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Episode Info:

Amy Zaslansky 

Founder/Executive Director

The Book Fairies





Amy Zaslansky is the founder of The Book Fairies, a nonprofit organization that provides books to people in need across metropolitan New York. Since its inception in 2012, The Book Fairies has donated more than 2 million books to underserved schools and nonprofit organizations including hospitals, homeless shelters, soup kitchens and correctional facilities.

Amy, a lifelong avid reader and lover of books, realized the urgent need for a book donation charity after being unable to find a home for her own outgrown library. She also discovered the scarcity of reading materials in many schools and homes, with the primary barrier to book ownership being cost. Upon further research, she learned that the illiteracy epidemic perpetuates the cycle of poverty. With this in mind, Amy created The Book Fairies to help eradicate illiteracy. The organization’s model removes the ownership and access barrier by providing free books to support literacy programs, and build school, classroom and home libraries.

The Book Fairies is largely run by volunteers and is based on the notion of neighbors helping neighbors. In particular, the organization supports the special needs community by offering over 200 weekly opportunities for individuals to gain job skills, engage with the community, and give back.

Amy, a Maryland native, graduated from Emory University with a BA in Psychology and earned her MS in Occupational Therapy from Temple University. Her earlier careers included being an Occupational Therapist, and operating an e-commerce site. Amy resides on Long Island with her husband, three children, and a small menagerie of pets.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • How to go from startup to building an organization
  • Using in-kind donations to help meet a community need
  • How to use relationships to grow a business
  • Creating community impact
  • Sales in nonprofits
  • Word of mouth marketing and business growth
  • How to reach communities on multiple levels
  • How to achieve nonprofit success

Read more »

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