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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Book Industry Charitable Foundation

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Corporate Foundations, Education, Homeless & Housing, Housing Support, Philanthropy, Scholarships, Scholarships & Student Financial Aid

Mission: Established in 1996, the centerpiece program provides financial assistance to booksellers, who have a demonstrated need, arising from severe hardship and/or emergency circumstances. Since its inception, the organization has granted over $6.6 million to support more than 7,476 individuals and their families.

Target demographics: Bookstore employees and their families

Direct beneficiaries per year: 72 booksellers and their families

Geographic areas served: The U.S.

Programs: Emergency personal financial assistance, professional development scholarships, and higher education scholarships for booksellers' dependents

Community Stories

113 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

As with most resources similar to BINC, as a community, we never understand how important they are until we need them. As booksellers, we walk into this profession knowing our passion will have to compensate for our pockets. It's an industry with small margins and knowing that, many booksellers live on a financial tightrope; any unexpected circumstance tips the balance unfavorably. My scales tipped with a very immediate and unforeseen divorce to my wife of three years which precipitated a relocation on my part. Without the help of my wife's income and the substantial amount of money a move costs, to say I was depressed and panicked was an understatement. Fortunately, my new position at an independent bookstore and a place to stay was quite serendipitous, however, I was quickly finding out that no matter how hard I worked until the move, I was not going to have the extra funds to afford it. This is when I reached out to BINC. Asking for help has always been hard for me but asking for money has always been the hardest. BINC makes this process quick and painless and their staff is unbelievably understanding and encouraging. With a quick application and the necessary documents, BINC wrote a check to my landlord that paid for 2 months of my rent, giving me time to put that money towards other debt and build a savings from my new job. This organization is special and the booksellers etc that donate to this great organization are also sending a message to the people who need it; you deserve it, we want to help; what you do is important.

Client Served

Rating: 5

On the night of September 9, 2019 my beautiful bookstore burned to the ground along with the entire aisle I was in at The Market of Marion. My husband's job was also lost since he managed a store across from me. This was devastating and frightening. The Indie Bookseller Group on Facebook told me about BINC. BINC addressed my concerns immediately and have already paid some urgent bills for us. I cannot thank them enough.
Janet Cucharo
The Bookstore

Denise R.4

Client Served

Rating: 5

Earlier this year I was diagnosed with a medical issue that required surgical treatment. The post-operative recovery period meant I'd be off work at the book store I'm employed at for several weeks. I knew I needed the treatment and time to heal, but it came during a time of great upheaval in my personal life, and the stress of how I'd be able to pay my medical expenses and care for my family financially while unable to work was a stress I knew could make my recovery difficult. I'd learned about BINC from a social media post shared by fellow retail booksellers, and instantly felt a sense of peace and relief just knowing there was a foundation out there willing to help, even before I submitted my application for assistance. That feeling grew when, almost immediately after my materials were submitted, I heard from Kit and was assured she and the foundation would do whatever was possible to help. Kit was ever diligent in letting me know how the process of addressing my bills with the medical provider was progressing. When one of her last correspondences with me was to inform me that an agreement had been reached and that BINC would be forwarding a payment on my behalf that would result in the close of my account, it was as if a weight I'd been carrying for weeks had been lifted. Without question, I could not have taken care of my family's needs financially during this time AND addressed this financial matter without the support and assistance of BINC. I have, and will continue to, inform fellow booksellers about the good work BINC does for us, and when able, look forward to making a donation to them in a show of support and appreciation.

Elise G.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I can't begin to say how much BINC has helped me.

I'm a young bookseller in my early 20s, fresh out of undergrad and post-grad, with very, very little savings. I started experiencing a lot of dental pain, and when I went to the dentist, they hit me with a doozy—thousands in dental work, most of it extremely time-sensitive. I confirmed it with two other dentists and started breaking down. I didn't have the money, didn't have a means of making more in time to afford anything, and every payment plan I looked at would've required more loans just to get the work I needed done.

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.

Client Served

Rating: 5

BINC was able to help me pay off an ER bill that Indian Health Services denied payment for. Once it hit my credit report I decided to give it a chance and reach out. They were so incredibly helpful and prompt! I contacted them on a Friday, submitted my paperwork on Monday and by Wednesday the deed was done! I’m so thankful for the help they are able to provide booksellers and to the donors who make contributions.

Terri M. L.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had a great experience with BINC. The organization was able to cover my lost wages due to some extenuating circumstances at our small independent bookstore. The process was quick and the approval process happened in the blink of an eye. I'll forever be grateful for the funds and assistance that BINC provided us.

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

chome

Client Served

Rating: 5

BINC is an amazing nonprofit that I never knew existed until I saw an ad for it on the MIBA website. I'd been thinking about taking a leave of absence from work for a mental health issue, but there were bills to consider. I had no idea how I'd pay for my rent and some medical bills while I wasn't working--it seemed impossible. Then I looked at the BINC website and emailed Kit, who got back to me 24 hours later.

Getting help through BINC, for me, took much longer because I didn't know the ins and outs of taking a leave of absence. Please understand--that was my fault and not BINC's. But as soon as Kit had all of my documentation in place she was able to pay my bills within 24 hours. It was rather stunning.

I so highly recommend them. And as soon as I get back to work and have the cash to spare, I WILL be donating some money to them. I want other people to have the chance that I have, to be able to take time off work and take care of themselves if they need to. I never thought that I was going to be able to do this. BINC has given me an incredible gift, something that I will never be able to repay. Another reviewer said that the words "thank you" don't seem like enough, and that person is correct. The employees of BINC are allowing me to reclaim my life, something that has been lost to me for nearly FOUR YEARS. I cannot stress enough: these people are heroes, and I will support them in any way I can for the rest of my life.

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a part-time bookseller in Cincinnati. I always wanted to work in a bookstore, but was never at a point in my life where I could do it full time and survive, or do it part time and devote my time to it. Two Christmases ago, I got the opportunity to devote some holiday time to working at one of our local stores and enjoyed it so much I stayed on a couple evenings a week, while still working full time in my regular career. I have made it to a point in my full time career where I am more comfortable financially, and have been able to contribute regularly to the people who work to make the thing I am most passionate about and brings me more joy than anything else (books and bookstores). It brings me happiness to know that even with a small contribution, I can help booksellers across the country when crisis strikes. Books, bookstores, and booksellers bring me such joy that it means something to me to be able to contribute to relief when booksellers are struggling. We all need a boost at times and I'm happy that I can provide a small one. After setting up my monthly contribution, I got a very sweet phone call from the folks at BINC and their genuine care for both their donors and their recipients was heart warming. Thrilled to be contributing to this organization.

Comments ( 1 )

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Binc Foundation 06/21/2019

Thank you for making this community of book-loving people what it is. :-) We can't tell you enough how much we appreciate your support and contribution.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Saying 'thank you' seems woefully inadequate in comparison to the help we received. My husband and I are both booksellers; he had two surgeries, and was not working for several weeks; I have chronic illness and struggle to make it to work part time. BINC gave us a grant that saved us from homelessness. The gratitude we feel is really overwhelming.

Comments ( 1 )

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Binc Foundation 06/15/2019

We're so glad that you reached out to Binc and that we were able to help.

1 Katelyn D.

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm a monthly donor to BINC, and I couldn't be happier with the work they do. I've been fortunate, I have not needed their help. But I've seen then help my fellow booksellers, a ND I can't say how critical that was.

Comments ( 1 )

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Binc Foundation 06/03/2019

Thank you, Katelyn! We can do this work because of donors like you.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband and I were sponsored by BINC to attend our regional annual conference last year. Without their support we would not have been able to attend. Very grateful for all the folks at BINC do for independent booksellers!

Client Served

Rating: 5

I've been a BINC donor at a regional trade show for a few years and a sustaining donor for about a year. Never did I expect to find myself in a situation where I needed help. My husband was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer (he passed away in September, 2018). I needed to hire a sitter for him so I could go to work. The sitter's fees per hour were close to what I made but I needed and wanted to go to work in order to keep my job. BINC jumped in ( after a little coaxing from them that I was not taking food from the mouths of babies) and writing about the help they offered brings tears to my eyes. Just to know I had enough money to pay the sitter and cover some medial bills lifted a weight off my shoulders like nothing else in my life. I will forever be grateful to BINC and their wonderful staff and generous donors.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm proud to support BINC! BINC came to the rescue when our family found ourselves suddenly homeless and without a shop when our landlord decided to sell the building where we were working/living. Later, my college freshman was awarded a scholarship! As booksellers, we all know too well that we are working with a shoestring budget, but once we were able to find our footing once again, we decided what little we could contribute in the way of monthly donations would still make a big difference to our fellow booksellers.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Thank you seems such a small phrase . Last Summer I fell at work severely breaking my shoulder and needed to be away from the shop in hospital and rehab and for many months.
Though you do get a partial salary payment from workman's compensation it wasn't enough to cover some of my major bills. I got so far behind the worry and stress about the money was overwhelming. BINC really helped me out of the pinch I was in ,and helped me to be able to concentrate on recovery. I am back to work now and so appreciative.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

BINC was there for me when I suddenly had an accident and really needed it. They are dedicated to their mission and beyond that make it truly easy and pleasant to ask for and get help, especially in a confusing and stressful time. Thanks so much!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

BINC is truly amazing. I needed knee surgery last year and BINC was there to help with the medical bills. Not only that but they kept checking in with me as I wrestled with the insurance companies. So patient and kind and fast acting. We booksellers don't do this for the money, so in times of need it's so comforting to know that there is a place to turn. Thanks to BINC for helping me continue to do what I love.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My partner and I are both booksellers at a wonderful independent bookstore. A few months ago he went in for an eye exam, which led to the discovery of a large benign tumor in his brain. The news was devastating. It meant months of medical appointments, driving long distances to meet specialists, an intense surgery, medications, and a substantial recovery period. Needless to say, it was a stressful and financially threatening situation. Our work mentioned binc (Book Industry Charitable Foundation) as a resource to look into for receiving financial help while we were going through this. I contacted them and was amazed with the kind and quick responsiveness of their team. Once I provided all the information they needed in order to examine the situation and determine whether they could help, the swiftness of their response seemed almost immediate. They were kind, understanding, patient, helpful, and exceeded our expectations with the financial assistance they provided. When they confirmed they would help and to what level, I was immediately overcome with relief and a profound sense of gratitude. What was looking grim and terribly trying became a situation we could manage and navigate knowing our basic needs were met as we went through this experience. I am happy to say now the surgery was a success and recovery is going very well. Thanks to binc, we made it through and were able to put our energy towards what was most important. I want to encourage all booksellers experiencing (or who may experience) any unexpected hardship that renders them struggling financially to contact binc and seek their help. Binc is there to help and they want to help. I cannot express enough how amazing this foundation is! Thank you binc for everything!

1 Jamie Hope A.

Client Served

Rating: 5

To my tribe.. to everyone who has ever bought a flashing button at a regional show.. or who, feeling flush, sent a small check... or maybe you are a regular sustainer.. whether you have given $10 or $100 to Binc I thank you from the bottom of my heart. This Fall Downtown Books got hit with a double whammy. First Hurricane Florence looked to be headed straight for us and a mandatory evacuation was declared for the Outer Banks. Everything in the store below 36" was moved either up or out and we waited. And waited. We waited through five days of decent weather, no hurricane (it hit southern NC hard) and no business. Five days of lost business in the shoulder season is a tough hit, but it had been a good summer and book fairs were coming so we would be okay.. right? Right. Then came Hurricane Michael whose remnants hit us way harder than anticipated catching us completely unprepared in the middle of the night with a storm surge of two feet of water IN THE STORE. We lost $11,000 worth of inventory (wholesale). This time we were waiting.. and waiting.. and waiting on insurance which after depreciation and deductibles would still only cover about 65% of that number. We were open with the help of our incredible community within 36 hours. But we lost a lot of inventory and had to start replacing some immediately. That on top of the hit from Florence put us in a position where we were just getting everything paid, but our nose was barely above water and I was already dipping into savings that get me through the winter. Binc reached out the day after Michael to see how they could help. Pam immediately sent the application for store assistance. I sat on it and deliberated.. sat on it while I started tapping into savings .. sat on it while I tried to decide if I was really worthy. Finally, I had a phone conversation with Kit who said I absolutely should 'fill it out and let us look at it, there are a lot of ways we can help.' So I did. And within 24 hours Kit called to report that Binc was stepping in to assist with several months of rent payments. What a godsend. It was like I could breathe again. Binc truly is, in the words of Pam French, a safety net for our tribe. Our amazing book family. As she said 'This time you need the safety net, next time it will be someone else.' How lucky are we to have this incredible resource? I just found out. And again, I thank each and every one of you who have contributed to this fund for contributing to my safety net. Don't ever hesitate to pick up the phone after an unexpected whammy and call them. They want to help. They are there to help and they can help. Namaste.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have worked for a bookstore for awhile and knew of your program thru my boss. I have seen some of my coworkers receive grants from the Binc foundation. I had a huge car trouble that resulted in me being short on my rent. The application process was simple and the help was almost immediate. I am a single mom with no extra support. I am forever grateful for this wonderful assistance at a real time of need. Thank you so much for your service.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

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.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a bookseller and event manager for a wonderful independent bookstore. A number of years ago my farm was struck by a tornado which devastated our land, home, and dairy barn. The damage largely exceeded what we recovered through our insurance and many repairs to our home have been left uncompleted. BINC stepped in with a matching grant that will allow us to finish installing a shower in our now non-functioning bathroom. It has been a very long road coming back from the disaster that struck us and we are so very grateful for the kindness and empathy BINC staff members extended to us. After so many stones in the road, and refusals, and dismissals, BINC has restored our faith in community.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My late husband was an employee at an independent book store. The insurance provided was great, once the high deductibles were met. The store referred us to Binc to help with various costs. The staff members at Binc were so nice and so responsive. Not only did they help with funeral costs, they also helped with other bills. This was especially helpful as the bookstore didn't provide life insurance and my husband was young, so didn't have an outside policy. In addition, they sent a care package when he died and checked back with me. I can't say enough good things about the concern they showed while he lived through his ordeal with cancer and after he passed.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'd owned my bookstore for ten years when I was diagnosed with breast cancer. In a year's time, I had three surgeries, chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Unfortunately, the cancer along with some other issues caused me to sell my store. The Book Industry Charitable Foundation called me twice. The first time was to see if I needed any sort of help with the bills for my cancer treatments or anything else. Since I was fortunate enough to have good insurance and support networks, I didn't require assistance. Then the foundation representatives called a second time to see if any of my employees required assistance. Fortunately they didn't either. I'd contributed to BINC over the years and knew it really helped booksellers and their employees in times of need. I had no idea, though, that they took their mission so seriously that they would call a bookseller when they knew there was an issue and thought assistance might be needed. That was above and beyond the call of duty. I'm proud to be associated with such a fine organization and will continue to donate even though I no longer own a bookstore.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

BINC has been a phenomenal help to me! They partnered with Macmillan to provide scholarships to booksellers from historically marginalized communities to be able to attend a regional trade show. Without their support, I simply would not have been able to afford the cost of what was a truly game changing opportunity. As if this display of generosity weren't outstanding enough, BINC helped me again recently when I had an unexpected hospital bill arise. I could not afford the bill out of pocket and I contacted BINC only hoping they'd advocate for me (that is, that they'd negotiate the cost of the bill with the hospital on my behalf, or that they'd negotiate a payment schedule or pay a portion). They simply took care of the bill for me. I do not have the words to adequately express my gratitude. "Thank you" just doesn't feel like enough.

1 BranchesBooks

Client Served

Rating: 5

Since opening a small book store in the Sierras (30 minutes from Yosemite) five years ago, we have dealt with numerous natural disasters - fires mainly, bark beetles and mudslides. This past summer the Ferguson Fire closed Yosemite and burned for nearly 5 weeks. Our area suffered a loss in the 10s of millions. While we did not suffer any property loss or wages (my husband worked overtimes to pay our staff) we did suffer huge income loss.
I read about BINC in Publishers Weekly and as a member of the American Booksellers Association, I had knowledge of the organization, but never thought we would qualify. I sent an inquiry on a Tuesday and had an answer and funds to assist me in paying for rent and PG&E expenses by Friday.
I cannot express how this has helped my store and me personally. I have room to breathe and begin getting back on my feet due to their understanding and generosity. I'm not sure we would have made it past November had it not been for their assistance.
I have no words good enough to express my gratitude. You have made a difference in my life and in the lives of many others and you are appreciated.
Sincerely,
Anne Driscoll
Branches Books & Gifts
Oakhurst, CA

1 Sammy M.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My mom was a former employee of borders corporate office, and I am so grateful that this foundation has kept this scholarship opportunity a float, even years after the closing of borders.

Review from Guidestar

Jessica Lynne N.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Without Binc, I wouldn't have had the opportunity to go back to school and finish my degree. Binc has changed the course of my life in shifting my career to the next chapter. I can hardly put in to words how grateful I am.

Review from Guidestar

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

I have been a bookseller for 9 years. A couple of months ago, my son had to be hospitalized twice, and my husband and I each missed more than two weeks of work. Since my son has been home, I have had to cut back my hours from full time to part time in order to continue to care for him. My family has health insurance coverage, but even with a good plan, there's still a significant out-of-pocket maximum, and with two emergency room visits and week-long hospitalizations, as well as continuing outpatient care, you can bet we've met that -- and then there's the lost pay on top of that.

My store owner has been very supportive of me and our situation, and she reached out to BINC on my behalf. My store and community raised money for us, and BINC supplied a matching grant that doubled what customers and friends and family donated, which meant we were able to pay all of our bills and get food while my husband and I were out of work and as I continue to work fewer hours, and we've got some money set aside for when the medical bills come rolling in.

BINC is a lifesaver, and their work is so appreciated by those of us in the industry. Bookselling is a labor of love for most of us, and it helps a lot to know that an organization like BINC has our backs when we need it.

2

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation helped me in a time of great need, and went above and beyond what I ever expected they would do. I was out of work for 3 months due to a broken ankle. I have insurance, but still had many medical bills as a result. BINC paid all of them! Then they helped with my rent and moving expenses when I unexpectedly needed a new place to live. A true gift! Thank you!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This organization is just THE BEST! Their incedible scholarships make continuing education, professional development, and emergency financial help accessible to so many in (and related to) the bookselling industry. Without them, school this semester would not have been affordable. Moreover, not only did I receive a scholarship, but they went above and beyond to honor all recipients in a caring way that made me not only feel excited, but PROUD of what I was accomplishing. I felt like they were my cheering section and I just cannot say enough words of thanks for their generosity and their existence.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

You always hear about the scholarship and tuition assistance programs that big companies offer their employees, especially chains like Starbucks and McDonalds. College has always been a dream of mine, but the price tag has always looked more like a nightmare. But I absolutely love books and I love being able to work while I'm surrounded by them, but I've always felt guilty for not taking more responsibility and working for a company that gives me an educational opportunity. Book Industry Charitable Foundation's scholarship has released me from this guilt and allowed me to do what I love while pursuing my dreams.

Review from Guidestar

Marggie G.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My dad works for a used book store. He suggested that I apply for the BINC scholarship, and I have received it two years in a row. My sisters have also received scholarships. I am a big supporter of BINC because they support the community of book sellers and there families.

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great experience from the application process to receiving the scholarship award. Thank you BINC!

Review from Guidestar

1 Maya Jo B.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I received a scholarship from BINC and the scholarship application process was seamless. Thanks to BINC, I won’t have student debt this year :)

Review from Guidestar