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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Insuring the Well-Being of Bookstores and Booksellers

campaign to sustain logo

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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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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How Can Old Cell Phones Pay Medical Bills?

cell phone driveThose outdated phones can help pay a bookseller’s emergency expenses when they are recycled through the Binc Foundation.  This fall, at the seven regional IBA Trade Shows, the Binc Foundation will be holding a cell phone drive.  Who doesn’t have at least one old phone collecting dust in some drawer? You can help your staff, friends and customers de-clutter and raise money for booksellers in need at the same time. The funds raised through the cell phone recycling project are turned into assistance for medical bills, help with housing and utilities and more.

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What I Learned from Booksellers

GLIBA spring meeting 2014Being in a room with a group of energetic booksellers was a great way to spend a sunny winter day in Cleveland. The Great Lakes Independent Booksellers Association held their spring meeting with Oren Teicher and Joy Dallanegra-Sanger of the American Booksellers Association leading a lively discussion about what makes indie bookstores special and how they can continue to thrive. It was impossible not to get swept into the tide of creative ideas coming from the 30+ booksellers assembled.

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