Executive Director Pam French Discusses Results
The long awaited updated on the Binc 2016 survey results is here! Thank you, and more thanks to everyone who took their time to answer our survey. I apologize for the long gap in hearing the results, but the good news is that the Binc team has been VERY busy with helping booksellers and gaining industry-wide financial support.
For a quick reminder the purpose of the survey was to:
- Gather information on Binc’s current level of awareness
- Rate program performance and relevance
- Solicit suggestions for new programs
487 people completed the 2016 survey, compared with 369 in 2014. Thank you!
I’m going to provide highlights first, and then more detail on the responses to the individual questions. You’ll be pleased to hear we have already made changes and expanded programs in response to your input.
- 30% of those who responded have had a financial crisis but just under 8% of those in need reached out for help
- Serious Medical Expenses is still the most important qualifying event category
- The most requested new program is Loss of Income Due to Store Closing
- The booksellers we help are highly satisfied with our service
Communication & Marketing
- Awareness has improved but there is still a significant gap in reaching booksellers
- Once people know about Binc, they agree our mission is crucial to the book industry
- People prefer to hear news directly from Binc via e-newsletter
- Shelf Awareness continues to be the most effective way to tell booksellers about Binc
- When people donate, they prefer to give on our website/electronically
- Sharing stories is the best encouragement for a donation
Read on if you would like a bit more detail.
The Great News
More people know about Binc – at least 10% more from 2014
When asked, How familiar are you with the Binc Foundation”, the “not at all category” reduced by 10% and the “slightly” category increased by 7%, and the “extremely” increased by 1%.
Shelf Awareness and Fellow Booksellers are key in spreading awareness about Binc
Fellow booksellers (25%) and Shelf Awareness (21%) are the top ways booksellers first learn about Binc
***For those who really like to dig into the data find more details on this question at the end
Shelf Awareness (51%) and Fellow Booksellers (36%) are the resources that are relied on for general updates on what’s happening at Binc. The ABA comes in at 30% through Bookselling this Week or the Red Box.
When asked, “What resources do you rely on to get general news of the book industry.” respondents indicated:
Once people know about Binc, they believe our mission is critical
82% believe the assistance Binc provides is extremely or very important.
This remained the same as 2014.
Just over 50% indicated that hearing stories about how Binc has helped bookstore employees and their families had the greatest influence towards encouraging a donation.
There’s a big gap between booksellers with a need and those who apply for assistance
31% of respondents indicated they had an emergency financial need over the past two years.
While only 8% of those with a need contacted Binc to ask questions or apply for assistance.
There are a variety of reasons for not contacting Binc but the most common are:
- Someone else might need help more.
We cannot stress enough that Binc is here to help all booksellers. If you have a need please give us a call. Sometimes talking through your situation can open up options.
- I didn’t want to ask for help.
This is common, and understandable. No one wants to have to ask for help, especially if you’re working. Binc exists to be a safety net for the one time you do need help. We work to ensure a specific emergency does not spiral out of control. Contacting Binc early helps resolve an emergency situation before it really adds up. The number of repeat requests is under 7%. Once the emergency is resolved booksellers are usually able to maintain their finances.
- Fear that others would find out.
The entire process is completely confidently and private. We do verify bookstore employment, otherwise the only communication is directly with the applicant. Our internal process even uses grant numbers, not names.
Suggestions and Ideas on how Binc can help more
Which of the following programs not offered by Binc would be of greatest value? (select up to 3)
65% – Loss of income due to a store closing
Binc added this qualifying event in early 2016 – the survey response reinforces that it’s the right direction but we need to do a better job of communicating that we help with this situation
32% – Reskill assistance for employees of closing bookstores
30% – Car Repair
In 2016 Matching Grants were added to help address this need. IRS regulations prevent car repairs from being a qualifying event within our nonprofit designation.
29% – Relocation for job placement
Research is needed to determine if this is possible to add.
27% – Expanded Professional Development
Binc is expanding support for the Fall Regional Trade Shows with a partnership with Macmillan Publishing. We are thrilled to offer an additional scholarship to each Regional Show and also provide development opportunities for underrepresented booksellers.
And Binc has partnered with Justus Joseph from Squirrel and Nest to create a blog series on personal expense and income management. You can read the first installment in the series here, and the second installment here.
27% – Personal Financial Assistance
This is the core of our programs, so we need to continue to communicate our programs. To help with this Kit Steinaway moved into a Programs Manager role full-time in March 2017
25% – Short-term Personal/business Loan –
With Binc’s current IRS determination we are not allowed to administer loans. In working to find other ways to help we are launching a new pilot program to provide grants (not loans) to bookstores hit with a natural disaster. The pilot will run through the end of 2017.
24.5% – Emergency Travel Expenses
This is also being researched and evaluated.
*** In the top ways booksellers first learned about Binc the number three spot was “other” with 16%.
I did some digging and here’s what makes up the other 16%.
#1 – Social media, primarily Facebook
#2 – In store materials, posters, magnets, bookmarks, etc.
#3 – Ann Patchett or Ambassador Patchett as we are so honored to call her
#4 – ABA and IBA communication
#5 – This survey
#6 – A tie between Borders Alumni and the Things I Know About Bookselling Blog
If you made it this far you really love data (or Binc or Booksellers or all of the above) and it would be fabulous to have you join our Finance and Governance committee! We are always looking for passionate volunteers.
If you are interested in joining this, or any of our committees, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.