Frequently Asked Questions

How do I apply for assistance?

To be considered for assistance, it is necessary to submit the proper documentation. Applications are available on the website under the Request Assistance menu. Once the application and documentation are submitted, decisions on assistance are usually made within a few days.

How do I qualify for a grant?

In order to apply for assistance from the Book Industry Charitable Foundation must fulfill all three of the following criteria.

1. Be a bookstore employee or owner

• An Applicant must be a regular full-time or part-time bookseller, and currently employed for a minimum of 90 days at a bricks-and-mortar bookstore.

– Applicants cannot have received Binc charitable financial assistance within the past 12 month period, and no more than three grants in a rolling five year period.

• A family member of a recently deceased bookstore employee may also be eligible to apply.

2. Have experienced a qualifying life event.  Qualifying life-events include:

• Disaster

• Domestic violence

• Loss of household income due to: death in the family, disability, divorce or separation, partner/spouse job loss, or unexpected disruption of business.

• Serious medical expenses

• Utility shut-off prevention

3. Be facing a financial hardship due to the qualifying life event

• A documented financial hardship is defined as the inability to pay essential household expenses (rent, utilities, food and medical expenses) with current household income.

What types of assistance are available, and what form does assistance take?

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation currently offers emergency assistance grants. These hardship grants are offered to those booksellers experiencing one of the qualifying life-events listed above. All grants are payable directly to a vendor or institution, rather than to the grantee.

Does a bookstore have to belong to Binc?

No, Binc is not a membership organization, we are a 501(c)(3) with the mission of helping any person working in a bricks and mortar bookstore.

How much does it cost to apply for a grant?

There is no cost to apply for a grant, and the awards are tax-free.  If you believe that your needs fit the scope and mission of the Binc Foundation, we encourage you to apply.

How long does it take for my grant status to be decided?

Our organization is lean and efficient! An answer to your request usually comes within a few business days. Once the proper paperwork has been submitted, payment will be made promptly.

May I apply for more than one grant?

Yes. If you have multiple qualifying life-events, we encourage you to apply for multiple grants. The following limitations apply:

  1. The applicant must not have received a Foundation grant in the past 12 months.
  2. The applicant may not receive more than three grants over a rolling five year period.

May I reapply if my grant request has been denied?

If your grant request was previously denied, you may reapply only if the situation has changed or documentation missing from the first application is now available.

Where does the Foundation’s funding come from?

Traditionally, the Foundation has been funded through the generosity of all facets of the book industry, from bookstore employees to publishers. Binc holds a variety of fundraising events throughout the year and across the country. Additionally, donations are always welcome and accepted on our secure online site, or, by clicking the Donate Now button on our website.

How can I donate to the Binc Foundation?

There are several ways to donate to the Binc Foundation. The easiest is simply to click on the Donate Now button on our website and select one of our donation options. You may choose to make a one-time or recurring online donation. Tribute and memorial donations are also accepted on the site. You are welcome to mail-in your donation to support the Foundation to 3135 S. State Street, Suite 203, Ann Arbor, MI 48108.

Are there other ways to help the Foundation?

You may want to help the Foundation by getting involved with one of our fundraisers, or even host your own! Information on our fundraising options can also be found under the Get Involved tab.

If you are in a position to visit bookstores across the country, please mention the assistance offered by Binc to the booksellers you meet. The value of our message coming often and from various channels is priceless. If you would like bookmarks, magnets, or flyers to distribute, please contact Binc at

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