Something to Be Thankful For: The Book Industry Charitable Foundation

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“I never thought I’d be in this position” is the most repeated phrase from booksellers submitting grant applications to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc), a nonprofit organization dedicated to assisting booksellers in need. No one plans to have financial difficulty. Emergencies don’t give warnings. Hardships come upon booksellers unexpectedly and often very quickly. But there is help.

Binc, which was conceived of and built by booksellers, understands that in order to have a strong book industry, we all need to pull together.

Binc provides financial assistance to booksellers faced with a valid emergency financial hardship resulting from a specific qualifying life event, including:

For the past 12 years, Binc has also focused on making a positive impact in the lives of bookstore employees by offering scholarships based on financial need, academic performance, and community involvement. Scholarships are awarded to bookstore employees and their dependents for full- or part-time study at the accredited institution of the student’s choice. To date, more than $1.3 million has been awarded to help defray the costs of higher education for 527 individuals.

In 2013, nearly $100,000 in scholarship funding was awarded in grants of $5,000 and $2,500 to booksellers, former Borders employees, or their dependents. Among the 32 scholarship recipients were eight students affiliated with ABA member bookstores.

Binc is also providing scholarship support for five ABA member booksellers to attend the 2014 Winter Institute in Seattle in January.

Binc encourages booksellers to familiarize themselves with the types of assistance provided and to keep current via the foundation’s e-mail newsletter, Facebook page, and Twitter.

To apply for assistance, a bookseller must be a regular full-time or part-time bookseller (working a minimum of 10 hours a week) at a bricks-and-mortar bookstore. A bookseller can receive one charitable financial assistance grant in a 12-month period and no more than three grants in a rolling five-year period.

Binc is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, which began in 1996 as the Borders Foundation, with the purpose of helping Borders employees in need. Following the bankruptcy of Borders in 2011, the foundation expanded its mission and changed its name in recognition of its new focus as an industry-wide entity. In October 2012, the American Booksellers Association entered into an agreement to offer a Binc Foundation financial assistance program for employees of independent bookstores who are experiencing an emergency financial hardship.

Donations to Binc are tax deductible.

Learn more.