“We’re here for five-year-olds, grandmas, and everyone in between”: Community outreach at Bookmans, Arizona, Part 2

The Cat in the Hat at Bookmans, Arizona

“We’re here for five-year-olds, grandmas, and everyone in between.”

For Bookmans Entertainment Exchange in Arizona, community outreach is more than just being a good corporate citizen – it also makes great business sense.

Last time on the blog I spoke with Bookmans Marketing Director Sheila Kressler-Crowley about their recent Schools Challenge. It’s just one element of a fun, creative vision of community partnership which stretches from sponsoring a rollerderby team to themed events aimed at teens (a Scott Pilgrim dating night) and toddlers (Dr. Seuss storytelling sessions, pictured above).

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“Ads are fine, but we’d rather hang out with our friends”: Community outreach at Bookmans, Arizona, Part 1

In the arid, traditionally conservative state of Arizona, the Bookmans chain of second-hand stores promotes a progressive community spirit

Regular visitors to this site know my passion for community partnerships, bringing together the best of the business, public and non-profit sectors.

I’ve worked with media distributors, mining companies and a range of public and non-profit schemes to address social need and deliver business benefits.

This is why I got excited when a chance Tweet by Zoe Toft, showing a cute video of books in a domino chain, led me to Bookmans Entertainment Exchange. They’re an unusual Arizona retail firm which sells everything from books to musical instruments, housewares and video games – unusual because these second-hand dealers stand out for their sense of mission and commitment to community values.

This week, Bookmans awarded over $20,000 to school development projects in their region – offering no-strings funding to worthy educational causes in Tucson, Flagstaff and Phoenix.

Sheila Kressler-Crowley, a community outreach co-ordinator turned Marketing Director at Bookmans, joined me on the day of the award for a chat.

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