Read Seed, Inc.

"Accountability and financial responsibility is represented by accurate records in a standardized format. I once believed that only the larger nonprofits with support staff had the advantage. Microsoft leveled the field for Read Seed by actually documenting our little organization; that did a lot."

A. Banks, Read Seed

How Donated Software Puts Books in the Hands of Low-Income Kids

Read Seed, Inc. was founded in response to numerous studies that discovered that underprivileged children who grow up surrounded by books have better social and academic outcomes. The organization targets children growing up in North Carolina's Housing and Urban Development (NC HUD) Housing Authorities. Through a partnership with NC HUD, Read Seed distributes books several times a year to children, serving kids from infancy to seven years of age. Between summer of 2002 and end of year 2006, Read Seed gave more than 30,000 books to low-income children in its community.

Keeping track of book distribution to children of varying ages throughout 20 different housing communities poses a challenge. 

Read Seed staff knew an investment in tech tools would solve its problem, but would create a new problem in terms of cost. A donation of Microsoft Office through TechSoup not only solved the book-tracking problem, but also improved other areas of the organization's operations. Armed with Excel, Read Seed was able to better track its expenses, ensuring financial responsibility and accountability. Read Seed also used Publisher to produce a better-quality newsletter that was a hit with volunteers and other stakeholders. This, in turn, increased commitment to the organization and its mission.