Charity Review

  • Issued: April 2017
  • Expires: April 2019

International Book Project

Standards Not Met

  • 6
  • 11
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18

859-254-6771

1440 Delaware Avenue
Lexington, KY 40505

http://www.intlbookproject.org

859-254-6771

1440 Delaware Avenue
Lexington, KY 40505

http://www.intlbookproject.org

Standards Not Met

This organization does not meet one or more of the 20 Standards for Charity Accountability. Click the conclusions section below for more information.

Standards For Charity Accountability

Governance

  1. Board Oversight

    Oversight of Operations and Staff: Standard 1

    Description
    Organizations shall have a board of directors that provides adequate oversight of the charity's operations and its staff. Indication of adequate oversight includes, but is not limited to, regularly scheduled appraisals of the CEO's performance, evidence of disbursement controls such as board approval of the budget, fund raising practices, establishment of a conflict of interest policy, and establishment of accounting procedures sufficient to safeguard charity finances.

    The organization meets this standard.

  2. Board Size

    Number of Board Members: Standard 2

    Description
    Soliciting organizations shall have a board of directors with a minimum of five voting members.

    The organization meets this standard.

  3. Board Meetings

    Frequency and Attendance of Board Meetings: Standard 3

    Description
    An organization shall have a minimum of three evenly spaced meetings per year of the full governing body with a majority in attendance, with face-to-face participation. A conference call of the full board can substitute for one of the three meetings of the governing body. For all meetings, alternative modes of participation are acceptable for those with physical disabilities.

    The organization meets this standard.

  4. Board Compensation

    Compensated Board Members: Standard 4

    Description
    Not more than one or 10% (whichever is greater) directly or indirectly compensated person(s) serving as voting member(s) of the board. Compensated members shall not serve as the board's chair or treasurer.

    The organization meets this standard.

  5. Conflict of Interest

    Conflict of Interest: Standard 5

    Description
    No transaction(s) in which any board or staff members have material conflicting interests with the charity resulting from any relationship or business affiliation. Factors that will be considered when concluding whether or not a related party transaction constitutes a conflict of interest and if such a conflict is material, include, but are not limited to: any arm's length procedures established by the charity; the size of the transaction relative to like expenses of the charity; whether the interested party participated in the board vote on the transaction; if competitive bids were sought and whether the transaction is one-time, recurring or ongoing.

    The organization meets this standard.

Measuring Effectiveness

  1. Effectiveness Policy

    Board Policy on Effectiveness: Standard 6

    Description
    Have a board policy of assessing, no less than every two years, the organization's performance and effectiveness and of determining future actions required to achieve its mission.

    IBP does not meet this Standard because:

    • The organizaiton's effectiveness assessment policy does not specify that the assessment will take place at least once every two years.

  2. Effectiveness Report

    Board Approval of Written Report on Effectiveness: Standard 7

    Description
    Submit to the organization's governing body, for its approval, a written report that outlines the results of the aforementioned performance and effectiveness assessment and recommendations for future actions.

    The BBB is unable to verify if this organization meets this standard.

Finances

  1. Program Expenses

    Program Service Expense Ratio: Standard 8

    Description
    Spend at least 65% of its total expenses on program activities.

    The organization meets this standard.

  2. Fundraising Expenses

    Fund Raising Expense Ratio: Standard 9

    Description
    Spending should be no more than 35% of related contributions on fund raising. Related contributions include donations, legacies, and other gifts received as a result of fund raising efforts.

    The organization meets this standard.

  3. Accumulating Funds

    Ending Net Assets: Standard 10

    Description
    Avoid accumulating funds that could be used for current program activities. To meet this standard, the charity's unrestricted net assets available for use should not be more than three times the size of the past year's expenses or three times the size of the current year's budget, whichever is higher.

    The organization meets this standard.

  4. Audit Report

    Financial Statements: Standard 11

    Description
    Make available to all, on request, complete annual financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. When total annual gross income exceeds $500,000, these statements should be audited in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $500,000, a review by a certified public accountant is sufficient to meet this standard. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $250,000, an internally produced, complete financial statement is sufficient to meet this standard.

    IBP does not meet this Standard because:

    • Its audited financial statements were not prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). According to the auditor's opinion in the 2015 audited financial statements, " the financial statements are prepared on the modified cash basis of accounting, which is a basis of accounting other than accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America."

  5. Detailed Expense Breakdown

    Detailed Functional Breakdown of Expenses: Standard 12

    Description
    Include in the financial statements a breakdown of expenses (e.g., salaries, travel, postage, etc.) that shows what portion of these expenses was allocated to program, fund raising, and administrative activities. If the charity has more than one major program category, the schedule should provide a breakdown for each category.

    The organization meets this standard.

  6. Accurate Expense Reporting

    Accuracy of Expenses in Financial Statements: Standard 13

    Description
    Accurately report the charity's expenses, including any joint cost allocations, in its financial statements. For example, audited or unaudited statements which inaccurately claim zero fund raising expenses or otherwise understate the amount a charity spends on fund raising, and/or overstate the amount it spends on programs will not meet this standard.

    The organization meets this standard.

  7. Budget Plan

    Budget: Standard 14

    Description
    Have a board-approved annual budget for its current fiscal year, outlining projected expenses for major program activities, fund raising, and administration.

    The organization meets this standard.

Fundraising & Info

  1. Truthful Materials

    Misleading Appeals: Standard 15

    Description
    Have solicitations and informational materials, distributed by any means, that are accurate, truthful and not misleading, both in whole and in part. Appeals that omit a clear description of program(s) for which contributions are sought will not meet this standard. A charity should also be able to substantiate that the timing and nature of its expenditures are in accordance with what is stated, expressed, or implied in the charity's solicitations.

    The organization meets this standard.

  2. Annual Report

    Annual Report: Standard 16

    Description
    Have an annual report available to all, on request, that includes: (a) the organization's mission statement, (b) a summary of the past year's program service accomplishments, (c) a roster of the officers and members of the board of directors, (d) financial information that includes (i) total income in the past fiscal year, (ii) expenses in the same program, fund raising and administrative categories as in the financial statements, and (iii) ending net assets.

    IBP does not meet this Standard because:

    • The organization states it did not produce an annual report covering activities conducted in 2015. 

  3. Website Disclosures

    Web Site Disclosures: Standard 17

    Description
    Include on any charity websites that solicit contributions, the same information that is recommended for annual reports, as well as the mailing address of the charity and electronic access to its most recent IRS Form 990.

    IBP does not meet this Standard because the organization's website, www.intlbookproject.org, does not include all of the recommended information for those charity websites that solicit for donations. Specifically, it does not include:

    • A summary of 2015 program service accomplishments.

  4. Donor Privacy

    Privacy for Written Appeals & Internet Privacy: Standard 18

    Description
    Address privacy concerns of donors by (a) providing in written appeals, at least annually, a means (e.g., such as a check off box) for both new and continuing donors to inform the charity if they do not want their name and address shared outside the organization, (b) providing a clear, prominent and easily accessible privacy policy on any of its websites that tells visitors (i) what information, if any, is being collected about them by the charity and how this information will be used, (ii) how to contact the charity to review personal information collected and request corrections, (iii) how to inform the charity (e.g., a check off box) that the visitor does not wish his/her personal information to be shared outside the organization, and (iv) what security measures the charity has in place to protect personal information.

    IBP does not meet this Standard because:

    • The organization's website, www.intlbookproject.org, does not provide access to its privacy policy.  

  5. Cause Marketing Disclosures

    Cause Related Marketing: Standard 19

    Description
    Clearly disclose how the charity benefits from the sale of products or services (i.e., cause-related marketing) that state or imply that a charity will benefit from a consumer sale or transaction. Such promotions should disclose, at the point of solicitation: (a) the actual or anticipated portion of the purchase price that will benefit the charity (e.g., 5 cents will be contributed to abc charity for every xyz company product sold), (b) the duration of the campaign (e.g., the month of October), (c) any maximum or guaranteed minimum contribution amount (e.g., up to a maximum of $200,000).

    The organization meets this standard.

  6. Complaints

    Complaints: Standard 20

    Description
    Respond promptly to and act on complaints brought to its attention by the BBB Wise Giving Alliance and/or local Better Business Bureaus about fund raising practices, privacy policy violations and/or other issues.

    The organization meets this standard.

Conclusion

International Book Project does not meet the following 5 Standards for Charity Accountability:

Standard 6 - Board Policy on Effectiveness
Have a board policy of assessing, no less than every two years, the organization's performance and effectiveness and of determining future actions required to achieve its mission.

IBP does not meet this Standard because:

  • The organizaiton's effectiveness assessment policy does not specify that the assessment will take place at least once every two years.

Standard 11 - Financial Statements
Make available to all, on request, complete annual financial statements prepared in accordance with generally accepted accounting principles. When total annual gross income exceeds $500,000, these statements should be audited in accordance with generally accepted auditing standards. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $500,000, a review by a certified public accountant is sufficient to meet this standard. For charities whose annual gross income is less than $250,000, an internally produced, complete financial statement is sufficient to meet this standard.

IBP does not meet this Standard because:

  • Its audited financial statements were not prepared in accordance with Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP). According to the auditor's opinion in the 2015 audited financial statements, " the financial statements are prepared on the modified cash basis of accounting, which is a basis of accounting other than accounting principles generally accepted in the United States of America."

Standard 16 - Annual Report
Have an annual report available to all, on request, that includes: (a) the organization's mission statement, (b) a summary of the past year's program service accomplishments, (c) a roster of the officers and members of the board of directors, (d) financial information that includes (i) total income in the past fiscal year, (ii) expenses in the same program, fund raising and administrative categories as in the financial statements, and (iii) ending net assets.

IBP does not meet this Standard because:

  • The organization states it did not produce an annual report covering activities conducted in 2015. 

Standard 17 - Web Site Disclosures
Include on any charity websites that solicit contributions, the same information that is recommended for annual reports, as well as the mailing address of the charity and electronic access to its most recent IRS Form 990.

IBP does not meet this Standard because the organization's website, www.intlbookproject.org, does not include all of the recommended information for those charity websites that solicit for donations. Specifically, it does not include:

  • A summary of 2015 program service accomplishments.

Standard 18 - Privacy for Written Appeals & Internet Privacy
Address privacy concerns of donors by (a) providing in written appeals, at least annually, a means (e.g., such as a check off box) for both new and continuing donors to inform the charity if they do not want their name and address shared outside the organization, (b) providing a clear, prominent and easily accessible privacy policy on any of its websites that tells visitors (i) what information, if any, is being collected about them by the charity and how this information will be used, (ii) how to contact the charity to review personal information collected and request corrections, (iii) how to inform the charity (e.g., a check off box) that the visitor does not wish his/her personal information to be shared outside the organization, and (iv) what security measures the charity has in place to protect personal information.

IBP does not meet this Standard because:

  • The organization's website, www.intlbookproject.org, does not provide access to its privacy policy.  

In addition, the BBB Wise Giving Alliance requested but did not receive complete information on the organization’s effectiveness measures and is unable to verify the organization's compliance with the following Standard for Charity Accountability: 7.

International Book Project meets the remaining 14 Standards for Charity Accountability.

Purpose

  • Year, State Incorporated

    1966, Kentucky

  • Stated Purpose

    "to promote education and literacy in developing countries and in areas of need in the United States and to broaden Americans' understanding of their neighbors."

Programs

IBP provides donated books to schools, villages, libraries, universities, and nonprofit organizations around the access to books. The organization's shipments are customized to provide its partners with only the types of books they request and need. IBP also provides donated books to underfunded schools and after school programs in the United States. As reported by the charity, IBP promotes literacy, education and global friendships through its "Books as Bridges" program, which is a cross-cultural pen-pal exchange between students mostly from Kentucky and the organization's book recipient classrooms overseas. Students share letters, artwork, and pictures. "Books as Bridges" also provides Cultural Literacy Lessons for U.S. classrooms to learn more about life in their partner's country. As reported by IBP in the 2015-2016 academic year, the organization had 50 participating classrooms, 46 of those classrooms were in Kentucky and four were from Pennsylvania. International partners included classrooms from Uganda, Ghana, Nigeria, Bulgaria, Kosovo, and Taiwan. In addition, the organization reports it provides a bookshelf stocked with appropriate books for every Habitat for Humanity house and refugee family in Central Kentucky.

For the year December 31, 2015, IBP's program expenses were:

In-kind donations 5,898,962
Program services 307,519
Total Program Expenses: $6,206,481

Governance & Staff

  • Chief Executive

    Lisa Fryman, Executive Director

  • Compensation*

    $51,000

  • Chair of the Board

    Daniel Sprague

  • Chair's Profession / Business Affiliation

    Retired CEO, Council of State Governments

  • Board Size

    11

  • Paid Staff Size

    4

*2016 compensation, as reported by the charity, includes annual salary and, if applicable, benefit plans, expense accounts, and other allowances.

Fundraising

Method(s) Used:

Direct mail, special events, grant proposals, Internet appeals, and cause-related marketing.

Fundraising costs were 1% of related contributions. (Related contributions, which totaled $6,102,236, are donations received as a result of fundraising activities.)

Tax Status

This organization is tax-exempt under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. It is eligible to receive contributions deductible as charitable donations for federal income tax purposes.

Financial

The following information is based on IBP's audited financial statements and the IRS Form 990 for the year ended December 31, 2015.

Source of Funds
In-kind donations 5,898,962
Grants and capital projects 133,980
Sales 59,967
Program fees 53,561
General and shipping contributions 53,491
Interest and dividends 24,790
Fundraising event 15,803
Other income 296
Unrealized loss on investments -38,138
Total Income $6,202,712
  • Programs: 98%
  • Fundraising: 1%
  • Administrative: 1%
Total Income $6,202,712
Program expenses 6,206,481
Fundraising expenses $48,073
Administrative expenses $44,260
Other expenses $0
Total expenses: $6,298,814
Expenses in Excess of Income (-96,102)
Beginning Net Assets 1,025,423
Ending Net Assets 929,321
Total Liabilities 5,155
Total Assets 934,476

Note: According to IBP’s 2015 IRS Form 990, the organization received in-kind donations of $5,898,962 in shipment values of assorted books. IBP's 2015 audited financial statements did not report the value of these donated books. BBB WGA has added this amount to revenue and program service expenses as it was reported in the organization's IRS Form 990.

An organization may change its practices at any time without notice. A copy of this report has been shared with the organization prior to publication. It is not intended to recommend or deprecate, and is furnished solely to assist you in exercising your own judgment. If the report is about a charity and states the charity meets or does not meet the Standards for Charity Accountability, it reflects the results of an evaluation of information and materials provided voluntarily by the charity. The name Better Business Bureau is a registered service mark of the Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.

This report is not to be used for fundraising or promotional purposes.