The Situation 

Worldreader is an organization dedicated to making digital books accessible to people around the world in order to mitigate barriers to literacy and improve quality of life. Primarily targeting readers in sub-Saharan Africa and India, Worldreader uses relatively affordable technologies including e-readers, mobile phones, and tablets to bring literature to those without ready access to physical books.

The Roadblock

After investing countless staff hours and significant funding in the mobile app for this specific technology company’s platform, in late 2015 they received news that the technology company was facing financial trouble and could be shutting down. While Worldreader had now built reading apps for several other mobile platforms, this one housed Worldreader’s single largest collection of digital books with 28,000 titles connected to 900,000 readers. These users were also the most dedicated group of mobile phone readers.

Open Road's Response

In order to continue providing uninterrupted service to the 900,000 readers who accessed digital literature through the co-developed mobile phone app, Open Road provided a $100,000 charitable grant to Worldreader. This grant allowed the organization to migrate app users to an alternate reading platform, and also provided the necessary funding to reformat and transfer the thousands of digital books from the original mobile app database to a more permanent Worldreader collection.

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