Insuring the Well-Being of Bookstores and Booksellers

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The executive director of SIBA, Wanda Jewell, explains why she supports Binc, and why all of us should join her

 

For nearly 20 years, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) has served as booksellers’ safety net, providing short-term financial support for booksellers (and their families) when they face an unexpected financial hardship.

Binc’s first assistance grant was given to a single mother struggling to pay her bills almost 20 years ago. Since that modest grant of $323, the level of assistance has grown, and the average grant today is more than $1,500. Whether the need arises from a natural disaster, serious medical expenses, domestic violence, the threat of eviction, or loss of utilities or household income, Binc works with each bookseller to return to a state of financial equilibrium.

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The High Cost of Putting Things Off

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Each year the pattern is the same for the Binc Scholarship Program. A large number of scholarship applicants begin the process but the number of finished applications lags well behind until the last week. Then in a flurry of activity, the applications are submitted. At the close of the application period there are a fair number of students who have begun, but never submitted their applications. While there are some who decide that the scholarship is not a good fit for them, we imagine others just never returned to complete the process. By procrastinating they are potentially giving up thousands of dollars.

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Take a bite out of college costs with a Binc Scholarship

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“I’m grateful to Binc for allowing me to achieve my goals without breaking the bank.”

2014 Binc scholar from Tennessee

College can cost a bundle, we all know that. But, what exactly is that number? According to The Project on Student Debt, the average is $28,400 per borrower. Seven in 10 seniors (69%) who graduated from public and nonprofit colleges in 2013 had student loan debt. With tuition rising at twice the rate of inflation, that number is steadily increasing. You can get a ballpark estimate of tuition costs in your area and find out how schools determine tuition hikes on the FinAid site. Once you know the amount you will need, you can better address how you will pay for your higher education.

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Binc Celebrates Giving Tuesday

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The Tuesday after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday is Giving Tuesday, an international day dedicated to generosity and giving back. On Tuesday, December 2nd 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

The Binc Foundation is participating in Giving Tuesday to kick off our end of year fundraising campaign. Our Board of Directors has generously agreed to a Board Matching Challenge matching all donations up to $3,020. Your donation will literally go twice as far on Giving Tuesday.

How you can help.

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Booksellers Are Ready for Anything

Expect the unexpected.At the NAIBA Discovery Show in Washington D.C. last weekend, I had a chance to sit in on a very informative and entertaining session titled “Prepare for the Unexpected and Worst-Case Scenarios”. The session was led by Robin Bell from Chesapeake & Hudson and Susan McAnelly from Browseabout Books. These two brought insights from both outside and inside the store. It reminded me that the unexpected happens daily in stores and is not always catastrophic, as is the case with the unexpected events Binc deals with, but can be equally as disruptive to the business at hand. Their presentations and the audience participation that followed reminded everyone that anything can (and often does) happen in a bookstore.

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Binc Provides Professional Scholarships to Booksellers

profdev_treeAs part of Binc’s commitment to strengthening the book industry, this year the Foundation offered Professional Scholarships to all eight of the regional IBAs to help encourage booksellers to attend the regional Discovery Shows and other educational events. Each IBA chose how the funds were to be distributed in the method that best served their membership. We at Binc, were very impressed with the thoughtful ways they chose to distribute the funds. The variety of scholarship criteria emphasizes the unique personalities of each IBA.

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Binc Meets Booksellers Face-to-Face

Binc IBA tableIn this day and age of constant bombardment of “too good to be true” deals, audiences have become rightfully skeptical. How then can Binc reassure booksellers that our offer of financial assistance with no strings attached is the real deal? The answer is to meet face-to-face in a place where we can take time to explain our programs and answer any questions booksellers may have. Ideally, it would be a place that attracts a number of book people from across the industry. A location where those who have been helped can share their experiences with those who are just hearing about the Foundation. That perfect place turns out to be a regional IBA Trade Show (or more accurately, eight separate shows). This year the trade shows have been rebranded as Discovery Shows and this couldn’t fit Binc more appropriately. We are traveling back and forth across the country to help books industry professionals “discover” Binc.

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