Our publishing teams share a common passion for promoting the enjoyment of reading and high-quality literature that is often cutting edge and provides new authors with opportunities to establish themselves. Our Children’s Trade division is focused on promoting literacy for young readers of all abilities and ages, including specialist ranges for “Hi-Low” pupils (high age, low attainment), which provide parents and teachers with the tools needed to engage their children in reading.
In addition to our direct commercial activities and with a focus mainly on promoting literature, literacy and education, we actively support numerous organisations worldwide including schools, universities, libraries and other good causes and charities. We also encourage the spare time involvement of staff worldwide in supporting good causes and in the promotion of literature, literacy and education. These voluntary activities by employees are often directly or indirectly assisted by the business and by Bloomsbury colleagues. The following examples illustrate the range of Bloomsbury’s support and support by its employees for good causes worldwide:
- Bloomsbury has adopted the National Literacy Trust (“NLT”), a charity dedicated to giving disadvantaged children the literacy skills they need to succeed and to improving reading, writing, speaking and listening skills in the UK’s poorest communities, as its house charity. During the year, we made a donation of £10,000 to the NLT and we have been working with the NLT to support activities aimed at developing literacy in Hastings, one of the ten worst cities in the UK for adult and child working class literacy (more information about Bloomsbury’s support of the NLT is set out in the Charitable Partnerships section below).
- In 2019, Bloomsbury published Dishoom: From Bombay with Love, written by the head chef and co-founders of the successful Dishoom restaurant chain, Shamil Thakrar, Naved Nasir and Kavi Thakrar. Inspired by Dishoom’s Meal for a Meal Initiative, Bloomsbury has donated a portion of its proceeds from book sales to Dishoom’s charity partners, Magic Breakfast (UK) and the Akshaya Patra Foundation (Mumbai), to help children in need by providing healthy breakfasts to the most vulnerable. To date, in New Delhi and London, our donations have enabled the provision of 31,689 breakfasts for homeless people, something we are extremely proud of.
- In August 2018, Bloomsbury published Sea Prayer, a powerful book by Khaled Hosseini in response to the Syrian refugee crisis. By donating £1 per every copy sold to UNHCR – the UN refugee agency – Bloomsbury has, to date, raised over £100,000 in support of UNHCR’s activities caring for refugees around the world.
- In June 2020, Bloomsbury made a donation of $10,000 to Black Lives Matter.
- We support good causes that promote literacy and literature. We are a proud sponsor of, and partner with, World Book Day, the most important, inclusive reading initiative in the UK, established by UNESCO to promote reading amongst children and adults, Their mission is to give every child and young person a book of their own. In 2019, we published Bad Mermaids meet the Witches by Sibeal Pounder in support of World Book Day and in 2020, Kid Normal and the Loudest Library by Greg James and Chris Smith. During the year, we made a donation to the Waterstones Children’s Laureate in support of the 2019–2022 award.
- Our US office has also provided sponsorship to a number of non-profit groups involved in the promotion of literacy, human rights and the freedom of expression, including PEN America, The Center for Fiction, the National Coalition Against Censorship, and Literacy Partners
- Our Australia office supports the Indigenous Literacy Foundation (the national charity of the Australian Book Industry, which aims to address the literacy gap arising in remote indigenous communities across Australia and reduce the disadvantage experienced by children in such communities across Australia) (“ILF”), with fundraising and time given for administrative support. During the year, Bloomsbury’s Australia office made a modest donation to ILF, to match funds donated by Bloomsbury employees
- Our US, UK and Australia offices donate, or provide at a reduced cost, a substantial quantity of books and games each year, which includes donations of mainstream titles to schools, libraries and organisations supporting education, e.g. our US office donated over 248,000 children’s books to the Soho Center that promotes quality childcare nationally with a special focus on children’s literacy, school readiness, and school success, and our UK office donated over 17,000 books to Book Aid International. Our Australia office has donated books to the Children’s Book Council of Australia and, in response to the Australian bushfires, donated books to go in care packs for children impacted by the bushfires, and for use in auctions and fundraising sales in aid of bushfire appeals. Other donations of books and Osprey games worldwide have been to good causes not related to literature and education such as Barnardo’s, Oxfam, the Red Cross, the Salvation Army and smaller organisations local to our offices worldwide.
- Bloomsbury has entered into a three-year partnership with the NLT with the mission of supporting the NLT in its efforts to overcome literacy challenges facing the residents of Hastings – identified by Ofsted as one of the country’s worst performing boroughs, and by the NLT as one of the towns in the UK with the worst literacy rates. Bloomsbury’s annual financial support will help the NLT to deliver outreach activities via schools, community centres and food banks to help children and adults of Hastings who are most in need. In addition to financial support, Bloomsbury will provide access to the skills and expertise of its staff and authors to the NLT along with significant book gifting, competitions and promotional support. To date, our partnership with the NLT has involved an array of reading events based in the NLT’s Hub in Hastings, including town-wide reading moments, competitions and meet-and-greet sessions with Radio One celebrities and Kid Normal authors, Greg James and Chris Smith
- Our Children’s publishing division publishes books in partnership with three leading UK charities whose key focus is nature conservation and wildlife. They are the RSPB, Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew, and The Woodland Trust. These partnerships involve the publication of titles by Bloomsbury that support the activities of these charities, and embed their public mission statements into the commercial world of bookselling, reaching far beyond their membership pool with titles across all age groups from 3 years and above. We are experts at commissioning high profile authors with excellent credentials and, in many cases, who have empathy and links with these charities. Our longevity in sustaining these collaborations is evident in our relationship with the RSPB. It now spans nearly ten years, with sales of over 750,000 units and includes nearly 30 successful books that remain perennial favourites, reprinting year-on-year. A royalty is paid to the relevant charity for each book sold.
- Bloomsbury also works closely with EmpathyLab, which is the first organisation to build children's empathy, literacy and social activism through a systematic use of highquality literature. The strategy builds on new scientific evidence showing the power of reading to build real life empathy skills. Working closely with this charity and many of our authors, we ensure that children and the books they read support the teaching of empathy.
- We sponsor achievement prizes for students within USA and UK universities, invite students to visit us for presentations on working in publishing and support careers fairs for students to promote publishing as a career.
- Bloomsbury’s Chief Executive is President of Book Aid International that gifts approximately 500,000 books a year to libraries in Africa.
- Jonathan Glasspool, one of Bloomsbury’s Executive Directors, is Senior Independent Governor at Bath Spa University, as well as Chair of Federation of British Artists. Both organisations have a substantial education remit in the creative arts.