Donate online, by check, or by cash today

As an all volunteer organization, all donations go directly towards providing services. As a non-profit, your donation is tax-deductible.

Become a Sustainer today! Make a recurring monthly donation here!

Can you help us meet our goal of 30 new sustainers in our 30th year? Become one of our first official sustainers before December 31 2019 and go down in btb history. We’re recognizing our newest sustainers by naming our oldest library shelf in your honor. We’ll be holding a bookshelf dedication ceremony to recognize our sustainers in the new year..stay tuned.

What is a sustainer?

Sustainer [ suh-stey-ner ] noun: a person or thing that sustains
Syn: pillar,BACKBONE, linchpin, benefactor, ADVOCATE, promoter, backer, underwriter, SUPORTER, support, follower, defender, ALLY, guarantor,STRENGTH

Why are sustainers important?

Sustainers make a huge difference. With a reliable source of funding to cover the costs of buying hard-to-find books, keeping our lights on, and our ever increasing postage demands we can focus all of our volunteer energy on the important work of getting books into hands rather than pouring our time into fundraising, budgeting, and strategic planning around financial insecurities.


$5: Post-a-package per month –

Five dollars monthly sponsors one recipients shipment of books each and every month. Did you know shipping one package of hand-selected books to one person costs between $2 and $5 each for postage alone? Add in the cost of packing materials and the fact that we send to hundreds of people each month and this is one daunting tab! Thanks for picking up a round!

$10: Volunteer vote of confidence –

Donating $$ is absolutely a form of volunteering! Books Through Bars is an all volunteer organization that deeply relies on our community. Maybe you already volunteer each month with us and this level of giving identifies your hard work, or maybe this monthly donation is your way of contributing as a volunteer. Either way we can’t do it without you!

$25: Librarian/library-worker solidarity –

Keep our library shelves stocked! So much of the work we do behind the scenes is collecting and curating our large selection of relevant books to be mailed out, so it’s no coincidence that so many of our volunteers are library workers, both by profession and by their volunteer involvement. Public and private libraries are integral to healthy communities and while they may not be readily accessible to folks behind bars, books through bars is proud to fill the gaps. Thank you for ensuring we can continue to fill folks book requests with fantastic books from our library!

$50: Legal library advocate –

Supports our legal selection! One of our most popular requests is also our hardest request to fill. Law books are hard to come by and often extremely expensive. $50 a month can help us secure current and accessible law books to mail to folks who are looking to get more informed on their own rights and legal procedures. Let’s get our people free!

$100: Comrade for the long-haul –

One hundred dollars a month will shoulder some of our harder to fund expenses. Rent, electricity, insurance, and office costs add up. Even without any staff to pay, overhead expenses are real! Organizing a full library and a full line-up of volunteers requires a lot of space and we greatly GREATLY appreciate your help in maintaining it!

Checks and cash!

If you choose to donate by check, please make it payable to Books Through Bars. If you would like a receipt for tax purposes, please include your information (name, address). Please note that Books Through Bars is not responsible for checks or cash that get lost in the mail.

  • In person: We accept donations at every packing session. Please give it to the packing session host.
  • By mail: send your contribution to Books Through Bars, 4722 Baltimore Ave., Philadelphia, PA 19143.

One Time Donations: Where will your money go?

  • $4 purchases 1 dictionary
  • $15 covers shipment for 3-5 book packages (3-5 people!)
  • $50 covers materials and mailing costs for 1 participant in Address This! 
  • $250 supports shipping and materials for a youth service learning session
  • $1,000 covers 2 months’ rent for our space
  • $60,000 is the cost of running BTB for one full year; rent, postage, books, and volunteer training all included.