Getting Creative: Binc supporters help in unique ways

One of the best parts about working to provide a safety net for booksellers is the immense amount of creativity in the book industry. Book lovers and businesses don’t just offer their financial assistance, they think of new and creative ways to leverage their skills to best help Binc help booksellers.

In the past few weeks, we have experienced an outpouring of creative support from companies and individuals across the book industry.

Ingram Content Group offered Binc a burst of support and awareness with their #IngramForIndies campaign during the week leading up to Independent Bookstore Day. The campaign quickly surpassed its goal of more than 40 shares and retweets well before the Bookstore Day deadline and Binc received a $4,500 donation and increased visibility as a result. To top it off, Ingram hosted a raffle benefiting Binc on Bookstore Day at Parnassus Books in Nashville.

#IngramForIndies combined digital awareness, fundraising and a swell soiree (Courtesy Photo/Ingram Content Group)

Ingram isn’t alone in providing creative corporate support for the bookseller safety net. Take Basil Software, for example. The company has been long-time Binc supporters. But this year Basil found a creative way to help Binc even more. Basil is offering a one-time donation for every one of their customer stores who joins as a $20/month sustaining donor during our Campaign to Sustain.

Creative giving doesn’t stop with corporate supporters. Binc Ambassador Ann Patchett has offered an autographed copy of her latest award-winning novel Commonwealth to anyone who becomes a minimum $20/month sustaining donor.

The first 80 people to join Binc as a $20/month sustaining donor during Campaign to Sustain will receive an autographed copy of Ann Patchett’s latest novel!

Bookstores can also partner with Binc to help spread awareness and raise funds. Bank Square Books and Savoy Bookshop and Café recently provided Binc with several copies of Neil Gaiman’s latest book, Norse Mythology. Current sustaining donors who successfully encourage their friends and family to join during Campaign to Sustain will be entered for a chance to win one of five copies.

Bank Square Books and Savoy Bookshop and Cafe donated fabulous prizes for existing sustaining donors who encourage friends and family members to join during Campaign to Sustain.

Binc’s partnerships extend beyond help with our annual donor drive. Looking forward, we are planning a June collaboration with AdventureKEEN with the help of Ingram and edelweiss. The campaign is called “Shop Local, Live Local,” and will direct the company’s profits from June sales of regional AdventureKEEN books to support Binc. Booksellers and store owners interested in participating in the event can find more information here.

The people who care about booksellers are some of the most creative and generous people in the world. We want to hear from you because we know you have great ideas. Call us. Email us. Message us on social media. We want to work with you to strengthen the bookseller safety net.

Why don’t you apply?

Tim Smith, General Manager of Schuler Books, stopped by the Binc offices to meet with (from left) Kathy, Pam and Kit.

Tim Smith, General Manager of Schuler Books, stopped by the Binc offices to meet with (from left) Kathy, Pam and Kit. Binc is always willing to meet with booksellers, store owners and other book industry representatives to discuss our programming.

A letter to Booksellers,

Some of the results from our recent bookseller survey both surprised and saddened us. While 31% of you said you had been in a position of needing emergency assistance in the past two years, only 7.6% of you applied to Binc for help. Our goal has always been to have every bookseller in need look to Binc for assistance. We want you all to Think Binc first when you need help. We know we have a long way to go to reach that goal, and only when each and every booksellers reaches out to Binc first will we have succeeded. To help reach that goal, we need to clear up some common misconceptions about the Foundation.

Here are the reasons booksellers gave for not applying to Binc, and why those reasons shouldn’t deter you.

“I wasn’t aware Binc existed.”
We are working hard to reach each and every bookseller across the country. With the help of the ABA, the regional bookseller associations, Ingram, edelweiss, Shelf Awareness, Publishers Weekly, industry leaders, bookstore owners & managers and booksellers, we have made great strides. But clearly we have farther to go. You can help as well; when you visit bookstores be sure to tell the bookstore employees about Binc. Remind them to ThinkBinc!

“I didn’t think I’d qualify.”
We want every bookseller with a need to call us. Often when a you think you won’t qualify, you do. Give us a chance to talk about your challenge and see how Binc can help. We can’t always give a financial grant, but we promise to not leave you without resources to help you through your situation.

“I was afraid others would find out.”
We pride ourselves on confidential and compassionate service. You can call Binc toll free at 866-733-9064 or email us at help@bincfoundation.org, apply, receive assistance and no one outside Binc will ever know. We never reveal the names of any of our grant recipients without their full and enthusiastic approval.

“I was too embarrassed to ask for assistance.”
Binc isn’t here to judge, we are here to help. Needing a helping hand shouldn’t be embarrassing, we all need a little help now and then. Binc wants to help at the first sign of the hardship, saving you months of potential stress over how to pay your bills.

“It seemed like too much paperwork.”
We try to simplify the application process, asking for only the documents we are legally required to collect. We have streamlined our application as much as possible. We want the process to be easy and not to create more stress for you.

“The whole process was confusing.”
We know that the stress of a financial hardship can be overwhelming. Call us and we can walk you through the steps to apply. Don’t let temporary confusion lead to an overwhelming debt burden in the future.

“I figured there was somebody else who might have a bigger need.”
If you are having trouble paying your bills, then there is no one with a bigger need. We are constantly working to raise funds from industry supporters to make sure that there will always be enough money to cover bookseller’s needs, big or small. Also, we know that helping someone with a small need today can prevent it from turning into a larger need down the road.

“I’m a bookstore owner, not an employee.”
If you make your living from the bookstore, whether owner or employee, then you are eligible. Owners can have needs that are just as great as their employees. Often, helping an owner overcome personal financial hardships is what allows the bookstore to remain open, and therefore keeping other bookselling jobs.

“My bookstore closed, so I wasn’t eligible.”
Binc can now help employees who qualify for up to 12 months after the closing of the bookstore.

“I received enough support through other channels.”
OK, this may be the only answer that is acceptable. But for those who don’t have other alternatives, ThinkBinc!

If this letter has any effect, we hope it is to encourage you and your fellow booksellers to call us. We only exist to help booksellers through whatever life throws at you. Whether we help by paying your bills, provide you with additional resources in your area, help you mediate medical bills, or combination of all three, we promise to do all we can to help you get through the difficulty you are facing.

Remember, there is a 100% chance we won’t help if you don’t contact us!

Sincerely,

The Binc Team

2016 Campaign to Sustain – We thank our donors!

Campaign to Sustain

The Binc Foundation would like to thank everyone who donated to our 2016 Campaign to Sustain in the month of May. With your help (all 32 of you!) we were able to raise funds that will be used to grant financial assistance to booksellers from across the country facing financial crisis.

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Payroll deduction – An Easy Way to help Binc

Payroll deduction

What if donating to Binc was quick, easy and still benefited booksellers across the country in times of financial hardship? It already is! Bookstores like Books Inc. and Maria’s Bookshop have found an effective and convenient way to help support Binc by starting voluntary recurring payroll deduction programs at their stores. These programs allow bookstore employees to donate a small amount from each paycheck to Binc in order to help Binc fund programs to assist their colleagues in need. These small amounts from many booksellers add up to big help for someone facing a financial hardship.

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Visiting With Old Friends and New Bookstores at NEIBA 2015

Thanks NEIBA

From October 6 to 8 the Rhode Island Convention Center was home for the New England Independent Booksellers Association’s (NEIBA) annual fall meeting and trade show. Pam was pleased to represent Binc at the show, where education, networking with other booksellers and previewing new books were essential parts of the event.

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Get on the Local First Bandwagon

Local FirstStacy Mitchell, from the Institute for Self-Reliance, gave the audience at this fall’s Heartland Fall Forum a pep-talk about the popularity of buy local campaigns. Interest in local businesses and what they can offer to their communities is on the rise. In many areas local businesses are opening at a higher rate than non-local businesses. More and more it is becoming apparent that Americans want to live in cities and towns with a strong indie presence. People want to get back to basics, create a more personal environment and the makeup of their communities matter to them. These tighter knit communities include grocers, hardware stores, restaurants, pet stores, and yes, bookstores too. Stacy sees this as a backlash to the decades of impersonal big box stores that have pushed out the more traditional mom and pop operations.

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Visiting Bookstores? Help Binc Spread the Word

help spread the word

Are you a publisher’s sales rep, sidelines provider, author, or a book lover who regularly visits bookstores?

If you are, you can help Binc spread the word to booksellers about the assistance available from the Foundation. In the past three years, our staff, board & committee members, and supporters have personally visited more than100 bookstores. We can use your help reaching even more bookstores across the country! We know for a fact that a personal visit to a bookstore improves the odds that their employees will take advantage of our services. We realize that the help we provide can seem like it is too-good-to-be-true, that is where corroboration by a real person comes in to play. The value of having our message reinforced by publishers, industry representatives, authors and supporters is priceless.

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Binc Tribute Scholarship Honors Bookseller, Karl Pohrt

Karl Pohrt

“Many people have claimed that literature can change lives. But few individuals lived and experienced life more committed to this belief than Karl Pohrt. He not only believed that literature provided the opportunity to inhabit and experience the lives of others—thereby more deeply understanding the human condition—but he also believed that in doing so writing and reading became transformative, political acts. For there is no greater agent for peace and understanding than reading the literatures of others.”

– Jeremy Chamberlin, Editor-in-Chief/Publisher Fiction Writers Review

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