Support the “Second Responders”

Someday, this pandemic will end. We all want the arts to still be there, helping us to heal, process our experience, and envision new approaches to living.

Artists of all forms — including authors — and the organizations that amplify and support their artistic work have been called “second responders.” They step in after the immediate crisis to help us feel whole again. Doctors take care of our cardiac health, but the arts help us understand matters of the heart. Medical innovations can help expand our lung capacity, while the arts heighten our ability to cherish each breath we take.

More than ever, we know that life is precious. So, as the poet Mary Oliver famously asked, “Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”

By bringing you some of the most important, inspiring authors of our times, the Bay Area Book Festival (and our Women Lit program) will help YOU envision, create, and write your next chapter.

“It is art that makes life, makes interest, makes importance… and I know of no substitute whatever for the force and beauty of its process.”

—Henry James, author

Today, open your heart to the “second responders,” the ones who make yours beat a little faster.

Support for the Bay Area Book Festival is support for all of us: those whose lives have been changed by books and authors and ideas, those who read to understand each other better and live with empathy, those who dream of a world where the arts are treated as the healing powers they are. Please give today.

Note to businesses: Our virtual programming is highly relevant to our times, and reaches tens of thousands of viewers, not only locally but nationally through partnerships with a dozen other book festivals and promotional partners. Sponsorship is affordable, and we’ll work with you to create a customized package that gives you exactly the kind of targeted, meaningful exposure you want! Contact

A note to those who have invested in the stock market: The only thing that has consistently done well in 2020 has been the market! You may have appreciated securities, which means a capital gain for you. A donation to the nonprofit Bay Area Book Festival is tax deductible and could make a significant difference to your tax bill next year — and to the festival and the authors we elevate! It’s super easy to do. Email and we’ll tell you how.




(as in a.m.): What time it was, one morning in 2012, when our founder brainstormed a crazy dream: a world-class, large-scale outdoor book festival for the Bay Area


Number of festival-goers since our first event in 2015


Number of Pulitzers, National Book Awards, National Book Critics Circle awards, Whiting Awards, Edgar Awards, and other honors won by our authors


Percentage of our outdoor programming—including all our kids’ programming—that’s totally free


Percentage of Festival-goers, on average, who report being “satisfied” or “very satisfied” with their experience at the Fest


Percentage of Festival funding that comes from the donations of individual people, like you


Percentage of national institutional grants (approximate estimation) that support literary nonprofits


265 & 130

Number of authors and programs, respectively, that we’d confirmed for our sixth annual Festival in 2020


Number of words (approximately) our staff wrote to blurb all 130 scheduled programs (that’s about half a novel!)


Percentage of our 2020 confirmed authors who expressed interest when we asked about creating a virtual program


Percentage of in-person festival sessions that we have the resources to present virtually so far (because of limited funding on hand for production/consultant/staffing costs)


Amount, in dollars, that we saved in production costs by canceling the 2020 in-person event


Amount, in dollars, that we lost in grants, ticket revenue, sponsorships, and exhibitor revenue by canceling the 2020 in-person event


Amount, in dollars, we need to raise in order to replace lost revenue and keep basic staff going through mid-fall (planning for the May 2021 Fest begins in July)


Our gratitude when you support us

What we can’t quantify is the intangible and immeasurable impact the Bay Area Book Festival has on our community.

It was a wonderful, enriching, and reassuring two-day event that filled my head and heart almost to the point of dizziness.

– 2019 Attendee

The feeling described above is invaluable.
But making it happen takes work— and money.

As soon as we wrap up one Festival, we start planning the following year’s: making sure it’ll be better, more diverse, more in sync with the issues you care about.  That means booking top-notch authors far in advance, covering travel and lodging for in-demand writers who aren’t local, securing coveted venues, and coordinating the most thoughtful panels, sessions, and round-tables to showcase all this brilliance.

At a time when it seems like everything—even culture—is a luxury item, we’re committed to keeping our world-class programming free or affordably priced.

We’re also passionate about empowering local kids and teens—a whole new generation of readers and writers—with year-round initiatives, like bringing writers into schools, and collaborating with amazing nonprofits serving our community’s youth.

We Can’t Do All This Without Your Generosity. 



  • Mail a check, payable to “Bay Area Book Festival,” to 1569 Solano Avenue #635, Berkeley, CA 94707.
  • Give appreciated securities and save on taxes. Email us for instructions to give your broker.
  • If you’re over 70 ½, make a charitable qualified distribution from your IRA and satisfy your minimum qualified distribution. Email us for details.
  • Does your company match employees’ charitable donations? Presto, your gift doubled or more! Let us know and we’ll follow up.

Questions? Email us.

“It was so reassuring, in these times of excess high tech, to be among a large mix of people who seek knowledge, enjoyment and new experiences in the old fashioned or traditional way: from books, and in rooms with live authors who labor to write them.”

– 2019 Attendee

About the Bay Area Book Festival

The Bay Area Book Festival is the main project of the Foundation for the Future of Literature and Literacy, a 501(c)(3) designated, California-based nonprofit corporation with Tax ID #47-3955286. Your donation is tax-deductible to the full extent of the law.