Book Aid International Announces Partnership With the Novus App

In News by Porter Anderson

Book Aid International is now one of the charities that Novus banking app users can choose to support, based on their purchases.

Since 2019, one of Book Aid International’s beneficiary programs has been Echo 100Plus for refugees in Greece, an aid initiative started on the island of Leros. Part of the program is language instruction in Greek and English. Image: Book Aid International, Echo 100Plus

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Novus’ Customers Choose Charitable Contributions
The London-based charity Book Aid International has announced today (August 24) that it’s one of several nonprofit partners chosen by Novus, a relative newcomer to the banking-app market.

Clearly aligned with the prevailing marketing understanding of millennials’ and others’ interest in socially responsible commerce and personal services, Novus’ pitch to new customers includes copy reading, “Creating real impact with every payment. Save animals, plant trees, alleviate hunger, protect the oceans, empower minorities, provide shelter, and more.

“Contribute to the causes that are closest to your heart simply by using our card, at zero cost to  you.”

Indeed, the offer allows users to increase their contributions by several pence using a “boost up” feature.

The company was announced in May in such articles as this one at The Money Pages to be working with Visa for its program, which allows users to track their contributions in real time and offset their carbon footprints based on card activity.

Book Aid International—a program very familiar to readers of Publishing Perspectives—will become one of the charities users of the Novus app can select to receive a small contribution with every purchase. As Book Aid sees it, every £2 (US$2.74) is what it takes for the organization to get another book into one of its programs in educational and refugee settings in several parts of the world.

Alison Tweed

In a prepared statement, Alison Tweed, Book Aid CEO, is quoted, saying, “We believe, as Novus does, that everyone has a role to play in building a more sustainable future for all.”

She speaks of the value of being “part of a growing movement of conscious consumers who want to do good in the world.

“We look forward to sending many more life-changing books to those around the world who need them most with Novus’ support, and to being a part of Novus’ journey.”

Hristian Nedyalkov

Speaking for Novus, its CEO, Hristian Nedyalkov, says, “It’s crucial to us that our charity partners are firstly helping to solve some of the world’s biggest social and environmental problems and secondly able to provide a tangible impact-to-pound ratio so that our members can see exactly the positive impact they’re helping to create.

“In Book Aid International’s case this was a no-brainer—supporting access to education unlocks so many opportunities to change lives for the better.

“Every £2 shared with Book Aid International through the Novus app equates to one brand new book distributed to unlock education for someone in need.”

Other charities nominated to be Novus charity partners include:

  • Bloody Good Period
  • Sightsaver
  • Charity: water
  • FareShare
  • SolarAid

As Publishing Perspectives readers will recall, Book Aid International is also one of the programs chosen for 2021 funding from the Africa Publishing Innovation Fund, helmed by the International Publishers Association (IPA) and its president Bodour Al Qasimi in association with the philanthropic program Dubai Cares. That new grant has been made for Book Aid’s work in Tanzania, where government budget demands have left the Zanzibar region in need of community and school library support.

Beyond the Kids’ Classrooms

Book Aid International books, delivered to Athens for Echo 100Plus. Image: Image: Book Aid International, Echo 100Plus

You’ll often find a misconception about the organization’s areas of operation. Not only is Book Aid International in East, West, and Southern Africa–and in the Horn of Africa–but it also is working in Asia (Bhutan, India, Nepal); the Middle East (Jordan, Iraq, Lebanon, the Palestinian Territories, Syria); Europe (Greece, Italy); and the Caribbean (The Bahamas, Antigua and Barbuda, the British Virgin Islands, Domenica).

In the Echo 100Plus program, for example, the response is being made to as many as 12,000 refugees and asylum seekers in Greece. Most of them, the organization says, have fled the Middle East as well as South and Central Asia. That program’s work broadens the reach of Book Aid International beyond the more frequently seen efforts among schoolchildren, giving displaced adults the linguistic skills they need to begin finding and creating new lives.

“One of our key demographics that we try to serve,” the Echo team tells Book Aid, “are younger single men, due to the fact that they’re often excluded from aid or education programs that prioritize women and children. For them, access to education can be transformational as it allows them to focus on their future and gives them hope.”

Book Aid is credited with delivering more than 2,000 books to this program, with support from Oxford University Press. You can read more about this interesting dimension of Book Aid International’s work here.

Classroom work led by Echo 100Plus for refugees in Greece. One element of the progam focuses on young men who need language skills to begin to integrate and develop new lives and careers amid displacement. Image: Book Aid International, Echo 100Plus

More from Publishing Perspectives on Book Aid International is here, and more from us on charity in the world publishing industry is here.

More from us on the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and its impact on international book publishing is here

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.