Room to Read

Room to Read is an international nonprofit improving literacy and education equality in low-income communities around the world. Founded by John Wood, Erin Ganju and Dinesh Shrestha, the organisation works on developing literacy skills and a habit of reading, and improving girls education and life skills to empower them, help them build their character and lead productive lives. Room to Read collaborates with governments and other partner organisations to deliver positive education outcomes for children at scale. Since its inception in 2000, the organisation has benefited more than 32 million children across 49,000 communities in 21 countries.

Related sustainable development goals

  • Quality Education

Focus areas

Focus sectors

  • Education
    • Elementary and secondary education
      • Elementary education
      • Secondary education

Focus populations

  • Students
  • Teachers

Focus geographies

  • Africa
    • South Africa
    • Uganda
    • Tanzania
    • Rwanda
    • Zambia
  • Europe
    • Italy
  • Middle East
    • Jordan
  • South Asia
    • Pakistan
    • Sri Lanka
    • Bangladesh
    • Nepal
    • India
  • South-east Asia
    • Myanmar
    • Vietnam
    • Laos
    • Philippines
    • Indonesia
    • Cambodia


  • Digital Solution
    The organisation delivers remote solutions that leverage local logistical infrastructure, broadcast media networks and internet-based technologies to facilitate learning beyond the classroom.
  • Girls Education Programme
    This programme helps girls build skills to succeed in secondary school and make key life decisions by providing life skills curriculum, opportunities for mentorship and peer support, and family and community engagement.
  • Literacy Programme
    This programme trains and coaches teachers, supporting the creation of quality books and curricular materials and establishing libraries filled with diverse children’s books in local languages.


Funding model

  • Grants to organisations
  • In-kind gifts
  • Programme related investment
  • Volunteering

Primary funders

  • Atlassian Foundation
  • Bank of America
  • BNP Paribas
  • Citi Bank
  • Credit Suisse
  • Dubai Cares
  • Echidna Giving
  • Goldman Sachs Gives
  • IKEA Foundation
  • Tatcha
  • Warburg Pincus


Key staff

  • chief executive officer, Geetha Murali
  • chief program officer, Heather Simpson

Board members

  • Andrew Balls, Member
  • Carl Huttenlocher, Member
  • Elizabeth M. King, Member
  • Frank van Veenendaal, Member
  • John Lindfors, Chair-Elect
  • Luis Crouch, Member
  • Lydie Hudson, Member
  • Mary Byron, Member
  • Member Stasia Obremskey, Member Stasia Obremskey
  • Mike Cannon-Brookes, Member
  • Najoh Tita-Reid, Member
  • Sabine Chalmers, Member
  • Scott Kapnick, Member
  • Sonny Kalsi, Member
  • Stanley Hainsworth, Member
  • Susan Wojcicki, Member
  • Tomoya Masanao, Member
  • Vicky Tsai, Member
  • Yusuf Alireza, Chairman

Contact details



  • Annual Report 2021