Sponsor’s guide

If your business has a social-responsibility budget, you can get instant impact by sponsoring books printed in the Paperight network. Your business can sponsor:

  • Study guides for needy matric students that boost their results
  • Story books for little children that improve their reading skills
  • Readers for teens that inspire them to build ambitious, successful lives
  • Training manuals for health workers that improve quality of care
  • Training materials for teachers and school administrators that improve student performance

See how a simple CSR donation made a difference at Silverstream Secondary School:

Books printed by Paperight outlets are better because:

  • They’re usually cheaper than traditional books, so more for your cash
  • Printed close to your target beneficiaries, more of your money stays in the community
  • You’re supporting local printing businesses (and you can score enterprise development points)
  • Every page includes fineprint with your name and a unique, trackable URL that points to your website.

Also, the more you support Paperight outlets, the stronger the network becomes, and the more books become accessible to everyone.

What is Paperight?

Paperight is a network of independent copy shops that print books out for customers quickly and legally. We want to help put every book within walking distance of every home.

How it works:

  • Our member copy shops use paperight.com to download and print out books instantly.
  • We deduct a licence fee for each print-out from the copy shop’s pre-paid Paperight account.
  • The licence fee goes to the publisher, less 20% commission for Paperight.

Paperight print-outs are, on average, 20% cheaper than conventional editions of books. More importantly, they are available close to people’s homes, even in low-income and remote locations, where copy shops are common. This saves the costs of travel and the risk of stock-shortages.

With this simple innovation, Paperight turns any copy shop, with any printer, into a print-on-demand bookstore.

Over 200 copy shops have joined our network around South Africa, offering over 1700 titles from over 80 publishers, including Oxford University Press, Cambridge University Press, Pearson/Maskew Miller Longman, O’Reilly Media, New Africa Books and many more.

Paperight also enables schools to tackle textbook shortfalls themselves by printing their own books for students and their communities.

Paperight is a company seed-funded by the Shuttleworth Foundation. It has won international publishing awards in New York, London and Frankfurt, an SAB Innovation Seed Grant, and the 2013 Accenture Innovation Master Apex Award. In February 2013 the company was formally congratulated by South Africa’s National Parliament, whose endorsement “acknowledges the importance of making published works easily accessible to millions of people throughout Africa; and … encourages publishers to register with Paperight in making their works accessible to all.”

How does my sponsorship work?

First, you decide how much to invest, and who you want to buy books for. You can select a school or charity of your choice, choose from our recommended beneficiaries, or work with us to find a new beneficiary, such as a needy school or non-profit.

Most sponsors invest between R20000 and R100000 at a time. This can be paid to Paperight or the selected Paperight outlet for printing. We recommend paying the money through a registered non-profit to make the most of the tax and other business advantages of CSR spending. We can facilitate this process to make it simple and easy for you.

Once we know how much you can invest, and have identified your preferred beneficiaries, our team puts together a proposed list of books to have printed. We usually work closely with the beneficiaries on this, to make sure we’re providing useful, relevant books, and getting the most value for your investment. At the same time, we identify a suitable Paperight-registered printing outlet to receive this order. Ideally, it is a business situated close to your beneficiary, to minimise transport costs and to keep your money in the community it’s meant for.

When the books are ready to be delivered, we work with you and the beneficiaries to arrange a formal handover and photo and video opportunity.

Our PR team then works with you to maximise coverage where possible in community news. This is important not only to give you credit for your investment, but also to build excitement about what is possible when people work together to tackle our country’s most pressing problems.

How do we measure impact?

Our primary measure of success is the number of books in hands. We track how many books your sponsorship buys, and how many learners those books reach.

When you contribute study material for exam preparation, we measure the percentage improvement in matric results at the school your sponsorship assists.

Because we believe that the best measure of impact is qualitative as well as quantitative, we also collect feedback from the principal, teachers, parents and students on how much your sponsorship actually helped. And where we partner with non-profits we’ll incorporate their impact assessments in our own.

Which books work?

Any book can make a difference. The trick is giving the right book to the right person.

Past exam papers: Matric students get immense value from past exam papers. Our packs of past papers are by far our most popular sponsored product. Exam practice makes an instant impact on a matric student’s chances of success.

Study guides: For more in-depth learning, good study guides for grades 10 to 12 can make up for weeks of missed classroom hours for many learners. We have a range of study guide from leading publishers such as Oxford University Press and Macmillan.

Early-childhood story books: It’s widely recognised that the greatest impact on a person’s life is made in early childhood. We have a range of story books for little children that ECD non-profits can use to boost reading skills and inspire young imaginations.

Readers for teens: whether in novels or personal-development books, we can inspire teens to build ambitious lives at a critical junction in their lives. These books are distributed through reading clubs at schools and non-profits that work with teens.

Healthcare training: we have a range of acclaimed healthcare training manuals on caring for mothers, babies, children, and people with HIV. Given to the right non-profits, clinics and hospitals, these can positively improve quality of care.

Teacher training: books from the acclaimed South African Institute for Distance Education (SAIDE) can help teachers and schools administrators boost school performance.

Technology textbooks: We have a range of world-leading technology textbooks from O’Reilly Media that can help training institutions and non-profits tackle urgent tech skills shortages.

Suggested beneficiaries

We are always identifying worthy beneficiaries for your support, including non-profit organisations. For example, Axium Education grows talent and opportunity in rural communities by working with students and educators to raise student achievement.

In our needy-schools programme, we maintain a list of needy schools around South Africa where study guides, textbooks and readers can make a material difference the minute they’re in the hands of learners.

You can find a printable version of this guide here.