Seattle, WA   |
GuideStar Charity Check


EIN: 91-6172244


Books to Prisoners believes in the educational, self-empowering, and redemptive values of reading in prison. Our mission is to fulfill the educational and literary needs of prisoners across the United States by sending them books upon request at no charge.

Ruling year info



Dr. Andy Chan


Pat Walker

Main address

92 Pike Street Box A

Seattle, WA 98101 USA

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Subject area info

Adult education

Services for offenders


Population served info


Incarcerated people

NTEE code info

Services to Prisoners/Families (I43)

Adult, Continuing Education (B60)

Civil Rights, Advocacy for Specific Groups (R20)

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Levels of education and literacy are remarkably low among prisoners, and prison library programs are being starved of resources in many state departments of correction.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Core business

Sending books to prisoners (at no cost) across the US. In 2017 we received over 14,000 individual requests from individual prisoners.
In 2019 three fifths of all expenditures were on postage.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


Light A Fire Awards: Purely for the Love Award 2012

Seattle Metropolitan Magazine

Human Rights Award 2015

City of Seattle Human Rights Commission

Sherry Prowda Literary Champion Award 2020

Seattle Arts & Lectures

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Reading and education are proven tools for decreasing recidivism and increasing chances of success for prisoners on and before release.
Books to Prisoners' goal is increasing prisoners' access to reading materials until such time that state departments of corrections and the federal government effectively take on the role of providing all the tools needed for education in their prison systems.

Books to Prisoners (BTP) believes that books are tools for learning and opening minds to new ideas and possibilities. By sending books to prisoners, we hope to foster a love of reading, and encourage the pursuit of knowledge, empowerment, and self-improvement. BTP sends books at the request of prisoners on subjects including race/ethnicity/sexual orientation studies, history, politics, dictionaries/thesauruses, legal materials, structured educational materials, and many others. We do this at no cost to the prisoner because we understand that lack of funds should not be a barrier to education.

BTP advocates for the right of nonprofits to send books to prisoners when state departments of correction refuses to provide adequate materials.

BTP supports the development of other similar nonprofits in North America.

BTP challenges greater restrictions on reading materials at state and federal levels using direct communications as well as social media.

Books to Prisoners has a decades-long proven track record of effective dispersal of hundreds of thousands of books across the US.

Books to Prisoners has sent hundreds of thousands of books to prisoners since 1973.
Between 1994 and 2010 the annual number of book requests BTP processed doubled.

In 2015, after years of being asked "What have you accomplished?" BTP began compiling letters from prisoners. This culminated in the publication in 2019 of the book, "Dear Books to Prisoners: Letters from the Incarcerated", which shines a spotlight on the value to prisoners of reading in general, and the impact of BTP specifically.


Fiscal year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

Revenue vs. expenses:  breakdown

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.

Liquidity in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 0.00 over 7 years

Months of cash in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 21.9 over 7 years

Fringe rate in 2022 info

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Average of 4% over 7 years

Funding sources info

Source: IRS Form 990

Assets & liabilities info

Source: IRS Form 990

Financial data

SOURCE: IRS Form 990


Revenue & expenses

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Balance sheet

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

The balance sheet gives a snapshot of the financial health of an organization at a particular point in time. An organization's total assets should generally exceed its total liabilities, or it cannot survive long, but the types of assets and liabilities must also be considered. For instance, an organization's current assets (cash, receivables, securities, etc.) should be sufficient to cover its current liabilities (payables, deferred revenue, current year loan, and note payments). Otherwise, the organization may face solvency problems. On the other hand, an organization whose cash and equivalents greatly exceed its current liabilities might not be putting its money to best use.

Fiscal year ending: cloud_download Download Data


Financial trends analysis Glossary & formula definitions

Fiscal Year: Jan 01 - Dec 31

SOURCE: IRS Form 990 info

This snapshot of BOOKS TO PRISONERS’s financial trends applies Nonprofit Finance Fund® analysis to data hosted by GuideStar. While it highlights the data that matter most, remember that context is key – numbers only tell part of any story.

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Business model indicators

Profitability info 2020 2022
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) before depreciation $223,653 $102,107
As % of expenses 321.8% 138.5%
Unrestricted surplus (deficit) after depreciation $223,653 $102,107
As % of expenses 321.8% 138.5%
Revenue composition info
Total revenue (unrestricted & restricted) $293,151 $175,839
Total revenue, % change over prior year 0.0% 0.0%
Program services revenue 0.0% 0.0%
Membership dues 0.0% 0.0%
Investment income 0.9% 0.7%
Government grants 0.0% 0.0%
All other grants and contributions 99.1% 99.1%
Other revenue 0.0% 0.2%
Expense composition info
Total expenses before depreciation $69,497 $73,732
Total expenses, % change over prior year 0.0% 0.0%
Personnel 20.6% 13.7%
Professional fees 0.9% 0.0%
Occupancy 21.6% 0.0%
Interest 0.0% 0.0%
Pass-through 0.8% 0.0%
All other expenses 56.1% 86.3%
Full cost components (estimated) info 2020 2022
Total expenses (after depreciation) $69,497 $73,732
One month of savings $5,791 $6,144
Debt principal payment $0 $0
Fixed asset additions $0 $0
Total full costs (estimated) $75,288 $79,876

Capital structure indicators

Liquidity info 2020 2022
Months of cash 63.1 90.1
Months of cash and investments 63.1 90.1
Months of estimated liquid unrestricted net assets 63.1 90.1
Balance sheet composition info 2020 2022
Cash $365,511 $553,346
Investments $0 $0
Receivables $0 $0
Gross land, buildings, equipment (LBE) $0 $0
Accumulated depreciation (as a % of LBE) 0.0% 0.0%
Liabilities (as a % of assets) 0.0% 0.0%
Unrestricted net assets $365,511 $0
Temporarily restricted net assets N/A N/A
Permanently restricted net assets N/A N/A
Total restricted net assets $0 $0
Total net assets $365,511 $553,346

Key data checks

Key data checks info 2020 2022
Material data errors No No


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Form 1023/1024 is not available for this organization


Dr. Andy Chan


Pat Walker

Number of employees

Source: IRS Form 990


Officers, directors, trustees, and key employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of officer and director compensation data for this organization


Highest paid employees

SOURCE: IRS Form 990

Show data for fiscal year
Compensation data
Download up to 5 most recent years of highest paid employee data for this organization


Board of directors
as of 01/23/2024
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board of directors data
Download the most recent year of board of directors data for this organization
Board chair

Andy Chan

Andy Chan

Richard Bond

Pat Walker

Doug Hathaway

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Not applicable
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Not applicable
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 10/20/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.


The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Multi-Racial/Multi-Ethnic (2+ races/ethnicities)
Gender identity
Male, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Decline to state
Disability status
Decline to state

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

Transgender Identity

Sexual orientation


Equity strategies

Last updated: 11/09/2020

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Policies and processes
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.