Social media fundraisers make a big difference for young readers

We are always so honored when someone creates a social media fundraiser to benefit Page Ahead. Marcia Rutan, a longtime supporter, decided to celebrate her 70th birthday in 2020 with a Facebook fundraiser and ended up raising more than $1,400 from dozens of friends—that’s enough to give 396 books to 33 kids! We just had to find out how she did it, and she graciously let us pick her brain.

Page Ahead: Why did you decide to do a fundraising event to celebrate your birthday?

Marcia Rutan: I planned a big party this year to celebrate my 70th, but that tanked due to COVID. Since I connect with many friends and family on Facebook, I trusted they would want to help celebrate my birthday this way. Fundraising on Facebook is quite painless compared to setting up events and usually successful. People can give any amount and stay anonymous or go public. I love books, care deeply for the well-being of children, and am committed to breaking the cycle of racism and its impacts in our country. Page Ahead supports all of these priorities so was my top pick this year!

Page Ahead: How did you spread the word and encourage people to donate? Any tips for someone else who might want to do something similar to celebrate a special event in their own life?

Marcia Rutan: Facebook makes it easy; a lot of not-for-profits, including Page Ahead, are already on their list which makes it a simple select and go. Facebook provides an automatic blurb for the fundraising page, which many people use. I like to customize it with my own enthusiastic comments. Once the page is up, I track daily who is donating and thank each donor personally on Facebook. Facebook continually shows the cumulative donations on your fundraising page, and this makes it exciting as you watch the amount rise, hit target, and even surpass the amount you set as your goal. I make sure also to donate to other people’s fundraisers, even small amounts. It’s a great way to keep money circulating for good and to celebrate people’s birthdays, instead of, or in addition to, traditional gifts.

Thank you, Marcia–and happy birthday!


To set up a Facebook fundraiser like Marcia, go to then click the “Select Nonprofit” button, type “Page Ahead,” and follow the step-by-step prompts.

Twitter and Instagram

Twitter and Instagram don’t have official fundraising mechanisms like Facebook does, but you can still get creative in crowdsourcing donations. For example, @girlimbooked on Instagram encouraged her followers to post her to #teachstack hashtag, and for each post, she donated $1 to Page Ahead (see below). Please feel free to get in touch with us at contact us if you’d like support in setting up something like that!

Follett Book eFairs and nonprofits team up for summer reading

Masked, drive-by book pickups for Book Up Summer in spring 2020

“When the Covid-19 crisis forced the closure of schools across the country, the abrupt change resulted in many already vulnerable children and families facing additional challenges. A lack of access to food, and to learning tools including the internet and books, have been among the most pressing obstacles, along with mounting concern about the double whammy of spring school disruptions and summer learning slide. In an effort to assist families facing such hurdles, Follett and two nonprofit early literacy organizations—Page Ahead in Seattle and Start Reading Now in Minneapolis—worked together to ensure that kids from low-income families received books to read over the summer break.”

Read more at Publishers Weekly.

Page Ahead donates 15,000 books to Federal Way students

A Lake Grove student picks up his Book Up Summer books

“Although schools are out for the summer, learning doesn’t stop for Federal Way students.

Kindergartners, first graders and second graders in Federal Way schools are receiving 12 books each for free from Page Ahead Children’s Literacy Program, a nonprofit that works to close the literacy achievement gap for young readers in majority low-income communities.”

Read more at the Federal Way Mirror.