AUTHORS: Sally Kalin, Connie Schroeder, and Vasundara Varadan
AAUW State College members
PHONE: (814) 360-4810
AGENCY: AAUW State College
AAUW State College: An Open Book
If you’ve donated books for our annual Used Book Sale, shopped at the sale, or volunteered with us, you may have wondered how the money raised is spent. The short answer is – mostly – it stays here in Centre County. As stewards of the hundreds of thousands of locally-donated books each year, and the revenue that they generate, we want to provide the full story. Transparency is important.
For 62 year we’ve loved holding the sale – to raise money to support our mission to advance equity for women and girls, and to make books accessible to all in our community.
Some people wonder if old-fashioned book reading is on the decline, but our experience tells a different story. Our 2023 sale generated $288,222 in gross revenue, a 25% increase over the previous year. Sale shoppers tell us they love the sale and ask when we’ll be back. (Answer: May 11-14, 2024.) Their families have been coming for generations.
Expenses to maintain our rented workshop and to put on the sale are now about $53,000 and we expect that amount to increase.
The back story of the sale is that it’s a tremendous amount of hard work – and we’re honestly not sure how many more years we can do this. Each year, it takes hundreds of volunteers (mostly AAUW members, joined by many other community members), working thousands of hours to run our Used Book Workshop and staff the sale.
We are accountable for the ways book sale dollars are allocated.
This year, we awarded about $65,000 for programs of local non-profits who reflect our mission and for STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) projects that engage girls and young women. We want to ramp up our Community Action Grants for the next grant cycle starting with more applications from groups serving women and girls.
Each year, we also award 4-5 scholarships totaling up to $28,000 – for returning adult women students who need a boost to complete their college education. Because we believe that it is important to cultivate women leaders, we also award scholarships for local women to attend NCCWSL, the National Conference for College Women Student Leaders.
Additional funds go to sponsoring our mission-based programs, which are free and open to the public.
In recognition of the value they bring through advocacy, programs, and educational grants, we awarded $15,000 to AAUW National and $5,000 to AAUW Pennsylvania. Over the past year, our national organization awarded $6.3 million in grants and fellowships to women scholars and community organizations and increased their advocacy work in Washington.
Our story is one of hard work, determination, and commitment to our mission. To learn more about us, visit aauwstatecollege.org.
Sally Kalin, Connie Schroeder, and Vasundara Varadan
AAUW State College members