if we gave more money away we’d quickly go out of business, and that wouldn’t be good for anyone.
Can I get a receipt for my book donation to be used for tax write-off purposes?
We can give you a receipt, but we’re not a non-profit, so you will not be able to use the receipt you get from us for tax deduction purposes. However, we can offer you .10 cents to $1.00 per eligible book. We would still need to sort through your donation to determine what we can use and what we’ll find another home for. Once you’re donation is completely sorted, we’ll tally up the amount we owe you and send you a check.