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July 31, 2014

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July 31, 2014

I first became aware of Room to Read in I think 2011 or 2012 on stumbling across John Wood's book 'Leaving Microsoft to Change the World'. It is a great read and most inspiring even to those who are not charity minded.
I have become a volunteer at the Sydney Chapter and might I say what a well
organised and productive chapter it is. Having run many business over the years I can say that these people are good operators. And they do not waste any funds, its a tight ship.
I have sponsored a library in Nepal which is now completed and I will very much enjoy visiting soon. I also assisted with The Wine Gala in March this year where we raised $2.4m, in the room on the night, which I still think is extraordinary. But to see Room to Read in operation it is actually not that extraordinary. These people deliver results.
One of the features of Room to Read that I find appealing is their focus on the solution to global illiteracy rather than being preoccupied the problem. Of course there is a major problem, that is why Room to Read and others are working in this area, but Room to Read attention is on what can be realistically achieved and where. I also like their follow up, assisting in areas on an ongoing basis not just building schools and leaving it for the villages to run them. And with this their ongoing measuring of their results. This is not a charity handing out funds to the needy. It is a well organised operation where the recipients must be shareholders in the plan and must take ownership.
I am sure Room to Read are assisting in educating and developing productive and worthy citizens in the countries where they operate and could not recommend the organisation more highly.
John Baker
Sydney

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Have them tell the world what they are doing by marketing and advertising, like good growing business do. But they are quite frugal in their administration and are unlikely to use funds in this manner.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

A lot

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 31, 2014

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July 31, 2014

In 2012 my wife and I read John Wood's book " Leaving Microsoft to Change the World "
We were truly inspired and set about becoming involved together with our family ...both daughters and including our 5 grandchildren.

We set ourselves a goal of raising $ 20,000 in 2013 to fund and
resource a library in Cambodia.
We worked closely with Room to Read Sydney and organised a large number of functions. With the generous support of friends and family, we raised $ 40,000. This included many functions arranged organised by our grandchildren at their schools.

Our major fund raising event was a food and wine festival which our family organised in a suburb of Sydney where we had 55 local companies participate. I have now joined the Rotary Club of St Ives and they have kindly agreed to make the St Ives Food and Wine Festival their major annual fund raising event and will donate half of all funds to Room to Read.

In March, we attended the Wine Gala in Sydney where we met John Wood who gave a superb speech and which raised over $ 2.4 million dollars. One of our friends at our table was so inspired that he decided that all his donations to charity will in future be given to Room to Read.

We maintain our ongoing commitment to Room to Read and my wife and I are taking all our family to Cambodia to the opening of the library built by Room to Read. This will further inspire our grandchildren to support the biggest challenge in the world which is improving access to education and providing literacy.

Peter Lorschy Sydney Australia

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Extensively promote Room to Read at all schools in Australia

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2013

July 31, 2014

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July 31, 2014

I first became aware of Room to Read through a friend who initially volunteered with them, and is now a Chapter Leader. I found John Wood's book to be inspirational, and have lent it to friends to spread the word. I initially fundraised for Room to Read by running a marathon, and recently have contributed part of my wedding gifts to them. I have chosen my donations to go to Girl's Education as I am a fervent believer in equal opportunities in education which unfortunately are not reflected everywhere.
Room to Read is an efficient, effective charity that follows through on its promises, from the very small to the world changing.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand in Africa

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 31, 2014

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July 31, 2014

I have been involved with Room to Read since late 2012, after reading John Wood's book. My twin boys, parents and sister and her entire family all came on board and we decided to work together to raise funds to build a library in Cambodia. We had never attempted anything like this before but all felt so passionately that the cause is critical and this organisation is professionally, efficiently and passionately run by a worldwide group of people totally committed to making a difference and to helping those who don't have but deserve to have the right to an education.

I highly recommend anyone seeking to work for change, to join Room to Read!

It has changed our lives as much as those we have raised the funds for. Our family has learnt an immeasurable amount from this experience...which we all continue to be actively involved in.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 30, 2014

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July 30, 2014

I've been involved with Room to Read for over 10 years. Having worked with John Wood at Microsoft, I never doubted Room to Read's ability to achieve -- and often exceed -- every ambitious goal they've ever set. That's one reason why I've been involved for so long, but there's so many others... Room to Read is incredibly effective & efficient, there's amazing transparency and incredible dedication & passion in the professionals and volunteers involved with the organisation. Most importantly for me, the way Room to Read engages with the communities they work in is nothing short of inspirational . Yes Room to Read builds schools, libraries, and give scholarships but for me their most enduring legacy is hope and optimism. That's why I am such a HUGE fan.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 30, 2014

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July 30, 2014

I invested in the building of four separate libraries in Cambodia since 2010. I was attracted to Room to Read mainly due to the self help model where 15% of the funds required came from the local community giving them ownership and pride in the project - ensuring sustainability.
Education of
the youth in these developing countries, in my view, gives the best bang for your buck. (Teach a man to fish)
The fact that I was able to dedicate each library to a loved one with a dedication plaque on the inside wall, was the deal closer.
I visited Cambodia in Feb 2014 with my wife and so so happy with the local Room to Read organisation I invested in another library. Amazing work by Room to Read.

Dave - Sydney, Australia

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Send each donor of a library a framed photo of the finished library so they could hang on their wall inviting their friends to also donate.

More feedback...

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 30, 2014

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July 30, 2014

This organization cannot be recommended highly enough. They are highly transparent and without any agenda other than to maximize their impact on world literacy through the most efficient means. It is not for those who are interested in being seen to do good RtR is for people who actually want things to happen.
Their operation is very lean and is very effective. The people in the Sydney chapter (volunteers) are very welcoming and friendly.
Anyone interested should read the book by John Wood first and you will be won over.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 30, 2014

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July 30, 2014

Like many, I first learned of Room to Read from reading John Wood's first book. As an IT person the title was compelling! Having read it, I got in touch with the Sydney chapter. I've done a little work in the Non-profit sector before and felt that though the organisations I'd worked with were well-intentioned, I didn't necessarily share the same ethos when it came to getting things done. This is so different at Room to Read - the organisation is very goal oriented, ambitious (look at the goals of the Destination Literacy Campaign), well organised, metric-oriented and fun. At no point though do you forget why you're involved and the thing I particularly love about Room to Read is that volunteers get to experience the tangible benefits of their fundraising - seeing, hearing, meeting the children whose lives they've changed, the opportunity to build a library or school in parts of the world that really needs their assistance. Intellectually, it's a no brainer too - education is the key to world change. World Change starts with educated children.
It's a great organisation to be a part of and I'm very proud to be associated with it.
Barry Murphy

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 30, 2014

more

July 30, 2014

I fell into Room to Read by serendipity as I was looking to donate a personal monument to someone dear to me whom I lost. Having worked in a extensive corporate (and also academic) background, I set a high bar for the charity organisation I would commit to going through due diligence like that of a corporate merger and acquisition. The questions I had extensive and the scepticism was high as I always felt the charity sector was less than effective.

All this was more than adequately when I had to go and see for myself whether the funds were being put to the right use for such a worthy cause. to that end, I visited Vietnam and Laos (two of the countries that Room to Read was in) and saw first-hand an impressive and meticulous approach to charity. The patience in answering my questions, the look of hope on the children and the pride of the families just overwhelmed me and from there i was sold on the effectiveness, transparency and governance. Never one to stop, I kept setting the bar and continued quizzing Room to Read till today. And till today, it has never disappointed

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Expand

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

July 30, 2014

more


1 previous review
May 12, 2012

Barely two years ago I read John Wood's book Leaving Microsoft to Change the World. I finished the book in a few days, went onto the website for Room to Read and ask how I could help or volunteer. I g... more

July 30, 2014

I've loved reading for most of my 50yrs. Being a regular international traveller over the last 15 yrs I peruse the books in the airports we travel through frequently and it was here more than 5yrs ago that I picked up John Wood's book Leaving Microsoft to Change the World. Read it in a couple of days, visited the Australian website on a return journey and volunteered from that point.

Why? There is no greater empowerment than literacy in our world. There is no higher need than to equalise humanity via this beautiful level - that so many of us enjoy and take for granted. And there is still so very little that is done to correct ignorant gender bias in respect of girls' education whether that is due to conflict, cultural issues, religion or poverty or anything else.

John Wood had his defining moment in Nepal and made a promise and saw it through and has not stopped. I love the transparency of Room to Read. I adore that it has created and continues to do so, brand new local industries in the form of publishing, illustration, and social community welfare with and respectfully through local people. I love that people in countries where very few cared before now have a publishing industry thriving with books in their local language. I love that more and more children can get to go to school, that more and more girls are afforded the right they have to get an education and that more and more communities will be strengthened and lifted out of poverty to better their lives but more importantly their communities lives and hence their countries.

I am proud and privileged to do the little that I do as a volunteer for Room to Read - it shares in my mind the excellence, transparency, commitment and results of an NGO on par with Medecins Sans Frontieres which is the only other NGO I give my time and resources to.


More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

May 12, 2012

Barely two years ago I read John Wood's book Leaving Microsoft to Change the World. I finished the book in a few days, went onto the website for Room to Read and ask how I could help or volunteer. I give my time to only two other fully transparent and amazing NGO's - Medecins Sans Frontieres and Youth off the Streets. Along now with Room to Read these NGO's deal with and are effective with the most simplest of concepts. Understanding humanity, caring for humans and believing that World Change begins with children, MSF with their amazing work around the globe, YOTS and their incredible care of abused and forgotten children and young people and Room to Read - their own catch-cry being very correctly: World Changes Starts with Educated Children - empowering girls/women in particular in developing nations to equalize the phenomenal imbalance that we all know exists in regards to the genders and education. Anyone needs only look at the Room to Read statistics now over 12 years, go visit sites in 10 countries, or even whilst in countries where R2R operates talk to the local people. I'm proud to be a very small part of an amazing NGO that hourly, daily, yearly is making the world a much better place for humans.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2012

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Join a chapter or attend or an event hosted by volunteer chapters. Room to Read has over 50 volunteer chapters (made up of over 7,000 individuals) across the world. Chapters organize annual fundraising events, introduce us to potential corporate, foundation and individual supporters and are representatives for Room to Read within their area. Visit www.roomtoread.org/chapters to find a chapter near you or to learn how to start one.