Higher education expenses are increasing at a rapid pace. Do you need help slowing that down? Having provided scholarships to booksellers since 2002, Binc can help!
As a former recipient, I have a strong connection to the Binc Foundation Higher Education Scholarship Program. I also am proud to say that a few of my (former) employees or their dependents have received a scholarship as well. I returned to grad school after vowing to “never write a paper again” at the end of my undergrad experience. The Foundation scholarship helped ease the pain of writing! I now give back to Binc in appreciation for the help of more than a decade ago. I am recently inspired by a former grant recipient who has generously donated back to Binc.
As an employer, I know that job satisfaction and retention can be improved by offering higher education assistance. Small business owners cannot afford to offer tuition assistance to their booksellers but the Binc Foundation scholarship can help. The program is administered by Scholarship America using a third-party process to evaluate applicants. Selection criteria include financial need, prior academic achievement and leadership. Eligibility includes current bookstore employees/owners and their dependents as well as former Borders Group employees and their dependents. The scholarship can be used for tuition, room & board, supplies or books.
Reading the thank you notes from previous scholarship winners at the committee meetings is enjoyed by the volunteers. It helps to put a personal feel to the help Binc gives. We love to hear that the Binc Foundation Higher Education Scholarship Program has helped. One recent scholarship recipient wrote:
“The past few years I’ve spent in bookselling have literally changed my life. I’m pursuing an MA and MFA in Children’s Literature because of all the books I fell in love with working at Brazos Bookstore! I wouldn’t know the person I want to be without bookselling, and I hope with my degree, and this award’s help, I can bring more fantastic books to our stores.”
– Liz Wright, Brazos Bookstore
Binc’s Scholarship Program opens January 16th
The 2017 Binc Foundation Scholarship program includes $10,000, $5,000 and $3,500 level awards and launches January 16, 2017! Please ensure that you’ve submitted your application by March 6, 2017.
Thanks and good luck!
– Christie Roehl, Binc board Secretary and Program Committee Chair
Welcome to Part 2 of Binc’s 2016 year in review. You can read Part 1 here.
Co-Ambassadors Come On-board
In August we received the best 20th anniversary present we could have ever asked for. Board member, and HarperCollins sales rep, Kate McCune worked her magic and brought author, and Parnassus Books co-owner Ann Patchetton board as Binc’s Ambassador. Ann, in turn, asked her friend and colleague author James Patterson to act as Co-ambassador and he accepted! With their combined support, our Co-Ambassadors continue to introduce Binc and our mission to book industry professionals across the country. By increasing awareness of Binc and our mission, our Co-Ambassadors have gotten us on the radar of even more booksellers in need across the country leading to an increase in assistance requests, grants awarded and using their influence, to help generate philanthropic revenue for the Foundation. We are beyond thrilled to have Ann Patchett and James Patterson support our mission to help booksellers in need.
#BankonBooksellers Piggy Bank Auction
In September, Ambassador Patchett’s bookstore, Parnassus Books, held a fundraiser to support their bookseller, Stephanie. Stephanie had been diagnosed with breast cancer forcing her to stop working at the store to undergo treatment. The employees of Parnassus wanted to do something to help Stephanie through treatment, to give her time to heal and financial resources to pay her bills. They reached out to many of their famous friends with an idea to decorate piggy banks and sell them as a fundraiser for Steph, and got back more than 100 piggy banks decorated by authors, artists and celebrities! The BankOnBooksellers auction was off and running! The fundraiser was going so well, that Stephanie wanted to give to other booksellers in need, so Parnassus decided to donate part of the proceeds to Binc! Ambassador Patchett sent us this video, announcing that we would be receiving part of the proceeds
We were beyond grateful at the generosity not only of the Parnassus staff but of the authors, artists and celebrities who created the works of art for the auction! Thank you all! Book People are the Best People.
Regional Fall Trade Show Travel
As the piggy bank auction ended, the Binc staff and board were busy traveling to the Regional Fall trade shows across the country. We started at SIBA in Savannah, GA. Next it was NEIBA in Providence, RI. We then traveled to PNBA in Tacoma, WA. Heartland Fall Forum took us to Minneapolis, MN. In Denver, Co we attended the MPIBA show. Next we went to the NAIBA show in Baltimore, MD. The SCIBA show was held in North Hollywood. Last, but not least, NCIBA wrapped up the season in San Francisco, CA.
The fall regional trade shows are all packed full of great author talks, conversations with booksellers, store owners, publishers and distributors. We love seeing old friends and meeting new ones. We can’t thank the Executive Directors of the regional bookseller’s associations enough for welcoming us at the shows and for supporting us through the year. We appreciate everything you do to help!
Borders Reunion – Party with a Purpose
During our 20th year we wanted to make sure we celebrated and thanked all of our supporters including those who helped to create the Foundation. On October 23rd, Borders alumni, former Borders Group Foundation members and current Binc supporters gathered for an afternoon to catch up, reminisce, and write notes to Foundation friends past and present. Binc’s #1 volunteer, Toni McGinn checked everyone’s badges at the door, just like old times. Bill Edwards and Judy Banker performed on stage for everyone and there was a silent auction for baskets filled with Borders memorabilia, independent bookstore goodies and other book swag. A great time was had by all and attendees wrote over 100 notes to Binc supporters. Many thanks to our volunteer event planning committee Jennifer Hawkins, Judey Kalchik, Mark Brown, Jeanne Joesten and Barbara Kinzer for their time and effort in coordinating and running the celebration!
Bluffton Book Festival
Throughout 2016, Binc Board of Directors member, and Rock Inked, Inc.founder, Rockelle Henderson, worked diligently to create a book festival in her hometown of Bluffton, SC. On November 18th and 19th, the Inaugural Bluffton Book Festival was held to benefit the community and all the book lovers in the Bluffton area. The event featured author talks, book signings, food, drinks, live music, read-alouds for children, raffles and more. Part of the proceeds of this fun event were donated to Binc! Kudos to Rockelle and the BBF event volunteers for your hard work in getting this fantastic event off the ground! We’re looking forward to next year!
Kit Steinaway with BBF Founder Rockelle Henderson and Literacy Center ED, Pam Wall.
YEA Fundraising goal met!
The Binc Foundation continues to move toward becoming an industry sustained organization helping booksellers in need. Thanks to many industry partners, bookstores, and individuals for helping us exceed our fundraising goal for 2016. Our goal was to reach $100,000 – thanks to you we raised $125,000!
Some highlights and special thank you’s go to our Co-ambassadors Ann Patchett and James Patterson. Their work is raising the awareness of Binc and this is good for all booksellers.
Also, notable was the $10,000 gift we received from Ingram Content Group in honor of their business clients. This was a remarkable gift!
Sourcebooks generously offered to match their employees donations for the second year.
We were provided with not one but two matching gift challenges to boost our year end “Think Binc” campaign. Thanks to all of our board members for giving a little “extra gift”. Our second matching gift challenge “Pay it Forward” was created by a very grateful past grant recipient and her partner. They wanted to give back and pat it forward so other booksellers could be helped. Both challenges helped to raise over $14,000!
Thank you to everyone that made 2016 such a successful year for Binc. From our board to our donors or our industry supporters to the booksellers that we are here to help, we are not able to fully express our sincere gratitude for your support and effort in helping us fulfill our mission to make the book industry stronger. We can’t wait to see what exciting things 2017 will bring and we are inspired and ready to work even harder to help book people.
What a year 2016 was for Binc! When we sat down to think about all the things that we did in 2016 we were blown away by our accomplishments and by the huge amount of support we received from across the book industry!
We invite you to enjoy Part One of our 2016 accomplishments! Part Two is coming soon!
Higher Education Scholarship Program
In 2016, Binc awarded 27 higher education scholarships to bookstore employees, bookstore owners or their dependents for a total of $109,000 in assistance! These scholarships will help booksellers, and their family members, achieve their dreams of becoming doctors, lawyers, authors, career booksellers, teachers and social workers. We couldn’t be more proud of our recipients and love receiving thank you notes from them.
“I honestly can’t say enough how grateful I am for Binc. With the Foundation’s tremendous support, I am able to continue my college education without as much stress on my financial situation as I have in the past. The scholarship means even more to my parents who work so hard as independent bookstore owners.”
The 2017 Higher Education Scholarship Program begins accepting applications on January 16th. Check the scholarship page for more information and to apply.
We Turned 20 years old!
On February 20, 2016 Binc celebrated our 20th anniversary! We have spent the whole year gratefully reflecting on everyone who helped us along the way! From the original group of Borders employees that started the Foundation as a way to help their fellow employees in need, to the board members that worked to forge the transition and created the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, to our current board, staff and supporters. Many people have worked to make sure the original mission of helping booksellers in need will endure.
To kick off the 20th anniversary celebration, we worked with our good friends at Shelf Awareness to create a dedicated issue to chronicle the history of The Foundation and to thank our many supporters – old and new. It was an “enlightening” and exciting endeavor for us!
Winter Institute – Denver, CO
Pam and Kit attended ABA’s Winter Institute in sunny Denver. Their time was action-packed from the opening reception held at the iconic Tattered Cover Bookstore to welcoming the Binc Scholarship recipients* to meetings at their Consultation Station.
A highlight was getting to meet the 2016 scholarship recipients. Binc board members, committee members and scholarship recipients come together for dinner on Sunday evening. And of course, the topic most discussed….book recommendations! Unfortunately, a snowstorm kept David Bradley from attending, but now we have a reason to visit the Research Triangle Park area of NC.
As always, the education sessions were informative and useful. The New Localism session outlined the importance of maintaining local business for healthy and sustainable communities. And keynote speaker Kwame Alexander passed a few of his secrets to success – “Always smile and say yes”.
Another high point of our 20th year celebration was to gather our board of directors for the first in-person board meeting preceding BEA in Chicago. Our board members are spread across different parts of the country and many had never met in person before. It was so beneficial for everyone to meet face to face and to get to know each other between sessions. Discussing topics that ranged from past accomplishments and successes to creating our strategic road map for future planning and goal setting, the board came away energized about Binc’s future.
We also had cake!
Book Expo America
After our board meeting we were ready to go to Book Expo America. We visited with lots of old friends from across the book industry, on the trade show floor! From publishers to authors to booksellers the book industry mixed and mingled. We also had the chance to meet many new booksellers who were attending BEA for the first time because of the new Chicago location. After the tradeshow floor closed, Binc staff and board members hosted a 20th anniversary “Drinks with Binc” party. We had a great turn out with Binc fans from all facets of the book industry having a great time catching up with friends and colleagues.
For a third time, Binc was the designated charity for the very popular Publishers Group Westparty! This was PGW’s 40th anniversary party and their guests generously donated almost $1,300 to Binc to help booksellers. The great Mavis Staples and her band put on a tremendous show and had everyone cheering for more!
Kathy Bartson joins Binc as Development Director
Not long after returning from BEA, Binc became a staff of 4. Kathy Bartson joined Binc as Development Director and hit the ground running. Our goal of ensuring the financial security of the Foundation is being achieved everyday as Kathy helps to spread the message of how Binc helps the book industry. Kathy is focused on continuing the Foundation’s work with individuals, publishers, authors and many others toward becoming an industry-sustained organization.
Binc’s First Children’s Institute
Children’s book buyers from across the country met in Orlando in June for the ABA’s Children’s Institute. Binc was please to be included as part of the Consultation Station and was warmly received by the booksellers and authors attending. This conference gave Binc the opportunity to get our message to a new group of booksellers, many of whom have not attended other nation bookseller events, leading to several booksellers in need applying for financial assistance. There is no substitute for talking to bookstore owners and booksellers face to face – wherever they are meeting! You can read a summary blog from Program Committee member Hannah Lee who attended Children’s Institute.
Published with permission from Ingram Content Group. Many thanks to Ingram for their continued support of Binc and our mission to help booksellers across the nation.
Everyone impacts the world through books. Whether it’s the bookstore manager or the librarian who helps a kid select his or her first book, the book publishing industry is supported by people just like you.
When life happens, it’s important to support our peers when times get tough. Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) provides financial assistance to booksellers in need. We recently spoke with Pamela French, Binc’s Executive Director, to find out more about their history and what’s important to them when it comes to helping booksellers in need.
Q: How did the Binc Foundation start?
A: The idea was planted when booksellers on one side of the country were impacted by a natural disaster, and their co-workers wanted to help them. Borders employees and executives set out to create a non-profit organization focused on helping each other.
Over the years, as the Foundation helped more and more booksellers it became a way for all Borders employees to get involved through events, fundraising, and volunteering. After Borders liquidated in 2012, the Foundation expanded to help all booksellers across the nation. We work with supportive partners like Ingram, the American Booksellers Association, and all the regional book associations to let booksellers know Binc is here to help.
This year, the Foundation celebrates 20 years of helping booksellers! More than 7,000 booksellers and their families have received just over $6M in support from Binc.
Q: What’s the importance of helping those in the book industry?
A: People get into the book industry out of a passion and love for reading, writing and sharing ideas. The Binc Foundation safety net strengthens the book industry by allowing book people to continue the work they love.
Q: What’s your history with books and their impact?
A: I’m fortunate to have always had books in my life. From a young age, I remember my parents reading to me and spending time every evening reading their own books. It was a natural path to take when I graduate from college. I answered an ad in a newspaper for a manager-in-training at Waldenbooks in Salt Lake City. I, then, spent the next 23 years on the retail side of the industry with Waldenbooks, Brentano’s, and then Borders.
Q: What has been your most memorable fundraiser?
A: One of the most memorable was a fall fundraising Zombie Apocalypse event that took place on Halloween weekend. The event was held at a brewing company complete with beer tasting and a silent auction. We even had a local dance troupe performed the dance from Thriller! They were dressed as zombie ballerinas and did an outstanding performance. It was very memorable and got a wide range of people involved
Q: What has been Binc’s proudest moment?
A: There are two that really stick out. The first was while I was visiting family in West Virginia. After three years of working to raise awareness about the Binc Foundation across the country, I walked into a bookstore to let them know about Binc. Before I even said a word the bookseller saw my card and the Binc logo and said, “Hey, I know about the Foundation.” It was one of those moments that you work towards and when it happens you know the hard work has paid off because booksellers know they can find help when they face a financial crisis.
Additionally, a dream come true moment happened this year when Ann Patchett enthusiastically agreed to be the inaugural Binc Ambassador. And she brought James Patterson on board as co-ambassador. It all came together this summer, and some days, it still feels like a dream. It’s an indication that the hard work of the volunteers, board members, store owners, and staff has paid off. More booksellers will learn about Binc not only when they need help, but if they want to give help too.
Q: How can someone get involved? What are the different committees someone can join?
A: Anyone interested in helping booksellers can get involved byjoining a committee. The committees focus on programs, finance, marketing, and fundraising. We are always looking to expand our expertise within the book industry, and joining one of our committees is a great way to help. Also, if someone is interested in board service I’d love to talk with them. We are currently looking to add a lawyer and a store owner to our board.
And, of course, becoming a donor is another way to get involved and help ensure the Foundation is around for another 20 years.
Q: Last year, you gave 27 students a total of $109,000 in scholarships to fund their education. What’s the power of these scholarships for students?
A: The higher education scholarships give students the freedom to focus on their studies without worrying about where the money will come from to pay tuition or student loans. We have gotten many wonderful thank you notes from recipients saying how Binc’s scholarship has helped them achieve their career goals. Also, we’ve heard from family members about how a scholarship for their dependent helped them remain employed at their bookstore job while sending their child to college.
In one specific situation, a bookseller from Idaho was attending college to become a primary school teacher. Binc was able to assist with his final year of college, giving financial relief to his growing and financially stressed family. Binc’s scholarship helped produce one of the few male primary school teachers in the area, and this former bookseller, is now molding readers of the future and instilling a love of reading and books in children.
Q: What are Binc’s goals for the next five years? How will the organization grow to support our book community?
A: We spent that past four years not only spreading the word that the Foundation is here to help, but also working to determine if there was a longer term need for Binc. Through the number of grant requests, survey feedback, and overall interest we have determined that yes, there is a need for the Foundation’s services.
Our strategic framework for the next five years includes:
Awareness of and pride in the role Binc plays in helping to create a healthy and diverse bookstore community. Every bookstore and employee across the country knows about Binc and takes personal pride in and ownership of Binc as “my Foundation.”
Financially sustained by the industry; including publishers, distributors, wholesalers, authors, bookstores, and the public.
Strong and meaningful partnerships with the industry leaders.
Build on our program support to continue to meet the needs of the industry.
The Tuesday after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday isGiving Tuesday, an international day dedicated to generosity and giving back. On Tuesday, November 29th, the world will again come together to “get out the give” and support hundreds of charitable organizations by donating money and time to promote nonprofits that are important to them and the individuals they support.
Our Board of Directors have pooled their “extra” gifts this year to create a dollar for dollar* matching gift. Your donation will literally go twice as far on Giving Tuesday. Starting November 29th through December 15th our board will match your gift, doubling your donation.
How can you make sure your gift goes twice as far on Giving Tuesday?
Bestselling author, bookstore owner and Binc Co-Ambassador, Ann Patchett, supports Binc because we are the only not-for-profit organization dedicated to helping bookstore employees in need across the country. Find out more about Ann’s support of Binc:
Binc helps keep booksellers in their jobs, in their families and in their homes by:
Share your story. Have you received a grant from Binc? Share your experience to let others know how the Foundation helped you. Send us a blog post!
As always, the most important thing is…
Giving Tuesday was created to celebrate generosity and giving. The most important thing you can do on Giving Tuesday is to support the nonprofit organizations that are special to you, and that you feel make the world a better place. There is no better reason to give.
On November 29th, we hope you’ll join the #GivingTuesday movement and will generously donate to help Binc continue to support booksellers in need.
These booksellers are proud to support the Binc Foundation and the work we do to provide assistance to bookstore employees in need. Thanks to all the booksellers that appear in this video for their support of the Foundation and for helping us to spread the word!
This post is a reprint of Binc’s dedicated Shelf Awareness Issue from March 30, 2016. To learn more about the Binc Foundation and how we help booksellers you can read the full article, here.
I attended NEIBA’sFall Trade Show in Providence, RI September 20th – 22nd. Great author talks, conversations with booksellers, store owners, publishers and distributors were too numerous to mention them all, so here are my top 10:
Meeting Binc scholarship winners Liz & Russ DeFonce from Moose Maple Books in Saranac Lake, NY. We started talking books, but wandered off into gardening, birds and furniture making. (Check out the gorgeous furniture Russ creates as Bookman Designs)
Andrea Beaty’s presentation of the many “secrets” hidden in the illustrations to her new book, Ada Twist Scientist. It is like a scavenger hunt for fans of her books!
Having booksellers, stores and publishers find their names on our giant donor banner. Everyone likes to see their name in print. Getting to thank our donors in person and fill them in on what their donations have accomplished is something we love to do.
Listening to those not on the list say “Our name should be there.” I was happy to explain all the donation options to ensure that next time around, their name will be listed!
Seeing our Binc magnets and bookmarks on the table at the HarperCollins booth! I’m not sure who in their group put them out, but THANK YOU!
Talking to a variety of people about joining our committees and adding their knowledge and enthusiasm to the Foundation. There is a real interest in helping Binc continue to help book people.
Staying at the Providence Biltmore, a gem of a hotel, built in the 1920’s. The ballroom was an amazing venue for the Awards Dinner!
Listening Elizabeth Strout after receiving the President’s Award. I am a real fan of Olive Kitteridge and My Name is Lucy Barton.
Meeting so many great new-to-me authors and adding too many books to my to-be-read pile. In full disclosure; this happens at all of the trade shows, it isn’t unique to NEIBA.
A big thank you to Steve Fischer, Nan Sorenson and the NEIBA board for including Binc in NEIBA’s fall trade show again this year. I always look forward to the chance we have at the regional shows to address the membership and update booksellers on the state of their Foundation.
2016 Southern Independent Booksellers Alliance trade show is a huge success!
Side Trip to Bluffton, SC Home of the Bluffton Book Festival
Pam, Kathy and Penny traveled to beautiful Savannah, GA for the recent SIBA trade show. On Thursday, Kathy and Pam drove to Bluffton, SC to meet with Binc board member Rockelle Henderson about the upcoming Bluffton Book Festival to be held on November 18 &19. Rockelle is the founder of the event, whose mission is to raise money for two non-profit organizations that support literacy, education, reading, authors, bookselling and the publishing community as a whole and to bring awareness to local and national literary talent in the process. Binc is thrilled to be one of the beneficiaries of the festival. While in Bluffton, Rockelle and Binc stopped in at The Storybook Shoppe which will be holding events during the Festival. Follett will be the official bookseller. Thanks to Rockelle, and all everyone involved, for putting the festival together.
Bank On Booksellers Piggy Bank Auction
Thursday also marked the kick-off of The Bank on Booksellers piggy bank auction, created by Parnassus Books to support their bookseller, Stephanie, who was diagnosed with breast cancer in April of 2016. They reached out to a few of their friends with this idea for Step, and got back over 100 piggy banks decorated by authors, artists and celebrities! The auction is going so well that they decided to donate part of the money raised to Binc to help all booksellers across the country. If you are interested in bidding on a pig, check out the Bidding Owl auction site.
That evening, the whole SiBA group ventured out to Tybee Island via trolley for a party at author Mary Kay Andrews island home, Ebbtide. There was a ton of delicious food to eat from her soon to be released Beach Party Cookbook, and everyone enjoyed it in her simply delightful island home. Many thanks to Mary Kay and her team for their southern hospitality.
Friday Bookseller Education Sessions
Early Friday morning, booksellers gathered for breakfast and the SIBA Annual Meeting before heading into education sessions for the majority of the day. Education sessions ranged from southern women sharing what they’d learned during their time in the book business to an update from the ABA on The New Localism Data first shared at Winter Institute 11. After the education sessions, everyone greeted new writers who have books coming out in the first half of 2017 during the 180 Days Party, a SIBA tradition. The SIBA Supper showcased four excellent authors over dinner, and the Shoe Burning Show offered Spoken Word artists and Southern Soul Music to a tired but happy bookselling crowd.
The Show Gets Underway With Ice Cream
Saturday saw the opening of the trade show floor – split into 2 sections – where booksellers flocked to the Binc table after 3:00pm for ice cream treats. SIBA members stepped up back in May and took the 20 for 20 fundraising challenge and won the award for the most participants from any Indie bookselling association during Binc’s spring fundraiser. As a thank you for such huge support, Binc treated the crowd to ice cream in the afternoon.
This year’s theme for SIBA was “Savannah by the Sea” and in honor of that theme Binc hosted a fundraiser on the show floor on Sunday morning where participants purchased a blinking Sea Turtle pin for $20, in honor of Binc’s 20th anniversary. At the end of the show everyone played the game Heads or Tails, either picking “heads” or “tails”, then Kathy flipped a coin and if their choice was correct, a they could move to the next round.
Congratulations to Ruth Breiphol from The Book Seller in Birmingham, AL for correctly picking heads or tails and winning the grand prize of $500! Thank you to everyone who purchased a Sea Turtle pin and to everyone who sold them. A special thank you to our sponsor for the event, University of North Carolina Press who donated funds to pay for the fundraiser, ensuring that all the money raised would go directly to helping Binc support booksellers. We are happy to report that Binc raised just shy of $2,000 from the fundraiser.
Once again, Wanda Jewell and her team did an excellent job organizing and running the show and all of the events. It was a great kick-off to the season. We are excited to see y’all again next year in New Orleans!
Individuals and stores can easily contribute directly to Binc, which has a 20 for 20 Challenge, encouraging donors to give at least $20 and make it a monthly, automatic deduction.
Helping Binc Help Booksellers
Several companies have helped Binc raise funds in various ways. At Books Inc., which has 11 stores in the San Francisco Bay area, employees can contribute to Binc through payroll deductions, which are matched by Books Inc. up to $100 per employee per year. Books Inc. director of operations Andy Perham noted that the deduction program was “super easy to set up through our payroll processor.”
Ken White originally brought Binc to the attention of Books Inc. managers. Perham remembered, “We were all immediately impressed by Binc’s mission and have been even more impressed in the subsequent years as we’ve seen what Binc is able to do both in providing financial assistance to booksellers experiencing a financial crisis and in the scholarships they are able to provide.”
Similarly, Sourcebooks partnered with Binc for its annual holiday drive: each time a Sourcebooks employee made a donation to Binc, the company matched that donation, and then one of Binc’s donation partners also matched the contribution. Sourcebooks national sales manager Heidi Weiland commented: “We were thrilled to participate, and based on the response we received in 2015, we will absolutely partner with Binc again in 2016. We can’t wait to see what we can accomplish together!”
Weiland noted that in working regularly with independent bookstores, “I have found it to be a universal truth that booksellers are constantly assisting their customers, community members, friends and family with issues outside the realm of books and reading, making a huge impact in their community. These same booksellers are often reluctant to ask for help when they are the ones in need of assistance. This is why Binc is so crucial. Whether they find out about a bookseller’s need through industry professionals, bookstore patrons or community leaders, Binc is there and ready to help.”
A Unique Way to Fund-raise For Binc
Chuck Robinson, co-owner of Village Books, Bellingham and Lynden, Wash., raised money in an unusual way: in a bike ride last year from Washington to Illinois for his 50th high school reunion, he decided to raise money for three communities important to him. One was his home community of Bellingham, the second the community in Illinois where he grew up, and the third was “my community of booksellers all across the country,” he said. “I took pledges for foundations that represent each of these communities, including Binc. By the beginning of November, Binc had collected more than $6,700 from those pledges.
He added: “Many of those dollars came from others in the bookselling and publishing communities, but many came from folks in Bellingham and elsewhere who value books, bookstores, and the people who work in them. I would urge everyone who shares those values to contribute in some way to Binc. I guarantee that you, too, will be happier.”
This post is a reprint of Binc’s dedicated Shelf Awareness Issue from March 30, 2016. To learn more about the Binc Foundation and how we help booksellers you can read the full article, here.
In 2014, Binc conducted a bookseller survey of the book industry and found that bookstore employees needed more and different services that we had previously offered. In response to that survey, we added a Matching Grants program as well as Homelessness Prevention and Utility Shut-off Prevention programs. Financial grants from those programs have helped many booksellers to stabilize their households and move forward knowing there is a safety net in place for them. So far in 2016, seven booksellers have benefitted from Matching Grants.
A Second Bookseller Survey
With the growth and change of both the bookselling industry and the Foundation, it is again time to hear from booksellers about what they want and need in an organization dedicated to helping them in times of financial hardship. Therefore, we are conducting a second industry survey intended at getting a better understanding of the current needs and experiences of the nation’s booksellers.
The survey will be accessible from September 6 to October 23 and will take about 5-7 minutes to complete. Participants will be eligible to win one of four (4) $50 American Express Gift Cards as a thank you for taking the time to complete the survey.
Please Help Spread the Word
Please take a moment to complete the survey to tell us how we can better support bookstore employees and their families in times of financial hardship. Also, please forward the survey to other book industry professionals you know so that they can respond as well. Everyone in the book industry is welcome to provide their feedback and take the survey.