Home About us Our finances

Our finances

At Book Aid International all the income we receive is from voluntary donations – we receive no government grants.

We are supported by thousands of individuals, companies and trusts, which donate the funds that we need to reach readers around the world.

Below is a summary of our 2023 income and expenditure. You can view our full audited 2023 accounts here.

Total income

In 2023 our total income was £22,561,637, of which £3,325,882 was cash and £19,235,755 was the value of the books donated to us by UK publishers.

2023 total cash income was £3,325,882, an increase of £1,059,967 on 2022 cash income of £2,265,915. Of this 2023 cash income, £1,758,426 was unrestricted income (compared to £1,374,336 in 2022), which funded our work providing books around the world.

The increase in unrestricted income was primarily a result of our individual giving programme which performed strongly this year.

We received total restricted income of £1,567,456 in 2023 (compared to £891,579 in 2022). £500k of this income was donated to us by one funder to support the future relocation of our warehouse to a new site. The remaining £175,877 of additional restricted income was used to support project activity establishing school libraries and supporting public and community libraries around the world.

Total expenditure

In 2023 our total expenditure was £19,991,642, of which £2,457,936 was cash expenditure (compared to £2,629,726 in 2022) and £17,533,706 was the value of the books we provided around the world.

Our unrestricted expenditure in 2023, at £1,316,343 (compared with £1,655,240 in 2022) reflected lower investment in infrastructure projects (IT, our new website) than in the previous year, and an increased focus on the number of books we provided to our partners..

Our restricted expenditure in 2023, at £1,141,593 (compared with £974,487 in 2022) reflected the use of additional restricted income received during the year, which enabled us to implement a greater number of projects and deliver more restricted book provision programmes around the world.

The value of donated books

In 2023, the books publishers donated to us had a discounted value of £19,235,755, £3.8m more than in 2022, driven by the number and mix of higher value medical books.

We value our books based on Nielsen Bookscan prices and we apply an overall 30% discount from the full Recommended Retail Price to allow for the estimated market discount for third party commercial buyers.

Because publishers donate books to us free of charge, and it costs us around £2 to receive, store, select and send a book worth an average of £13.71. That average is calculated using the value of books received over the past five years, as in the table below.

How we control our costs

Our costs are closely managed by our Board of Trustees, to whom we submit financial reports every quarter. We also have two Board committees who take responsibility for our finances.  The Finance and Audit Committee is responsible for ensuring our finances are legally compliant and in line with the policies set by the Board. The Remuneration Committee is responsible for salary setting and other HR matters. You can find out more about our Board of Trustees and how it governs our activities here.

We aim to be as financially efficient as possible in all our activities. We have no overseas offices and we work through partnerships to deliver our work. We have a committed team of volunteers whose contribution we estimate as equivalent to two full-time members of staff.

Our Reserves Policy

We maintain sufficient unrestricted cash reserves to ensure that we can deliver our planned commitments in the event of unforeseen financial challenges. The minimum level of reserves we must hold is agreed by our Board of Trustees and monitored regularly.

In 2023, the minimum level of free reserves was set at £500k by the Board. We ended 2023 with £540k in free reserves, with better than anticipated funding results in 2023.

Our supporter promise

We couldn’t do the work we do without the support of all our generous donors. We appreciate their support and we promise to use their money responsibly and in accordance with our charitable objectives. That is why we have published our Supporter Promise.

Find out more

Our people

Our work is only possible through the work of our staff, volunteers, trustees and many friends.

Read more

Our mission and vision

Our vision is a world where everyone has access to books that will enrich, improve and change their lives.

Read more

What we do

We work for a world where everyone has the opportunity to read.

Read more