FAQs

Reading Is Fundamental is committed to a literate America by inspiring a passion for reading among all children, provided quality content to create impact, and engaging communities in the solution to give every child the fundamental building blocks for success.

Established in Washington, D.C. in 1966, Reading Is Fundamental began when Margaret McNamara realized students she was tutoring did not have ready access to books. Armed with the idea that all children should have the right to read, McNamara began her quest to establish literacy as the foundation for lifelong growth. Building on her work, Reading Is Fundamental creates measureable solutions to ensure every child has the opportunity to read and succeed.

Reading Is Fundamental maximizes the impact of every dollar and donation, preparing kids for a lifetime of opportunity. Through partnerships with book publishers, volunteers, community groups, organizations, and like-minded corporations, RIF has distributed over 412 million books and impacted the lives of more than 40 million children in all 50 states.

RIF creates literacy solutions for children of all ages so they are able to gain the confidence to strive and reach their potential by:

  • Providing access to and choice of engaging literacy content so that children, no matter where they live, get the foundational skills needed to contribute to society.
  • Developing thousands of free, on-demand resources for teachers, parents, and children to create a culture of reading that goes beyond the book and translates into real world learnings.
  • Empowering individuals and communities to drive change and increase access to literacy at the local level. RIF has an active presence in all 50 states with over 2,100 program sites.

Reading Is Fundamental provides new, free, high-quality books and supporting literacy resources to children across the country. Many of our programs are implemented in schools, libraries, Head Start programs, health clinics, and other places that serve children with the greatest need. With the launch of Literacy Central, RIF’s new, free digital resource designed to foster literacy development in children, parents, teachers, and literacy volunteers can access activities, games, reading passages, lesson plans, calendars, and videos paired with classic and popular K-6 books for free, anytime.

RIF receives funds from grants, corporations, community organizations, and individual donor support. Donate today.

Anyone looking to make an individual tax-deductible donation can do so by visiting our secure website at rif.org/donate. If you would like more information on other opportunities visit Support RIF.

It’s easy to set up workplace giving and we appreciate your interest in supporting RIF in this way. Simply designate Reading Is Fundamental through United Way or Combined Federal Campaign - CFC #10948.

Reading Is Fundamental is committed to partnering with local communities to develop strong programs to promote literacy. We offer a variety of opportunities and resources to get involved and make an impact in your local community.

Currently, RIF offers two programs, Books for Ownership and Read for Success. You can learn more at How We Help.