Need Scholarship Help? Think Binc!

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Higher education expenses are increasing at a rapid pace. Do you need help slowing that down? Having provided scholarships to booksellers since 2002, Binc can help!

As a former recipient, I have a strong connection to the Binc Foundation Higher Education Scholarship Program. I also am proud to say that a few of my (former) employees or their dependents have received a scholarship as well. I returned to grad school after vowing to “never write a paper again” at the end of my undergrad experience. The Foundation scholarship helped ease the pain of writing! I now give back to Binc in appreciation for the help of more than a decade ago. I am recently inspired by a former grant recipient who has generously donated back to Binc.

As an employer, I know that job satisfaction and retention can be improved by offering higher education assistance. Small business owners cannot afford to offer tuition assistance to their booksellers but the Binc Foundation scholarship can help. The program is administered by Scholarship America using a third-party process to evaluate applicants. Selection criteria include financial need, prior academic achievement and leadership. Eligibility includes current bookstore employees/owners and their dependents as well as former Borders Group employees and their dependents. The scholarship can be used for tuition, room & board, supplies or books.

Reading the thank you notes from previous scholarship winners at the committee meetings is enjoyed by the volunteers. It helps to put a personal feel to the help Binc gives. We love to hear that the Binc Foundation Higher Education Scholarship Program has helped. One recent scholarship recipient wrote:

“The past few years I’ve spent in bookselling have literally changed my life. I’m pursuing an MA and MFA in Children’s Literature because of all the books I fell in love with working at Brazos Bookstore! I wouldn’t know the person I want to be without bookselling, and I hope with my degree, and this award’s help, I can bring more fantastic books to our stores.”
– Liz Wright, Brazos Bookstore

 

Binc’s Scholarship Program opens January 16th

The 2017 Binc Foundation Scholarship program includes $10,000, $5,000 and $3,500 level awards and launches January 16, 2017! Please ensure that you’ve submitted your application by March 6, 2017.

Thanks and good luck!

– Christie Roehl, Binc board Secretary and Program Committee Chair

2016 in Review – Co-Ambassadors Join the Binc Team

Welcome to Part 2 of Binc’s 2016 year in review. You can read Part 1 here.

Co-Ambassadors Come On-board

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In August we received the best 20th anniversary present we could have ever asked for. Board member, and HarperCollins sales rep, Kate McCune worked her magic and brought author, and Parnassus Books co-owner Ann Patchett on board as Binc’s Ambassador. Ann, in turn, asked her friend and colleague author James Patterson to act as Co-ambassador and he accepted! With their combined support, our Co-Ambassadors continue to introduce Binc and our mission to book industry professionals across the country. By increasing awareness of Binc and our mission, our Co-Ambassadors have gotten us on the radar of even more booksellers in need across the country leading to an increase in assistance requests, grants awarded and using their influence, to help generate philanthropic revenue for the Foundation. We are beyond thrilled to have Ann Patchett and James Patterson support our mission to help booksellers in need.

#BankonBooksellers Piggy Bank Auction

In September, Ambassador Patchett’s bookstore, Parnassus Books, held a fundraiser to support their bookseller, Stephanie. Stephanie had been diagnosed with breast cancer forcing her to stop working at the store to undergo treatment. The employees of Parnassus wanted to do something to help Stephanie through treatment, to give her time to heal and financial resources to pay her bills. They reached out to many of their famous friends with an idea to decorate piggy banks and sell them as a fundraiser for Steph, and got back more than 100 piggy banks decorated by authors, artists and celebrities! The BankOnBooksellers auction was off and running! The fundraiser was going so well, that Stephanie wanted to give to other booksellers in need, so Parnassus decided to donate part of the proceeds to Binc! Ambassador Patchett sent us this video, announcing that we would be receiving part of the proceeds

We were beyond grateful at the generosity not only of the Parnassus staff but of the authors, artists and celebrities who created the works of art for the auction! Thank you all! Book People are the Best People.

Regional Fall Trade Show Travel

As the piggy bank auction ended, the Binc staff and board were busy traveling to the Regional Fall trade shows across the country. We started at SIBA in Savannah, GA. Next it was NEIBA in Providence, RI. We then traveled to PNBA in Tacoma, WA. Heartland Fall Forum took us to Minneapolis, MN. In Denver, Co we attended the MPIBA show. Next we went to the NAIBA show in Baltimore, MD. The SCIBA show was held in North Hollywood. Last, but not least, NCIBA wrapped up the season in San Francisco, CA.

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The fall regional trade shows are all packed full of great author talks, conversations with booksellers, store owners, publishers and distributors. We love seeing old friends and meeting new ones. We can’t thank the Executive Directors of the regional bookseller’s associations enough for welcoming us at the shows and for supporting us through the year. We appreciate everything you do to help!

Borders Reunion – Party with a Purpose

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During our 20th year we wanted to make sure we celebrated and thanked all of our supporters including those who helped to create the Foundation. On October 23rd, Borders alumni, former Borders Group Foundation members and current Binc supporters gathered for an afternoon to catch up, reminisce, and write notes to Foundation friends past and present. Binc’s #1 volunteer, Toni McGinn checked everyone’s badges at the door, just like old times. Bill Edwards and Judy Banker performed on stage for everyone and there was a silent auction for baskets filled with Borders memorabilia, independent bookstore goodies and other book swag. A great time was had by all and attendees wrote over 100 notes to Binc supporters. Many thanks to our volunteer event planning committee Jennifer Hawkins, Judey Kalchik, Mark Brown, Jeanne Joesten and Barbara Kinzer for their time and effort in coordinating and running the celebration!

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Bluffton Book Festival

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Throughout 2016, Binc Board of Directors member, and Rock Inked, Inc. founder, Rockelle Henderson, worked diligently to create a book festival in her hometown of Bluffton, SC. On November 18th and 19th, the Inaugural Bluffton Book Festival was held to benefit the community and all the book lovers in the Bluffton area. The event featured author talks, book signings, food, drinks, live music, read-alouds for children, raffles and more. Part of the proceeds of this fun event were donated to Binc! Kudos to Rockelle and the BBF event volunteers for your hard work in getting this fantastic event off the ground! We’re looking forward to next year!

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Kit Steinaway with BBF Founder Rockelle Henderson and Literacy Center ED, Pam Wall.

YEA Fundraising goal met!

The Binc Foundation continues to move toward becoming an industry sustained organization helping booksellers in need. Thanks to many industry partners, bookstores, and individuals for helping us exceed our fundraising goal for 2016. Our goal was to reach $100,000 – thanks to you we raised $125,000!

Some highlights and special thank you’s go to our Co-ambassadors Ann Patchett and James Patterson. Their work is raising the awareness of Binc and this is good for all booksellers.

Also, notable was the $10,000 gift we received from Ingram Content Group in honor of their business clients. This was a remarkable gift!

Sourcebooks generously offered to match their employees donations for the second year.

We were provided with not one but two matching gift challenges to boost our year end “Think Binc” campaign. Thanks to all of our board members for giving a little “extra gift”.  Our second matching gift challenge “Pay it Forward” was created by a very grateful past grant recipient and her partner. They wanted to give back and pat it forward so other booksellers could be helped. Both challenges helped to raise over $14,000!

Thank You!

Thank you to everyone that made 2016 such a successful year for Binc. From our board to our donors or our industry supporters to the booksellers that we are here to help, we are not able to fully express our sincere gratitude for your support and effort in helping us fulfill our mission to make the book industry stronger. We can’t wait to see what exciting things 2017 will bring and we are inspired and ready to work even harder to help book people.

2016 In Review – Celebrating our 20th Anniversary

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What a year 2016 was for Binc! When we sat down to think about all the things that we did in 2016 we were blown away by our accomplishments and by the huge amount of support we received from across the book industry!

We invite you to enjoy Part One of our 2016 accomplishments! Part Two is coming soon!

Higher Education Scholarship Program

In 2016, Binc awarded 27 higher education scholarships to bookstore employees, bookstore owners or their dependents for a total of $109,000 in assistance! These scholarships will help booksellers, and their family members, achieve their dreams of becoming doctors, lawyers, authors, career booksellers, teachers and social workers. We couldn’t be more proud of our recipients and love receiving thank you notes from them.

            “I honestly can’t say enough how grateful I am for Binc. With the Foundation’s tremendous support, I am able to continue my college education without as much stress on my financial situation as I have in the past. The scholarship means even more to my parents who work so hard as independent bookstore owners.”
– Nicole Hillard, scholarship recipient

 

You can learn more about our winners here.

The 2017 Higher Education Scholarship Program begins accepting applications on January 16th. Check the scholarship page for more information and to apply.

We Turned 20 years old!

On February 20, 2016 Binc celebrated our 20th anniversary! We have spent the whole year gratefully reflecting on everyone who helped us along the way! From the original group of Borders employees that started the Foundation as a way to help their fellow employees in need, to the board members that worked to forge the transition and created the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, to our current board, staff and supporters.  Many people have worked to make sure the original mission of helping booksellers in need will endure.

You can read our 20th anniversary blog post here!

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To kick off the 20th anniversary celebration, we worked with our good friends at Shelf Awareness to create a dedicated issue to chronicle the history of The Foundation and to thank our many supporters – old and new. It was an “enlightening” and exciting endeavor for us!

Winter Institute – Denver, CO

Pam and Kit attended ABA’s Winter Institute in sunny Denver. Their time was action-packed from the opening reception held at the iconic Tattered Cover Bookstore to welcoming the Binc Scholarship recipients* to meetings at their Consultation Station.

A highlight was getting to meet the 2016 scholarship recipients. Binc board members, committee members and scholarship recipients come together for dinner on Sunday evening. And of course, the topic most discussed….book recommendations! Unfortunately, a snowstorm kept David Bradley from attending, but now we have a reason to visit the Research Triangle Park area of NC.

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As always, the education sessions were informative and useful. The New Localism session outlined the importance of maintaining local business for healthy and sustainable communities. And keynote speaker Kwame Alexander passed a few of his secrets to success – “Always smile and say yes”.

 * Binc’s WI Scholarship Winners
Andrea Jones of Galaxy Bookshop in Hardwick, VT
James Crossley of Island Books in Mercer Island, WA
David Bradley of Letters Bookshop in Durham, NC
Veronica Brooks-Sigler of Octavia Books in New Orleans, LA
Christopher Hsiang of Compass Books in San Francisco, CA

 

 First In-person Board of Directors Meeting

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Another high point of our 20th year celebration was to gather our board of directors for the first in-person board meeting preceding BEA in Chicago. Our board members are spread across different parts of the country and many had never met in person before. It was so beneficial for everyone to meet face to face and to get to know each other between sessions. Discussing topics that ranged from past accomplishments and successes to creating our strategic road map for future planning and goal setting, the board came away energized about Binc’s future.

We also had cake!

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Book Expo America

After our board meeting we were ready to go to Book Expo America. We visited with lots of old friends from across the book industry, on the trade show floor! From publishers to authors to booksellers the book industry mixed and mingled. We also had the chance to meet many new booksellers who were attending BEA for the first time because of the new Chicago location. After the tradeshow floor closed, Binc staff and board members hosted a 20th anniversary “Drinks with Binc” party. We had a great turn out with Binc fans from all facets of the book industry having a great time catching up with friends and colleagues.

For a third time, Binc was the designated charity for the very popular Publishers Group West party! This was PGW’s 40th anniversary party and their guests generously donated almost $1,300 to Binc to help booksellers. The great Mavis Staples and her band put on a tremendous show and had everyone cheering for more!

 Kathy Bartson joins Binc as Development Director

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Not long after returning from BEA, Binc became a staff of 4. Kathy Bartson joined Binc as Development Director and hit the ground running. Our goal of ensuring the financial security of the Foundation is being achieved everyday as Kathy helps to spread the message of how Binc helps the book industry. Kathy is focused on continuing the Foundation’s work with individuals, publishers, authors and many others toward becoming an industry-sustained organization.

Binc’s First Children’s Institute

Children’s book buyers from across the country met in Orlando in June for the ABA’s Children’s Institute. Binc was please to be included as part of the Consultation Station and was warmly received by the booksellers and authors attending. This conference gave Binc the opportunity to get our message to a new group of booksellers, many of whom have not attended other nation bookseller events, leading to several booksellers in need applying for financial assistance. There is no substitute for talking to bookstore owners and booksellers face to face – wherever they are meeting! You can read a summary blog from Program Committee member Hannah Lee who attended Children’s Institute.

 

Stay tuned for Part Two of our 2016 Review!

 

Ingram Content Group Talks with Pam About How Binc Helps Booksellers

Published with permission from Ingram Content Group. Many thanks to Ingram for their continued support of Binc and our mission to help booksellers across the nation.

Everyone impacts the world through books. Whether it’s the bookstore manager or the librarian who helps a kid select his or her first book, the book publishing industry is supported by people just like you.

Ingram Q & A

When life happens, it’s important to support our peers when times get tough. Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) provides financial assistance to booksellers in need. We recently spoke with Pamela French, Binc’s Executive Director, to find out more about their history and what’s important to them when it comes to helping booksellers in need.

Q: How did the Binc Foundation start?

A: The idea was planted when booksellers on one side of the country were impacted by a natural disaster, and their co-workers wanted to help them. Borders employees and executives set out to create a non-profit organization focused on helping each other.

Over the years, as the Foundation helped more and more booksellers it became a way for all Borders employees to get involved through events, fundraising, and volunteering. After Borders liquidated in 2012, the Foundation expanded to help all booksellers across the nation. We work with supportive partners like Ingram, the American Booksellers Association, and all the regional book associations to let booksellers know Binc is here to help.

This year, the Foundation celebrates 20 years of helping booksellers! More than 7,000 booksellers and their families have received just over $6M in support from Binc.

Q: What’s the importance of helping those in the book industry?

A: People get into the book industry out of a passion and love for reading, writing and sharing ideas. The Binc Foundation safety net strengthens the book industry by allowing book people to continue the work they love.

Q: What’s your history with books and their impact?

A: I’m fortunate to have always had books in my life. From a young age, I remember my parents reading to me and spending time every evening reading their own books. It was a natural path to take when I graduate from college. I answered an ad in a newspaper for a manager-in-training at Waldenbooks in Salt Lake City. I, then, spent the next 23 years on the retail side of the industry with Waldenbooks, Brentano’s, and then Borders.

Q: What has been your most memorable fundraiser?

A: One of the most memorable was a fall fundraising Zombie Apocalypse event that took place on Halloween weekend. The event was held at a brewing company complete with beer tasting and a silent auction. We even had a local dance troupe performed the dance from Thriller! They were dressed as zombie ballerinas and did an outstanding performance. It was very memorable and got a wide range of people involved

Q: What has been Binc’s proudest moment?

A: There are two that really stick out. The first was while I was visiting family in West Virginia. After three years of working to raise awareness about the Binc Foundation across the country, I walked into a bookstore to let them know about Binc. Before I even said a word the bookseller saw my card and the Binc logo and said, “Hey, I know about the Foundation.” It was one of those moments that you work towards and when it happens you know the hard work has paid off because booksellers know they can find help when they face a financial crisis.

Additionally, a dream come true moment happened this year when Ann Patchett enthusiastically agreed to be the inaugural Binc Ambassador. And she brought James Patterson on board as co-ambassador. It all came together this summer, and some days, it still feels like a dream. It’s an indication that the hard work of the volunteers, board members, store owners, and staff has paid off. More booksellers will learn about Binc not only when they need help, but if they want to give help too.

Q: How can someone get involved? What are the different committees someone can join?

A: Anyone interested in helping booksellers can get involved by joining a committee. The committees focus on programs, finance, marketing, and fundraising. We are always looking to expand our expertise within the book industry, and joining one of our committees is a great way to help. Also, if someone is interested in board service I’d love to talk with them. We are currently looking to add a lawyer and a store owner to our board.

And, of course, becoming a donor is another way to get involved and help ensure the Foundation is around for another 20 years.

Q: Last year, you gave 27 students a total of $109,000 in scholarships to fund their education. What’s the power of these scholarships for students?

A: The higher education scholarships give students the freedom to focus on their studies without worrying about where the money will come from to pay tuition or student loans. We have gotten many wonderful thank you notes from recipients saying how Binc’s scholarship has helped them achieve their career goals. Also, we’ve heard from family members about how a scholarship for their dependent helped them remain employed at their bookstore job while sending their child to college.

In one specific situation, a bookseller from Idaho was attending college to become a primary school teacher. Binc was able to assist with his final year of college, giving financial relief to his growing and financially stressed family. Binc’s scholarship helped produce one of the few male primary school teachers in the area, and this former bookseller, is now molding readers of the future and instilling a love of reading and books in children.

Q: What are Binc’s goals for the next five years? How will the organization grow to support our book community?

A: We spent that past four years not only spreading the word that the Foundation is here to help, but also working to determine if there was a longer term need for Binc. Through the number of grant requests, survey feedback, and overall interest we have determined that yes, there is a need for the Foundation’s services.

Our strategic framework for the next five years includes:

  • Awareness of and pride in the role Binc plays in helping to create a healthy and diverse bookstore community. Every bookstore and employee across the country knows about Binc and takes personal pride in and ownership of Binc as “my Foundation.”
  • Financially sustained by the industry; including publishers, distributors, wholesalers, authors, bookstores, and the public.
  • Strong and meaningful partnerships with the industry leaders.
  • Build on our program support to continue to meet the needs of the industry.

Want to get involved with Binc like we have? Find out how you can help support booksellers, become a Binc Advocate or strengthen a bookseller’s safety net with a donation.