Stacy Mitchell, from the Institute for Self-Reliance, gave the audience at this fall’s Heartland Fall Forum a pep-talk about the popularity of buy local campaigns. Interest in local businesses and what they can offer to their communities is on the rise. In many areas local businesses are opening at a higher rate than non-local businesses. More and more it is becoming apparent that Americans want to live in cities and towns with a strong indie presence. People want to get back to basics, create a more personal environment and the makeup of their communities matter to them. These tighter knit communities include grocers, hardware stores, restaurants, pet stores, and yes, bookstores too. Stacy sees this as a backlash to the decades of impersonal big box stores that have pushed out the more traditional mom and pop operations.
Are you a publisher’s sales rep, sidelines provider, author, or a book lover who regularly visits bookstores?
If you are, you can help Binc spread the word to booksellers about the assistance available from the Foundation. In the past three years, our staff, board & committee members, and supporters have personally visited more than100 bookstores. We can use your help reaching even more bookstores across the country! We know for a fact that a personal visit to a bookstore improves the odds that their employees will take advantage of our services. We realize that the help we provide can seem like it is too-good-to-be-true, that is where corroboration by a real person comes in to play. The value of having our message reinforced by publishers, industry representatives, authors and supporters is priceless.
While visiting family in West Virginia over the Thanksgiving holiday, we made our way to Shepherdstown, a small college town, and discovered Four Seasons Books. Of course we had to go into the bookshop and explore. As we were checking out I handed the clerk my business card and was about to explain about Binc, but didn’t get a single word out. The clerk saw the logo and jumped in with “I love what you do!” And then she went on to tell me all about our scholarship and emergency assistance programs. This was one of the best Thanksgiving moments I’ve ever had.
It is a beautiful thing that has naturally developed over the years through the eyes of marketing-marketing to support causes! Not only have common causes been supported through marketing, but many causes have actually been developed by marketers.
The Tuesday after Black Friday, Small Business Saturday and Cyber Monday is Giving Tuesday, an international day dedicated to generosity and giving back. On Tuesday, December 2nd the world will again come together to “get out the give” and support hundreds of charitable organizations by donating money and time to promote nonprofits that are important to them and the individuals they support.
Our Board will Double Your Donation on Giving Tuesday
The Binc Foundation is participating in Giving Tuesday to kick off our end of year fundraising campaign. Our Board of Directors has generously agreed to a Board Matching Challenge matching all donations up to $3,020. Your donation will literally go twice as far on Giving Tuesday.
How you can 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.
- Get involved
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.
Increasing awareness of the Foundation to booksellers has been Binc’s focus for the past two years. While good progress has been made, one important lesson we learned from the survey was that there are still plenty of booksellers out there who are not familiar with Binc.
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.
Respondents 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.
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!
The 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 email@example.com 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.