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 who donate the funds that we need to reach readers around the world.

Below is a summary of our 2018 income and expenditure. You can view our full audited 2018 accounts in our 2018 Annual Report. 

Cash income and expenditure

In 2018 our cash income was slightly below the 2017 level of £2,036,333.

55.4% of our income was unrestricted funds which we invested in our core activity of providing books around the world. The remaining 44.6% was restricted to projects and programmes.

Cash expenditure in 2018 increased on 2017’s level of £1,699,095. This increase reflects an increase in our staff team, from 21 to 26, which enabled us to increase the number of books we sent: from 938,330 in 2017 to 1.28 million in 2018.

In kind donations

In 2018, the value of books donated by publishers to our charity increased by 107% from £8,411,442 to £17,386,704. This increase reflects a significant increase in the number of high value medical texts we received as well as a general increase in the stock donated to our charity.

We expect the fluctuations in the value of the books we receive to continue in the coming years, as the books publishers donate changes year on year. However, these fluctuations are not impacting on cash income and expenditure, which remains largely stable, as shown in the following table:


Making best use of donated money and books

We are committed to ensuring that we make the most of every book and Pound donated to us. The following graphic expresses how we spent every £1 of expenditure in 2018.

How we value the books we send

The books we send to our library partners are donated to us by publishers and the value of these books is reflected in our accounts. We value our books based on Neilsen Bookscan prices and we apply an overall 30% discount from the full Recommended Retail Price (RRP) to allow for the estimated market discount for 3rd party commercial buyers.

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 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 are agreed by our Board of Trustees and monitored regularly. In 2018 the agreed level was £500,000 – £550,000.

We ended the year with £618,506 in free reserves – slightly higher than anticipated due to a generous unrestricted Gift in Will.

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 which you can find here.

You may also like

Read our Trustees' Annual Report and Accounts
Read more >
Find out more about our work in our Annual Review
Read more >
Our promise to you on how we will use your donations
Read more >