The Anatomy of Financial Assistance Grant

How does the process work? That is always one of the first questions we hear from booksellers, and one we are happy to answer over and over again. Our goal is to make asking for help as easy as possible, always keeping in mind the physical and emotional state of the bookseller who is reaching out to Binc.

“We are so very grateful for the kindness and empathy Binc extended to us.”

When requesting assistance from Binc, here is what to expect:

1) A bookseller who has experienced an unexpected event causing them to be unable to pay household bills begins the process in one of two ways:

a) Downloading an application from Binc’s website and submitting it to help@bincfoundation.org, faxing it to 734-477-2806, or sending it by mail.

b) Contacting Binc via phone (866-733-9064) or email (help@bincfoundation.org)

2) Binc’s Programs Manager Kit or Kate our Communications Coordinator will contact the applicant to answer questions and to request any additional information or supporting documents that are needed. We understand and respect that the bookseller is going through a very personal experience and we strive to always be compassionate and caring.

“I was embarrassed about my situation, but Kit completely understood and never made me feel bad about myself. I cannot thank Kit and the Binc community enough for their assistance.”

3) The Applicant submits documents to verify the specific event and the need. (i.e. pay stub, bank statement, doctor bills, lease) Binc requests only the minimum number of documents needed to verify the request.

4) A blind summary (no names or locations are included) of the situation and the request is written up and submitted to the Binc Program Committee for approval. The volunteer committee members have 24 hours to respond to the request.

5) After the request has been approved, Binc will contact the bookseller to arrange for payment of the bills. Typically bills are paid to vendors on the bookseller’s behalf and not to the bookseller directly.

“I contacted them and was amazed with the kind and quick responsiveness of their team. Once I provided all the information they needed in order to examine the situation and determine whether they could help, the swiftness of their response seemed almost immediate.”

6) Once the bills are paid the bookseller will be notified and given all relevant confirmation and/or tracking numbers related to payments.

7) Binc will supply the bookseller with the contact information for national and local resources meant to help augment the assistance received from the Foundation.

Your privacy is very important to Binc. All requests and all information collected is kept in strict confidence. The Executive Director and Programs Manager are the only people who know the identity of applicants. Binc will never divulge the identity of an applicant without their express permission.

“Don’t ever hesitate to pick up the phone after an unexpected whammy and call them. They want to help. They are there to help and they can help.”

Binc Foundation and Penguin Random House Launch New Grant Opportunity, Indies with Impact

The Binc Foundation and Penguin Random House, the world’s largest trade-book publisher, announce INDIES WITH IMPACT, a new grant opportunity open to independent bookstores. Two grants will be awarded to two bookstores that work in tandem with a community nonprofit or organization of their choice for a program that strengthens their local communities and encourages a passion for reading. Applications will be accepted March 1 – May 1, 2019 and again during this period in 2020. A total of $3,000 will be awarded over the two years.

The grant is being launched to recognize, support, and strengthen the already robust connections bookstores have with their communities. “We all know the vital role independent bookstores play in our local communities. Through this new exciting partnership with Binc, we are able to go further in support of the books we publish and the booksellers who sell them, as we strive to enhance community engagement at a grassroots level,” said Jaci Updike, President of Sales for Penguin Random House U.S.

Bookstores can work with local schools, libraries, or nonprofits. Projects and partnerships should focus strongly on community needs and the bookstore’s values and mission.

To apply bookstores must meet eligibility in one of these categories: A U.S. retail brick and mortar store (with a substantial portion of its revenue derived from the sale of books), OR a mobile or pop-up bookstore which is open to the general public and maintains an annual average of 30 hours per week with a bookseller present.

Binc Executive Director, Pam French, commented about this new exciting opportunity, “This unique collaboration with Penguin Random House will give two bookstores the funds to launch fantastic community programs. The review committee is looking forward to reading the wonderful projects booksellers propose.”

To find out more about eligibility guidelines and to apply for an Indies with Impact grant, visit Submittable. Applications are due by May 1.