Books Abroad receives no government funding for the work it does, depending entirely on successful funding bids from trusts and companies, as well as monies raised during fundraising events in local communities and from donations and membership subscriptions by our supporters.  The work to collect, sort, select and pack books to be sent abroad is carried out by our team of dedicated volunteers. There are many ways you can support the work we do…

We are very grateful for the monetary donations we receive.

Our biggest expense is the transportation of book parcels abroad. Even though we try to find the cheapest routes possible, there are still increasing costs to be met. Your donations help us to meet these costs.

  • £3 will send 5 books abroad
  • £5 will send 8 books abroad
  • £12 will send 20 books abroad

There are lots of ways you can donate: online, by text or we will happily accept donations made in person at the Books Abroad office in Rhynie.

Please click on the logos below to take you to our online donation platforms.

To donate by text, send text BOOK43 and the amount you wish to donate to 70070 eg BOOK43£5

Don’t forget if you are a UK tax paying resident, you can Gift Aid your donation, which means Books Abroad receives more money at no additional cost to you.

If you are an organisation, community group or a school making a donation please contact us and we will happily feature your efforts on our website and in our newsletter.

Currently, we have a separate fundraising challenge in place to transport books to Kenya.

Books Abroad have been changing the world – one book at a time, one child at a time – for almost 40 years. Now, we have the opportunity to step up to the challenge of supporting theological education in East Africa.

The Very Reverend Professor Sir Robin Barbour (1921-2014) was one of the most outstanding churchmen of the 20th century, studying and teaching at some of the world’s leading educational institutions. One of these institutions is St Paul’s University in Limuru, Kenya.

On his death, the family of Sir Robin donated his library of more than 2000 religious and ecumenical texts to St Paul’s.

At Books Abroad, we are experts at curating, shipping and distributing educational material to educational establishments in need, from any country in the world, which asks for support. All of our activities collecting donated books, packing shipping containers, arranging international transport, ensuring safe delivery of the books to their final destination are delivered by volunteers.

We need to raise £5000 to transport this incredible teaching and learning resource from Scotland to Kenya. If you can spare the price of a cup of coffee, a donation of £2.50 will pay for one book. Why not organise a coffee morning with friends and ask for a small donation? Every pound helps us to achieve this goal.

Books Abroad depends heavily on support from friends and volunteers to further the cause for literacy in developing countries.

By becoming a member of Books Abroad, you are pledging continued support to the work we do.  In return, as a member you will receive regular newsletter updates on all our projects and activities, invitations to attend special member events and also the Books Abroad AGM and copies of our annual report.

Membership costs:
One Year £5.00
Five Years £20.00

To become a member, please contact us.

Volunteer In Scotland

Books Abroad’s work relies on the support of our passionate and dedicated volunteers, who are the heart of our operations.

If you are looking for a new challenge and want to meet a new group of people while supporting a worthwhile cause, we would be delighted to welcome you as part of our team.

Join us at our base in Rhynie, where you can assist Books Abroad by sorting, selecting, listing and packing books to support our projects abroad.  Our main volunteering days are Mondays and Wednesdays and any offer of help would be appreciated.  For further information please contact us or pop in for a visit during our opening hours.

We also welcome support at our various fundraising events, such as coffee mornings, silent auctions, meet the author events, book stalls etc, which take place throughout Aberdeenshire. For more information on forthcoming events and to volunteer your support, please contact us.

“Being a part of a growing charity has always been a great and fulfilling experience”.  Katy Scott, Volunteer

“I enjoy meeting other people and the volunteers are very nice, packing up the parcels is very useful, it’s nice to get away from home regularly and it’s a worthwhile job.” Inge Hayes, Volunteer

“I’ve always believed that a book should be read by many people. When I came upon Books Abroad and found they reused school books and they were going to children who had no books at all I was hooked.”  Somersal Shepley, Volunteer

“I am an avid reader and love teaching children to read. Walt Disney said ‘There is more treasure in books than in all the pirates loot on Treasure Island’. So what could be more satisfying than being able to help spread that treasure.” Margaret Kenyon, Volunteer

“I spent the majority of my working career running International Schools and I’m now retired, so Books Abroad provides me with the opportunity to utilise my skills in sorting, categorising and selecting  books to be sent to schools in third world locations by container or parcels.”  Irene Finlayson, Trustee & Volunteer

“I mostly sort incoming books and fill boxes, and the disparity between the volume and variety of surplus resources that schools in this country donate to Books Abroad, and the lack of the same in those schools we help overseas, never ceases to amaze me. It is great to know we are making a difference to the educational and life prospects of so many children.”  Mary Burgerhout, Volunteer

“The friendship aspect of volunteering played a big part of why I enjoy the Monday sessions.  Books Abroad has taught me many things. If you love books, as I do, then Books Abroad is a great place to volunteer.”  Somersal Shepley, Volunteer

“When I retired I became a volunteer and I thoroughly enjoy the hours spent in the warehouse sorting and packing books knowing that they are making a difference.” J, Volunteer

Volunteer Overseas

Join us on our next mission abroad for an exclusive itinerary in the area and its attractions, whilst gaining a unique insight into the lives of the people supported by our projects.

You will get the opportunity to challenge yourself in teaching a class or helping out with the students in one of the local schools.

Gain first-hand experience of the work of Books Abroad and how this impacts the lives of the children and young adults in these developing communities.

“We returned home reluctantly, after what we all agreed had been a wonderful experience.  We had had an opportunity to see Nepal in a way that not many tourists do and enjoyed meeting so many friendly and hospitable people”.  Hilary, Trustee

“I have been to Kenya and India on Books Abroad trips. Kenya provided the opportunity to visit a rural school on the Masi Mara reserve as well as a city school in Nairobi which educated children from the Barnardo’s orphanage. When visiting Buhj in Northern India we were fortunate to see the container arriving at a girls college and from there distributed to local schools.” Irene Finlayson, Trustee & Volunteer

“It was especially rewarding to get first-hand knowledge of how Books Abroad is already making a difference to some schools and how it can best contribute to help the overwhelming enthusiastic teachers and children of a beautify country”.  Hilary, Trustee

“I have been on a few Books Abroad Adventure Trips and was overwhelmed by the gratitude of pupils, teachers and parents who had received books from the charity. We visited schools, colleges and libraries and it was most rewarding to learn that the books were being used.” J, Volunteer

“I went to India 10 years ago with a group and had the experience of a life time. Being in India made me realise how wasteful we are in the West, while these people have nothing, I mean absolutely nothing.  To receive a book is something that is treasured, as is an education, something we in the West take for granted.”  Michael Brodie, Volunteer


Books Abroad provides an excellent platform for school activity linked directly to Curriculum for Excellence (CfE). Teachers can invite a speaker from Books Abroad to talk to a class about the charity and to show photographs of some of the visits to the countries and projects supported, sparking further involvement by pupils in various ways.

There are many schools which have involvement and have drawn up programmes of work showing how they have linked with the charity and a developing country to ensure pupils of all age ranges become competent in the skills and knowledge required in their curriculum. These examples of good practice can be shared.

A school visit can be planned to the Books Abroad headquarters in Rhynie, Aberdeenshire. Here pupils can see first-hand how the system works from used books arriving to sorting, selecting, parcelling and dispatching book parcels. This can be the catalyst for pupils developing their own enterprise which involves recycling of used resources. It can also support business management studies as the organisational operations can be detailed.

Pupils can continue to explore the impact of developed countries sending in resources to developing countries and how this can be improved to have even more impact.

Teachers can cover several outcomes of CfE by linking with a school abroad and Books Abroad and supporting them through global citizenship activities.

Pupils and teachers can become volunteers or members and begin a long association with a charity which has been successful for 35 years and which is evolving to meet current needs.
They can even join us on one of our annual planned visits to a developing country to meet the recipients of our books parcels – a life changing experience!

Our Schools Liaison work continues in local schools, offering assemblies and talks on the Developing World to school children, as a result of which we receive donations of books and money.


There are many ways for students, staff and alumni to get involved with Books Abroad, from providing resources to supporting promotion of the work we undertake, to travelling abroad to visit one of our projects. For more details please contact us

Let us work together to provide books and educational materials to help people worldwide who lack literacy skills. Your group can help by volunteering time and expertise, providing financial support or simply helping to build awareness of Books Abroad and our mission.

Rotary Clubs / Trust Organisations

We can come along to a group meeting to explain the role your organisation can play in promoting literacy, which may take one of several forms:

• Sponsor schools or country projects by providing funds
• Help organise a book collection day with the help of Books Abroad
• Help collect and manage books at our warehouse in Rhynie
• Undertake projects in collaboration with other groups

If your group already has a project in a developing country we can help identify schools institutions and provide all the information. We would manage book collection, selection, dispatch, process evaluation as well as gathering feedback from the receiving institutions.

Please contact us if you are a Rotary Club or Trust Organisation. We are all here to help each other!