Need Scholarship Help? Think Binc!

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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

2016 In Review – Celebrating our 20th Anniversary

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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.”
– Nicole Hillard, scholarship recipient

 

You can learn more about our winners here.

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.

You can read our 20th anniversary blog post here!

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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.

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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”.

 * Binc’s WI Scholarship Winners
Andrea Jones of Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick, VT
James Crossley of Island Books in Mercer Island, WA
David Bradley of Letters Bookshop in Durham, NC
Veronica Brooks-Sigler of Octavia Books in New Orleans, LA
Christopher Hsiang of Compass Books in San Francisco, CA

 

 First In-person Board of Directors Meeting

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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!

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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 West party! 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

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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.

 

Stay tuned for Part Two of our 2016 Review!

 

Binc is kicking off the giving season with help from our board of directors!

2016-yea-1-1The Tuesday after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday is Giving 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 will Double Your Donation on Giving Tuesday!

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?

Donate to Binc today!

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:

  • Keeping bookstores open
  • Covering evacuation, lodging or food and water expenses for a bookseller impacted by a disaster
  • Providing professional development scholarships for booksellers looking to enhance their business
  • Paying to safely house a bookseller who is escaping a situation of domestic violence
  • Providing financial assistance for booksellers in need of emergency surgery
  • Preventing a bookseller from becoming homeless by stopping eviction
  • Providing higher education scholarships

Help Spread the word

The more people that know about our Foundation, the more funds we will be able to raise to help booksellers. Here’s how:

  • Follow us on social media and share what you see
  • Let your colleagues and friends know about how their donation to Binc can help booksellers
  • Write a review for Binc on the Great Nonprofits website
  • 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.

*Gifts matched up to $3,700.

Ken White Tells Why Binc’s Help is Essential to Booksellers

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Ken White, Binc board member and founder of Query Books

We know the profit margin on books is slim. Our bookish world is teeming with smart, talented, independent people who could be making twice as much money somewhere else. But we don’t, because there’s something soul-less about selling stuff you don’t care about. We are purveyors of culture, and that’s as glamorous as being a movie star…minus, of course, the ball gowns and limousines.

So what happens when that glamorous but limousine-less bookseller runs into unexpected financial crisis? From, say, catastrophic hospital bills after a necessary procedure, or escaping an abusive domestic situation? If a bookseller has been living paycheck-to-paycheck, as many of us have done, there might not be much savings in the bank to pay that off. They may be forced into a situation where they have no resources to pay the bills and get back on their feet. That’s where Binc can lend a hand.

Binc Helps a Fellow Bookseller

 
I’ll give an example from one of my early experiences working with Binc. A bookseller (whose identity is known only by two people on staff) missed a few days of work due to a heart attack. Yes, a heart attack. And that bookseller, God bless ‘em, was already back at work a few days later. Between the medical bills and lost income, they were having trouble paying other important bills. Binc was able to step in, get their bills paid, and protect them from further hardship caused by the emergency. I’m proud of this bookseller who soldiered on, and I’m proud of Binc for helping a bookseller pay their bills during a rough spell.

In fact, Binc gave away nearly $55,000 in financial assistance grants in 2015. Binc also gave away over $220,000 in scholarship money for professional development and higher education, some of that for college tuition, and also a number of scholarships to book industry trade events.

No matter our background, there may come a day for any of us when we have to struggle to stay in the business we love. Sometimes a little help is all it takes to sustain a life in books. That’s why I love Binc; it’s the safety net for booksellers.

Many thanks to Binc board member, Diversity Task Force champion, and Query Books founder, Ken White, for sharing why he feels Binc is essential to the well-being of booksellers across the country.

Writing Binc’s Next Chapter on Sustainability

Writing the Next Chapter on SustainabilityThe mission of the Book Industry Charitable Foundation is focused on being an organization that strengthens the bookselling community through financial assistance programs that help bookstore employees and their families in times of personal financial crisis. The Foundation has become a safety net for booksellers across the nation providing care in times of crisis.

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Binc Welcomes Julia Cowlishaw to the Board of Directors

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The Binc Foundation is pleased to welcome Julia Cowlishaw, Director of National Accounts at Ingram Content Group, to the board of directors. Julia brings her experience in many aspects of the book industry to the board. Growing up in California, she got her start in bookselling at Warwick’s in La Jolla while earning a degree in Printmaking at California State University – Long Beach. Julia’s career progressed as she moved to Ann Arbor, MI and started working at Shaman Drum Bookshop, eventually becoming the general manager. Under the mentorship of Karl Pohrt she learned the ropes of the larger world of the book industry before moving back to California to work as a sales rep for Ingram Content Group.

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The Buzz About Binc

We hear many comments about what makes Binc special to booksellers. Here are a few of the comments we have gotten from grant recipients and from donors.

Grant recipients write:

 

“Astronomical medical bills took everything we had . . .We did everything we could to help ourselves, but after a time we simply couldn’t do it . . . Every single penny in savings and there was no end in sight . . . Binc was there when we needed it. I want to be there so that Binc can show the same compassion to others in need.”

Medical expense grant recipient

Read this bookseller’s story here.

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