Books For Africa Receives Fifth Consecutive 4-Star Rating From National Evaluator Charity Navigator

SAINT PAUL, MINN., June 14, 2016 (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 fifth 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 6 % of the charities we evaluate have received at least 5 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 sets Books For Africa apart from its peers and demonstrates to the public its trustworthiness," Dugan continued.

BFA had an overall rating of 97.01, with a financial rating of 95.78 and an accountability and transparency rating of 100. For more information:

"We are very happy once again with Charity Navigator's findings and ratings of BFA," Plonski said. "We are proud that BFA has been able to serve the students of Africa during the past year with more than 2.5 million books and other educational tools like computers and e-readers 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 35 million books to 49 different countries since 1988. Over the past 12 months BFA has shipped more than 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 the past year include:

• Doubling the space in the BFA Atlanta warehouse to over 66,000 square feet. BFA ships its books from the warehouse to the Port of Savannah, where they go by cargo ship to Africa. Dedication of the new warehouse (3655 Atlanta Industrial Drive, Bldg. 250, Atlanta, GA 30331) will take place June 18 from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. featuring the South African Ambassador to the U.S., His Excellency Mninwa Johannes Mahlangu. The Atlanta warehouse has the second most volunteers annually of all non-profits in the Atlanta area.

•Top recipient countries were Ethiopia (22 container units with each container holding 11,000 books), Ghana (16 container units), Kenya and Sierra Leone (14 each) and Tanzania and Cameroon (10 units each).

•In its effort to reach out to African countries, BFA hosted the ambassador from Kenya to the U.S. in Minnesota and BFA officials were hosted by the Ugandan ambassador in Washington, D.C.

• Tom Warth, who founded Books For Africa (BFA) in 1988 after a visit to a small library in Uganda, led more than 25 people in a walk across the island of Zanzibar, off the coast of Tanzania in East Africa, last February to raise money, deliver books and help end the book famine in Africa. After the walk Warth and others returned to the library in Jinja, Uganda, where the idea for Books For Africa was hatched. Warth presented a plague to the library.

•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, Little Free Library, Thomson Reuters, Follett, a book company, and Merck & Co., a medical company.
Warth pointed 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."

A photo accompanying this release is available at:

CONTACT: Doug Stone, 651-336-9907 (cell) Patrick Plonski, 651-602-9844 (office)

Source: Books forAfrica