January 31, 2015
Please accept my humble pranama. All glories to Srila Gurudeva, Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja. All glories to Sri Guru and Sri Gauranga.
For nearly twenty years now, the English branch of Srila Gurudeva’s publishing house, Gaudiya Vedanta Publications, Inc. (“GVP”), has been translating Srila Gurudeva’s Hindi books and presenting his English lectures. Many of his disciples and followers have expressed that they would like to better understand how GVP functions, since Srila Gurudeva repeatedly stated that the publishing and distribution of his books was most dear to him.
In an attempt to share information about GVP, we will begin by presenting an executive summary of GVP’s financial records from years 2012 and 2013. GVP is a non-profit organization. It is the exclusive licensee of the English intellectual property* of Sri Srimad Bhaktivedanta Narayana Gosvami Maharaja (Srila Gurudeva) and the international licensor for translations of his written works.
When Srila Gurudeva was physically with us, he financed all publications and operations though the donations he received via his General Dhaksin Fund, which I administrated on behalf of Bhakti Projects, Inc along with several other senior devotees. Currently, the publishing of Srila Gurudeva’s books continues with the support of a handful of devotees who donate to GVP’s Endowment Fund or toward general expenses.
The GVP Endowment Fund is an investment fund set up to pay for the printing of each of Srila Gurudeva’s publications, to ensure that they perpetually remain in circulation through the sales income of that title. For every new title GVP prints (or non-endowed older titles), an endowment fund is established. In this way, a person directs his donation toward a specific publication. As the book is sold, its printing cost is put back into that book’s endowment fund. When it is time to reprint it, the capital is waiting in the endowment fund to finance the reprint of that particular title that was already endowed. In other words, a person’s donation for one printing of a particular title is actually a donation for multiple printings. Once a book is endowed, there will always be funds to reprint it.
The GVP Endowment Report presented here shows a list of Srila Gurudeva’s English titles and the funding they have received. Based on GVP’s endowment and fiscal policies, our report has shown the following:
- The Endowment Fund is over 100% financially solvent, by cash and inventory assets.
- Over 65% of Srila Gurudeva’s book titles have been endowed.
- Income/Sales increased by 36.2% from 2010–2011 to 2012–2013 due to a major increase in book distribution.
- Production costs of books (printing, shipping and general expenses directly related to book printing) increased by 58.4% since Srila Gurudeva left in 2010. This is mainly because during Srila Gurudeva’s manifest pastimes, some people would fully donate toward the printing of a particular title, and the other publication needs were often subsidized by individual donors and sevaks as well. All this created extraordinarily low production costs. Since Srila Gurudeva’s departure, GVP has been absorbing the real economic costs* related to book production.
- Overall expenses increased by 31.98%, for the same reasons outlined above.
- Operating margins have been low and thin, which is typical of religious and educational publication companies, in which operating margins are in the low double digits (which is acceptable for a non-profit organization).
We hope this report successfully conveys GVP’s financial status, which we are making public to achieve full financial transparency. Details can be found in the charts, bar graphs and pie graphs below (click link). We are happy to answer any question you may have.
We will be presenting the 2014 report on our next report.
Yours in the service of Hari, Guru, and Vaisnavas,
Vishwambhara dasa, Board Member and Treasurer
*Intellectual property (IP) refers to creations of the mind, such as inventions; literary and artistic works; designs; and symbols, names and images used in commerce. IP is protected in law by,, for example, patents, copyright and trademarks, which enable people to earn recognition or financial benefit from what they invent or create (World Intellectual Property Organization).
* Real economic cost: the overall actual expense involved in creating a good or service for sale to consumers. The real cost of production for a business typically includes the value of all tangible resources such as raw materials and labor that are used in the production process. (BusinessDictionary.com)