We Need Your Help in Shaping the Future of the Foundation

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In 2014, Binc conducted a bookseller survey of the book industry and found that bookstore employees needed more and different services that we had previously offered. In response to that survey, we added a Matching Grants program as well as Homelessness Prevention and Utility Shut-off Prevention programs. Financial grants from those programs have helped many booksellers to stabilize their households and move forward knowing there is a safety net in place for them. So far in 2016, seven booksellers have benefitted from Matching Grants.

A Second Bookseller Survey

 
With the growth and change of both the bookselling industry and the Foundation, it is again time to hear from booksellers about what they want and need in an organization dedicated to helping them in times of financial hardship. Therefore, we are conducting a second industry survey intended at getting a better understanding of the current needs and experiences of the nation’s booksellers.

The survey will be accessible from September 6 to October 23 and will take about 5-7 minutes to complete.  Participants will be eligible to win one of four (4) $50 American Express Gift Cards as a thank you for taking the time to complete the survey.

Please Help Spread the Word

 
Please take a moment to complete the survey to tell us how we can better support bookstore employees and their families in times of financial hardship.  Also, please forward the survey to other book industry professionals you know so that they can respond as well. Everyone in the book industry is welcome to provide their feedback and take the survey.

Take the survey today at https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/Binc

Thank you for your input. The results of the survey will be released in January 2017.

Book People Together Ensuring a Lasting Foundation

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The Past

The Binc Foundation was established in 2011 with an expanded mission of helping bookstore employees across the country in situations of hardship. At that time, the Foundation’s Board of Directors and staff decided that three years would be enough time to determine if this newly formed Foundation could be made viable and continue to improve the lives of booksellers. In November of 2014 the Binc Foundation celebrated a successful three years of helping book store employees facing financial emergencies get back on their feet.

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Booksellers Want to Help

Clearly the booksellers who responded to the Marketing Survey want the Foundation to continue and they want to do their part to help Binc thrive. Providing booksellers with simple ways to connect with Binc was a recurring theme. Here are a few suggestions, just click on one to get started.

We know that the best way to engage booksellers in Binc’s mission is with stories of actual cases, putting a human face on the Foundation. To this end we thank grant recipients like Clarey Rudd and Sarah Eschelman for sharing their stories with other booksellers. Leaving a review of Binc on GuideStar is also a great way to connect real people to the assistance Binc provides. If you have a story or a comment, please share it on our GuideStar page.

THE most important service you can perform to further the reach of Binc is to tell every bookseller you know about the Foundation. The majority of our grant applications come to us because a friend or colleague has made a referral.

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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Survey Says…We Must Continue to Raise Awareness

The results of our industry survey are helping us to learn how familiar book industry employees are with the Foundation. While we have made good progress in creating awareness of the Foundation’s programs, there is more to do.

Quote FinchRespondents overwhelmingly said that there is a definite need for the type of services/grants that Binc offers. The book industry agrees that the services that Binc provides are essential to strengthening the bookselling community. However…

17% of respondents were extremely or very familiar with Binc. There is still much more work to do to raise awareness.

Happily, those who already knew about the Foundation had a clear understanding of Binc’s programs and who we help. The work we have been doing to raise awareness is paying off.

Quote donationsFor those who were not as familiar with the Foundation, once our mission was made clear 83% of respondents believe the work Binc does is very or extremely important. We couldn’t agree more!

The vast difference between familiarity and importance indicates an opportunity to gain more supporters. This shows us that as we increase our efforts to create awareness of the Foundation and its programs there is a huge opportunity for more supporters.

Our top source of awareness continues to come from those familiar with Borders and the Borders Group Foundation. Those that learned about the Foundation while working at Borders continue to be our biggest enthusiasts because they understand now, as they did initially, that the programs the Foundation provides are essential to supporting the book industry. Thank you!

Quote Shelf AwarenessThe next best source of awareness comes from industry news sources like Shelf Awareness, Bookselling This Week and the Regional IBA meetings. Binc cannot express how grateful we are for the support we have received from the bookselling industry. Sources like Shelf Awareness and Bookselling This Week have helped so much in getting the word out through placing digital ads, running articles, and sharing content on social media. We appreciate being included as exhibitors, as recipients of fundraising donations, and as presenters in the Regional IBA tradeshows.

These results showed us that Binc still needs your help in raising awareness of the Foundation and our programs. There are many ways for you to get involved and help spread the word farther into the book industry. We are asking you to – become an Advocate, participate in the 100 Bookstore Challenge, write a newsletter article or blog post, or connect with us on social media. If you are a grant recipient, donor, or volunteer you could leave a review of your experience on Guidestar. You can visit our Volunteer page for more information, or email us at info@bincfoundation.org if you have comments or questions.

We would also like to thank our partners Finch Brands for creating an informative survey that will help us better assist the bookselling community in the future.

Thank you again to everyone that took the time to participate in the survey. If you have additional ideas on how to improve awareness send them along.  More results reporting to come.

You Asked For It: Easy Donation Method

You asked quote 1One of the things we were struck by in the results from our recent marketing survey was how many booksellers want to donate to Binc. Again and again, booksellers asked to have a method for easy, no-fuss monthly donations, with a preference for paycheck deductions. The Foundation is aware from our beginnings as the Borders Group Foundation that this method is both easy for the donor and successful for the Foundation. For the first 15 years the Foundation received an average of $2.17 per paycheck from bookstore employees across the country. All those small amounts added together formed a significant amount for financial assistance and scholarships. We know from experience that the strength of many, giving a little makes for a very strong Foundation.

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Taking Binc’s Marketing Survey Pays Off

Marketing survey pays offCA2M via photopin cc

Binc would like to thank the 369 booksellers and book lovers who took the time to complete our recent marketing survey. This survey was vital in the Foundation’s effort to get the pulse of the book industry, the very important direct feedback from those working on the front lines of bookselling. From the survey Binc hopes to learn what booksellers know about the Foundation, whether our programs and services are relevant and what the industry would like to see from the Foundation going forward. We are sure that your thoughtful responses will help Binc tailor programs and services to assist booksellers in the best possible way.

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