Canceling our 2020 Fest was the right thing to do. But a lot was lost as a result: exposure for authors and exhibitors; sales for indie booksellers; revenue for downtown Berkeley businesses; and, of course, an unforgettable experience that brings 25,000 people together to celebrate books and reading. In a reduced capacity, we’re now pivoting to present our most relevant programming virtually to help authors, bookstores, and our community. But, like so many small arts nonprofits, we run on a shoestring, and it’s close to snapping. We’re struggling to stay afloat.

There’s very little traditional philanthropic support for the literary arts. We rely on the generosity of people like you. If you’re able, please consider supporting a one-of-a-kind cultural program that brings enrichment and joy to so many people of all ages and backgrounds. Your donations really could be the deciding factor in whether or not there will be a Festival in 2021.

Note to businesses that are weathering this storm: Our upcoming online programming is highly relevant to our times and will reach tens of thousands of viewers, not only locally but nationally through a partnership with a dozen other book festivals. Sponsorship is affordable, helps us, and gives you excellent and meaningful exposure. Contact sponsor@baybookfest.org.

WE KNOW YOU LIKE WORDS. BUT CHECK OUT THESE NUMBERS.

BABF BY THE NUMBERS

1

(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

125,000

Number of festival-goers since our first event in 2015

395

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

100

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

97

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

70

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

.002

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

A COVID-19 RECALCULATION

265 & 130

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

43,750

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

100

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

10

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)

175,000

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

385,000

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

600,000

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)

Infinite

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. 

THREE EASY WAYS TO SUPPORT THE BAY AREA BOOK FESTIVAL

OTHER GREAT WAYS TO SHOW YOUR SUPPORT

  • 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.