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

Take a Stand Against Domestic Violence

DV-Awareness-Month1

Domestic violence can happen to anyone, regardless of race, age, sexual orientation, religion or gender. 

 

The stereotype of domestic violence is not always the reality. It can happen in any family and to couples who are married, living together or who are dating. Domestic violence crosses all economic backgrounds and education levels. Even if only one person is the target of the abuse, it still affects others in the family. Children growing up in abusive families may develop problems themselves. When they grow up to have partners and children of their own they may allow the pattern to continue. This is why domestic violence is a problem affecting the whole of society.

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3 quick ways to help indie bookseller Chuck Robinson & Book Industry Charitable Foundation

Did you see the Shelf Awareness story about bookseller Chuck Robinson’s upcoming 2400-mile bike ride, which is a fundraiser for the Book Industry Charitable Foundation?

Chuck co-owns Village Books in Bellingham, WA with his wife Dee Robinson, which they have run for 35 years. He’s also a sustaining contributor to the Binc Foundation, and is supporting Binc on his ride because “it has been instrumental in helping booksellers who have suffered hardships or emergencies, and in providing scholarships for higher education. It’s a great foundation – and a way for booksellers and friends to help booksellers.” Since 1996, Binc has provided more than $5.2 million to more than 6,900 families. The Foundation was imagined and built by booksellers and proudly continues to be their safety net.

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Inspiration in Every Message

woman with raised armsI know that it is not a brand’s responsibility to inspire people, customers, or viewers of their ads, through their advertising messages, but the message should persuade us to act favorably upon or consume whatever the brands are selling and promoting. Therefore, it is the promoter’s job to inspire us. Inspire us to feel good about our purchase of their product. Inspire us to want and desire what they have to offer.

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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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Binc Foundation Assistance Rises Dramatically

Foundation Assistance Rises Dramatically

Last year at this time, the Binc Foundation had received and approved two financial assistance grants, both were related to medical expenses. This year, with industry support, Binc has seen a steady increase in requests, receiving 17 requests during the same period. And this year’s requests have been for a wider variety of qualifying events including utility shut-off prevention, loss of household income, homelessness prevention, as well as serious medical expenses. These requests, which average $1,900 are coming from booksellers across the country, working both for independent bookstores and bookstore chains.

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Take our book industry survey for a chance to win Amex gift cards!

In 2013, the Binc Foundation provided financial assistance to 26 families. As a means to help increase the number of booksellers the Binc Foundation is able to help, and to identify potential unmet assistance needs, the Foundation is launching an industry survey to gather information regarding overall awareness of the services Binc provides, improvements that can be made, and ideas for additional ways to assist booksellers

By taking 10 minutes to complete the survey from March 6 – 16, you can help Binc better assist booksellers and you could win an Amex gift card as well! Participants will be eligible to win a grand prize of a $250 Amex gift card or one of ten $25 Amex gift cards.

Amex Gift CardThe Binc Foundation encourages anyone working in the book industry to submit their suggestions. Your answers will enhance Binc’s ability to support the nation’s booksellers.

Our survey is closed. Thanks to those who participated.

For full sweepstakes rules click here.

Help Binc Tell Our Story

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation is pleased to be able to help bookstore employees through times of personal crisis with financial assistance grants. Higher education scholarships allow bookstore employees (or their dependents) to continue their education with less stress associated with the cost of their education. We know that the help we offer improves their immediate situation and allows booksellers to focus on their life in a more enjoyable way. It is the goal of the Binc Foundation to be a cornerstone in a caring community of book people.

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