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Charity Navigator: Books For Africa Accountable and Transparent

SAINT PAUL, Minn., Aug. 25, 2015 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Books For Africa (BFA, a non-profit with offices in St. Paul, Minnesota, and Atlanta), has received Charity Navigator's 4-star rating for the fourth consecutive year. Charity Navigator is the country's premiere charity evaluator and rates charities on sound fiscal management and commitment to accountability and transparency.

"Only 8 percent of the charities we rate have received 4 consecutive 4-star evaluations, indicating that Books For Africa outperforms most other charities in America," John P. Dugan, founder and chair of the board of Charity Navigators, wrote in a letter to Patrick Plonski, executive director of BFA.

"This 'exceptional' designation from Charity Navigator differentiates Books For Africa from its peers and demonstrates to the public it is worthy of their trust," Dugan continued.

BFA had an overall rating of 99.95, with a financial rating of 99.93 and an accountability and transparency rating of 100.

"We are extremely pleased with Charity Navigator's findings and ratings of BFA," Plonski said. "We are proud that BFA has been able to serve the students and young readers of Africa during the past year with more than two million books and other educational tools and we plan to expand our efforts and continue to increase shipments this year."

Books For Africa remains the largest shipper of donated text and library books to the African continent, shipping over 33 million books to 49 different countries since 1988. Over the past 12 months BFA has shipped 2.4 million books, 665 computers and 200 e-readers containing 1.6 million digital books, as well as five new law and human rights libraries to 21 African countries. More than $2.3 million was raised last year to ship the books to the students of Africa.

Other highlights from fiscal year 2015, which ended June 30, include:

  • Top recipient countries were Nigeria (46 container units with each container holding 11,000 books), Ethiopia (22 container units), and Ghana, Kenya and Uganda (20 units each).
  • The top shipping partner was the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation of Nigeria. BFA completed a $600,000 grant from the Foundation to ship over one million books valued at over $13 million to 19 African countries.
  • Because of increased demand for books, BFA is planning to double its Atlanta warehouse capacity this year.
  • In its effort to reach out to African countries, BFA hosted ambassadors from Uganda, Kenya and Liberia at events in Minnesota and BFA officials were hosted by the Tanzanian ambassador in Washington, D.C.
  • BFA continued to partner with a host of other organizations to ship more books including the Peace Corps, U.S. embassies in Africa, Out of Print, Better World Books, USAID, World Reader and Little Free Library.

BFA was founded by Tom Warth in 1988 with a simple mission: To end the book famine in Africa.

Warth noted that there are over 500 million young people in Africa "so we still have a lot of work to do to end the book famine across the continent. There are a lot of children hungry to read and hungry to learn."

CONTACT: Patrick Plonski, 651-291-2713 (office); 651-491-3391 (cell) or Doug Stone, 651-336-9907 (cell)Source: Books forAfrica