Take a bite out of college costs with a Binc Scholarship

Scholarship costs

“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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A Casual Comment Leads to a Magical Pairing

eightfold logo skyDid you ever have one of those very ordinary encounters that snowballs into something much bigger? A casual comment, which grows to a longer conversation, leading to an introduction and all this is followed up with something really extraordinary. That is exactly the chain of events that led to Binc’s relationship with Eightfold Marketing & Creative.

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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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Paying Down Debt Isn’t Impossible

Turning stumbling blocks into stepping stones

The following infographic recently appeared in our email inbox from CompareCards.com. Since many of the financial assistance applicants we hear from have some level of credit card debt, we thought we would pass it along. Even if you have “just a little” credit card debt, paying it down is a good idea and can prevent a bigger problem in the future.

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Binc Assistance Doesn’t End When the Check is Signed

Signed check

Financial assistance from Binc is designed to be a one-time, short-term boost to get a bookseller through an immediate crisis. Rather than providing on-going, long-term financial support, Binc financial assistance is meant to get the bookseller onto a firm footing and allow them to address the bigger problems facing their household. Having that as the goal, we realize that the underlying problem which causes a hardship is often larger than our assistance can cure.  For that reason, Binc’s help doesn’t stop when our check is mailed. When a bookseller comes to Binc for assistance our immediate concern is to help to get the household stabilized. Only after a bookseller and their family is out from under the immediate danger of losing their home or having the utilities shut off, are they able to focus on longer term changes that need to take place within the household. Getting each applicant back to a place of financial equilibrium is our goal for each individual case.

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Life Lessons from Binc Scholars

 

PossibleAs the fall and a new school year approach, we would like to take this opportunity to share some words of wisdom from our latest Binc scholarship winners. Each spring, after the Binc Scholarship Program ends and the awards have been announced, we at Binc have the distinct pleasure of receiving a pile of wonderful thank-you notes. We hear from high school seniors anxiously awaiting the start of their traditional college careers as well as from established booksellers juggling work, family along with their studies. Many of this year’s Binc scholars are well along in attaining their undergraduate or graduate degrees, while others are just beginning and a few have yet to decide the direction their studies will take. Whether they are freshmen or grad students, traditional or non-traditional students, from Vermont or California, they all have stories to tell and lessons to teach us. Here is some of what we have learned from the 2014-2015 class of Binc Scholars.

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Great Reviews Earn Binc Honor as 2014 Top-Rated Nonprofit

GreatNonprofits.org Award is based on Positive Online Reviews

 

Great nonprofits badge

We are excited to be named a Top-Rated 2014 Nonprofit, and are proud of our accomplishments this year. The Foundation is helping an ever increasing number of booksellers through some very tough personal hardships. The recent addition of homelessness prevention and funeral expenses to the financial assistance program are helping Binc reach more booksellers in a real and meaningful way.

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What Booksellers Want

Over 300 book industry employees took our recent Marketing Survey and shared thoughts, ideas and wishes with Binc. This included a mix of bookstore owners, managers and employees, publishers and publishing company employees, freelancers, librarians, bloggers and others in the industry. Respondents chimed in with suggestions for new programs, ideas for improving communication, questions about donating to Binc, possible partnerships, additional information the Foundation could supply, and more. Once the results were analyzed, three main points stood out.

  1. While the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation has made great strides in getting our message out to the book world, there is still much to be done to improve awareness across the industry. If your store would like to help, please post this “badge” on your website and link it to Binc.
  2. Booksellers overwhelmingly want Binc to provide relevant programs to booksellers, by continuing what is already in place and adding new programs. Watch our website, Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn pages for the announcement of upcoming additions to our current program roster.
  3. The third big take-away was to provide easy ways for booksellers to donate and get involved, to help continue the work being done by the Foundation.  We have posted on our website, the simple procedure for setting up automatic payroll deductions at your store.

Booksellers are in agreement that the current financial assistance program offered by Binc is a necessary safety net for booksellers. A number of interesting suggestions for expanding assistance were presented and Binc spend the next few months reviewing and researching these. The present scholarship program (offering both higher education and professional scholarships) was also seen as having great value. Binc recently announced the award winners for the 2014-15 academic year.

The respondents wondered if Binc could partner with other vendors for things like insurance, discounts, and services. Some are not compatible with our 501(c)3 status, but others hold promise. We will take a look at all of the suggestions and weigh the possibilities.

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Matching Grants: A New Pilot Program from Binc

matching grants The Binc Foundation knows that the staff of a bookstore often feels much like a family. Having a colleague struggle with a financial hardship is made more difficult when there seems to be no way to help. The Binc Foundation understands this, and is introducing a new Matching Grant Pilot Program. Now there is a way for booksellers to harness the goodwill of the book people in their community to assist a local bookstore employee in need. Your store can raise funds (by any method they choose) and the Foundation will match those donations dollar-for-dollar up to a maximum of $2,000.

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