Room to Read also makes a concerted effort to keep their overheads as low as possible. They have businesses that donate their Frequent Flyer miles so they can fly for free, and hotels around the work have offered them rooms whenever they need them. Cathay Pacific even offered an empty Boeing 777 for a one way trip, and Scholastic donated 400,000 books to fill up the cargo hold. They also have a No Land Rover Policy, because they can't justify the cost, compared to what they could do with that money. See below for some examples:
$75,000 = 1 Land Rover
$75,000 = putting 300 girls on a scholarship
$75,000 = publishing 75,000 copies of local langiage picture books
$75,000 = 15 bilingual libraries in rural Asia serving 7000 children.
Room to Read donates approx 82% of donated funds to programs rather than spending it on overheads.
*That being said there is an authors note at the back of the book where John tells us (with full disclosure as is the Room to Read way) that in Africa they have had to buy a few vehicles, due to the danger and difficulty in travelling on a motor scooter. The cars used have either been donated or are used cars.
As well as examples of how their business is run, there are numerous stories of individual children they have helped. I also suggest having a look at the Room To Read Blog (which can be accessed via their website), as it reports regularly on the work they're doing, and supports that with personal stories. There have even been a series of documentaries made called Six Short Weeks that can be viewed at the link below. Here's the intro from the website:
Over a twelve month span, documentary filmmakers James Connolly and Rachelle Escaravage travelled to Room to Read projects across Asia to tell the stories of some of the children who are benefitting from our programs. This fall, Room to Read is taking you inside our work promoting literacy and gender equality in education through six mini-documentaries the pair shot in India, Laos, Vietnam and Sri Lanka.
John Wood has used his business background and his big business connections along with his passion for books and education to change the lives of million of children around the world. I have included a link to their website, so even if you don't think you will read the book please visit it and see for yourself the work they are doing.