Our finances

At Book Aid International we receive no government funding. Our income comes from four main sources: trusts and foundations which make grants to support our work; companies which make financial donations, schools and community organisations which raise funds to support us and individuals who make one-off or regular donations.

Below is a summary of our 2017 income and how we spend every pound. If you would like to read our full accounts, please see our  Trustees’ Report and Accounts.

Income and expenditure

In 2017 we received cash income of £2,036,333 (just below the 2016 level of £2,168,791). Of this total, 56.5% was unrestricted income that we used to fund our core activity of providing books around the world and 43.5% was income restricted to projects including Children’s Corners and Inspiring Readers.

Our total cash income in 2017 fell compared to 2016, which was boosted by two unusually high legacy gifts. However, 2017’s income was boosted by generous support from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, by legacies and by schools across the UK who gave more on World Book Day than ever before.

Cash expenditure in 2017 was £1,699,095, which was invested in the cost of sending books, implementing projects, running our organisation and raising funds to support our work.

In kind donations

In 2017 we received donations of books valued at £7,924,411, significantly lower than in 2016, when the total value of the books we received was just over £13 million. This higher figure in 2016 was due to the large number of medical and higher education textbooks we received. Many of these high-value books were retained for use in 2017.

The following table demonstrates our total income and expenditure in the past three years, including books, showing how cash income has remained relatively stable since 2015 while the value of the books we received has fluctuated.

How we spend every Pound

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 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 are agreed by our Board of Trustees and monitored regularly. In 2017 that level was £450,000 and we ended the year with £528,020 in free reserves thanks to a generous unrestricted legacy.

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.

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