It began in 1996 when booksellers at Borders Group, Inc. had a vision: to start a nonprofit foundation with the purpose of helping bookstore employees in need. Their wish was to have an ongoing method for booksellers to help each other. From its beginning, as the Borders Group Foundation, funding was provided by company executives, individual employee payroll contributions, and donations from publishers and vendors. In 2011 following the liquidation of Borders, the organization was renamed the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation. At this time the scope of the Foundation expanded to assist any qualifying employee or owner of a brick-and-mortar bookstore or comic shop within the U.S.
Binc is a nonprofit that coordinates charitable programs to strengthen the bookselling community. Our core program provides assistance to employees and shop owners who have a demonstrated financial need arising from severe hardship and/or emergency circumstances. Since its inception, the organization has provided over $11 million in financial assistance and scholarships to more than 10,000+ families. Support for the Foundation’s programs and services comes from all sectors of the book and comic industries. Our mission is to strengthen the bookselling and comic retail community through charitable programs that support employees and their families. The Foundation was imagined and built by booksellers and proudly continues to be their safety net. It is our vision to be a caring community of book and comic people.
Binc is the only nonprofit in the country dedicated to assisting booksellers and comic shop employees in need.
“Thank you, thank you to Binc. I recently was laid off from the bookstore I work at due to COVID-19 and I applied for assistance, which they quickly delivered. It means so much to my family that this wonderful foundation has done for us at this uncertain time.”—Bookseller helped after losing their job
“I am so grateful to Book Industry Charitable Foundation. The Governor of my state has deemed bookstores non essential and has closed them due to the Covid outbreak. To me, books are as essential as breathing. I have worked at my bookstore for 19 years and am a single mother. Binc helped me pay my mortgage. They did so with grace, compassion and very quickly. I am forever thankful for their assistance. I will remember these dark days and the help Binc provided to me and my child. Thank you.”—Julie
“Working with Binc has been overwhelmingly positive. When my family had a medical emergency, they were quick to respond to my request for assistance. The communication and follow up has been exceptional, and Binc provided helpful contacts and resources in addition to their financial assistance. I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend Binc to anyone looking to donate, or to anyone in the book industry that needs assistance. They really are exceptional at their work.”—A bookseller helped through a medical emergency
“Binc is incredible. I lost a molar to a failed root canal and my dentist recommended a dental implant but there was no way I could afford it, even with dental insurance. I applied for assistance and was approved so quickly and easily that I was overjoyed.”—Nottoothless
“I reached out to Binc after my supervisor recommended them, and sure enough, they turned out to be my heroes. They worked with me quickly, efficiently, and moreover kindly. They cared that I was afraid and worried, and wanted to help as much as they could. The process for getting help was easy and uncomplicated, and they ended up helping me find affordable care, as well as approving financial assistance for the entire dental work bill! They took care of all of it! I’d never been so grateful. It’s already scary not knowing if you can afford groceries, but having someone do everything they can to make sure that that fear isn’t pushed further is amazing. I cannot recommend applying, or donating, to this foundation enough: they care far more than is ever asked of them, and do more than anyone ever needs to.”—A bookseller helped with dental work
To read more reviews and testimonials check out our page on Great Nonprofits. There are hundreds of stories from volunteers, donors, and booksellers.
4 in 10 Americans would struggle to cover a $400 emergency expense, Federal Reserve data show.
Vox.com – How bookstores are weathering the pandemic
Publishers Weekly – Give Comics Hope, Binc Partner to Help Comics Shops
Shelf Awareness – Inside an Unprecedented Eight Weeks at Binc
The New York Times – Online Auction to Aid Comic-Book Shops Raises Over $430,000
The New York Times – Comic Creators Unite to Benefit Stores
Publishers Weekly – Binc Steps In for Booksellers in Need
Forbes.com – How Nonprofit Binc Helps Booksellers Facing Financial Hardship
The Washington Times – James Patterson sets up fund to help indie booksellers
Slate – What Will Happen to Independent Bookstores?
Shelf Awareness – Riordans Start $100K #SaveIndieBookstores Matching Gift Challenge
Wired – The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Changing How People Buy Books
Literary Hub – Providing Help to Booksellers, When They Need It
25% of Americans skipped necessary medical care in 2018 because they couldn’t afford the cost.