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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 and comic retailers who have a demonstrated need arising from severe hardship and/or emergency circumstances. Since its inception, the organization has granted over $9 million to support more than 9,000 individuals and their families.

Target demographics: Bookstore and comic retail employees and their families

Direct beneficiaries per year: 193 booksellers and their family members

Geographic areas served: The U.S.

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

Community Stories

165 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My name is Madhu and I'm a rural bookseller in Vermont selling children's books at an independent bookstore. A few years ago I decided to go to medical school . I've received the BINC scholarship for two years and their support helps me buy my medical textbooks. I'm close to finishing my medical degree with the help of this amazing organization with the plan to become a rural family physician, farmer and of course part-time bookseller. Thanks BINC for helping support students and their dreams of creating stronger communities!

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I only heard about the BINC Scholarship when a bookselling colleague of mine tipped me off, so I'm more than happy to pass on that favor to another bookseller-student.
I'm fortunate enough to work with and study what I love - storytelling. Paying for grad school though, is a burden I'll be carrying for years to come. It can be very discouraging. Being awarded a BINC Scholarship this year not only paid for my final semester of graduate school, but reaffirmed my belief that I'm doing something that matters and that people care about.
-Alexander Papoulias
Bookseller
MFA Candidate-Creative Writing

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Heart-felt thank you to those involved at BINC for helping make my graduate school endeavors more financially feasible! Well wishes from the Oregon Coast. -Lindsey

Review from Guidestar

Jes S.

Client Served

Rating: 5

BINC has been there for me in more ways than one! When hurricane sandy closed our bookstore for two weeks, they helped with rent and other bills I couldn't afford with missed wages, and in for the past two most recent years I have been a scholarship recipient and able to return to school on my own with very little debt! I feel so blessed to have a charitable organization working within the book industry, so dear to my heart. This is an industry full of passion but short on cash and BINC is serving a vital role.

Review from Guidestar

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

They are there when you most need them! God bless!

Review from Guidestar

Ken_48

Board Member

Rating: 5

It's been my privilege to contribute to BINC's mission of assisting booksellers in need. From towering medical expenses to homelessness prevention, BINC is there to help. I also give credit to earlier boards and BINC's tiny but industrious staff, who took an organisation meant to serve the employees of one company (Borders) and expanded their mission to include all bricks and mortar bookstore employees. In just a few years they've managed to make themselves known, and provide amazing services, to a much wider swath of our industry. Yay BINC!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Book Industry Charitable Foundation appeared like magic into my life. The company reached in to my heart and soul as if it new me personally and without doubt took my hand and my mounting issues and assisted a quick and loving resolution. Angels ... plain and simple! Everyday I wake up and I send gratitude to the universe for guiding me to it's open arms. The over night responses and assistance still sends chills through me. A fresh start, a new beginning, a connection with a business that I love deeply.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Binc helped me when, during my unexpected divorce, I was left with multiple unpaid bills. They took care of some basic needs for me, enough for me to catch up and get rolling again. They also checked back with me a few months later, to see how I was doing. I can't say enough good things about this organization!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

We had a rough year including a lengthy hospital stay, a baby in NICU, and then the loss of my father in law. Because of his hospital stay and then wake, we obviously had to take time off work. I feel it was the best and really only choice, but it left us in a bind. We'd just only (finally) been catching up from my original hospital stay. We weren't sure how we were going to pay rent or some of our bills. It was an added stress in an otherwise already incredibly stressful time. I contacted BINC on a Thursday afternoon. I had my application in by Friday after discussing whether or not I fit the criteria. They were so fast, efficient and kind. BINC staff worked on my application over the weekend and they were cutting checks to my landlord and some of my bills by Tuesday. It was such a relief. Our landlords are kind, so I don't think they would have thrown us out, but our water was about to be shut off...the situation was fairly dire and I truly don't know what we would have done without BINC. I've been a bookseller for years and it was nice to find out BINC existed. (My boss gave me the pamphlet when I was first hospitalized.) I now tell every bookseller I know about BINC. I hope one day I'll be in a position to become a donor. Thanks, a thousand times, thank you, BINC!

Donor

Rating: 5

I'm proud to be a sustaining donor to BINC. I have been fortunate to be able to contribute to the organization which helps people I consider my kin: booksellers. The work they do enables others to make ends meet, go to school and get debt relief. Plus, it's book related!

1

Donor

Rating: 5

I am a sustaining donor for BINC's good work, giving a little money each month. I want to be able to walk into a bookstore and see books, take books off the shelves, read the first page, check out the story outline and decide whether to buy. I ask the staff for recommendations. I go to readings at various bookstores in San Francisco and the Bay Area. I meet friends and discuss what we're reading. But running a bookstore is not a high profit enterprise so I give a little to help in emergencies. I wish I could give more because I get so much. We need brick and mortar independent bookstores to help us discover new work, new writers, and get the latest of our favorites.

1 Wanda J.

Donor

Rating: 5

Binc is an amazing entity. It's such a great idea to support the noble profession of bookselling and the booksellers who work day in and day out to connect us with good books. I appreciate their creativity and caring. They look out for booksellers and I, for one, love being a supporter of Binc.

Client Served

Rating: 5

They helped me when I was In a financial bind and was at risk of getting my utilities shut off. They are amazing and wonderful people. Helped me within a couple of days and worked throughout the weekend.

Client Served

Rating: 5

There are those moments when reaching out for help can be very difficult. Recently, I found myself in just this position and was able to see the light at the end of the tunnel only because of the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (BINC) Matching Grant program.

When my 2000 Ford Escort ZX-2 died with no hope of resurrection (no zombie jokes), I found myself in a financial situation I've not experienced in quite some time. I needed to come up with a down-payment that would allow me to obtain a dependable vehicle that was safe and sturdy as my commute to work is 30-minutes each day, all highway. After recently having a new roof installed on my home to the tune of $15,000 and other work done on my home, not to mention the prospect of another winter, I looked into my funds and saw that I was extremely shy of what I would need. There was a feeling of hopelessness that I felt, unlike I have felt in a long, long, time.

Harvey, the Clinton Book Shop owner and my partner of 13-years suggested BINC's matching grant program, trusting that our community would rally and step up. Step up they did. After only a little more than one week, we had collected the necessary $2,000 through an online "Go Fund Me" campaign with many of our friends even stopping by the shop to extend their support. It was an amazing show of support, one that I am so grateful for. I am so happy to say, this weekend I am going car shopping. No, not a brand-new car, not even the car of my dreams. I will have a car that is dependable and safe though. That is all I need.

I look forward to sending a photo of the car along with a huge thank you to the Book Industry Charitable Foundation and to share it with the Clinton Book Shop friends who were there for us. I am so very grateful to everyone for being there.

Thank you BINC for being there for me.

Sincerely

Rob Dougherty

Previous Stories
1

Client Served

Rating: 5

For too many, it is never easy to reach out for assistance when circumstances just don't turn out the way you anticipated. Pride, shame, fear, all of these responses come to mind. When I was left with no choice but to reach out to BINC to help me become current on my electric bill, I did so with a heavy heart.

The staff of BINC walked me through the process of requesting assistance and did so with compassion and professionalism. I am grateful that BINC was there to help and have since made contributions to BINC and have directed others looking for a worthy cause to do the very same.

Client Served

Rating: 5

BINC and Kit, the agent who worked with me, changed my life in an extraordinarily positive way. I work for an Independent bookstore in Colorado. My boss was aware of my financial struggles before and after my hysterectomy. She encouraged me to ask for help and provided a link to BINC. My fears kept me silent until I was in danger of succumbing to the darkness of a deep depression.
As soon as I emailed Kit, her professional, efficient, and nonjudgmental leadership guided me throughout the process. Within a week, BINC paid the costs of my outstanding medical and doctor bills that my insurance did not cover. In addition, my overdue auto insurance bill. Words cannot express my gratitude sufficiently! I can now take action to pay it forward to others!
Books have been my lifeline, and BINC has helped me not to look away at the moment when I need to pay the most attention. With a grateful and joyous smile, thank you!!!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

The BINC Foundation's work has been life-changing for me and my family. As an independent bookseller hoping to go back to school to become a librarian, I knew that It was going to be tough. I have a family, a four-year old, plenty of student loan debt from my undergraduate degree. I was working three part-time jobs to get by day to day. The thought of grad school loans seemed overwhelming and a massive risk. I put myself through college as a first generation student, and with BINC's help, I'll be the first in my family to go to grad school too. I am passionate about literacy and motivated to provide inclusive products and services that empower people to use technology and information to build community and make their lives better. I think the BINC Foundation shares this same mission, and I hope to carry on the non-profit's spirit as i pursue a career in instructional technology in public and school libraries. They are creating real impacts beyond the booksellers' community, and I am grateful. --Christina Czuhajewski, University of Michigan School of Information, Master of Science in Information Candidate '16

Review from Guidestar

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I received an amazing scholarship from the Book Industry Charitable Foundation, and I am extremely grateful to them! They relieved much of the financial stress that I had. The best part is that I will have more time to focus on my studies because of this scholarship instead of trying to work so vigorously everyday and scrounge every penny I have. I have been gifted more time to work on my desired Pre-Med path at the University of Idaho while I major in Biochemistry and Biology. I also hope to obtain a minor in Mathematics. Using this degree and intense education, I hope to go to medical school to become a pediatric surgeon. Every cent that I obtain goes towards my expensive education and soon to be dream come true! Thank you so much Book Industry Charitable Foundation for supporting me and my dream to save the lives of children!

Review from Guidestar

1 Valerie45

Client Served

Rating: 5

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation has truly changed my life. About 5 years ago I applied for funds to help with an out-of-network surgery that I needed to treat a painful condition. They not only supplied the funds I asked for, but actually bumped up the amount citing the travel expenses and such that I had not factored in. Because of them, I am pain free and was able to return to a full quality of life that I wouldn't have been able to afford otherwise. The people who evaluate the applications truly care and go above and beyond. On top of that, I am returning to school for a Master's Degree this fall, and I was a recipient of one of their scholarships, which will eliminate or vastly decrease my need for student loans. Since I am still paying off my loans from my previous schooling, this is an incredible gift.

1 Carrianne P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been working two jobs and going to school for the past two years. The scholarship that BINC awarded me will not only allow me to work just one job, but will also reduce the number of loans that I will need to take out. The application process was straight forward and relatively quick and easy. Every interaction I have had with BINC has been very positive and friendly.

Review from Guidestar

2 Tina55

Client Served

Rating: 5

BINC was a lifesaver to my family when my husband was out of work due to an injury. As a bookstore owner myself, we rely on his salary to make ends meet. I am so appreciative of the financial help and peace of mind that BINC provided. And the application process was easy and didn't make me feel like I had to jump through a million hoops or explain every minute detail of our finances.
Thanks BINC!!

Review from Guidestar

1 Debbi W.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Recently I began bi-weekly shots for my asthma which I will be required to take for at least a year. These medical expenses along with the necessary travel back and forth to the doctor's caused a financial hardship for me. The owner of the bookstore I work for suggested that I apply to BINC. I was hesitant because I know there are many other people who need help much more than I do and I felt awkward reaching out for assistance. Finally I completed the application and quickly received correspondence back from BINC. I was brought to tears when Pam replied that they would be able to help me catch up on some of the bills I had. I am eternally grateful to both Pam and Kit at the BINC foundation for all of their help, discretion and kindness that they showed to me. I would encourage any bookseller to reach out to BINC, don't be embarassed or shy...if they can help you, they will.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I work for an independent book store and heard about BINC from our Human Resources department. I was the primary caregiver for my elderly mother and when she required more care, I needed to take unpaid part- time family leave for about six months to care for her. Fortunately, my work allowed me to do this and was very understanding. However, it was a financial hardship. At the end of last year I was admitted to the hospital for a heart attack. Again, I missed a few additional days of work. The following month, my mother was admitted to the hospital where the doctor stated she didn't have long to live. Honoring her wishes, she returned home with the assistance of home hospice. Again, I needed to take the time off to care for her as she needed 24 hour care and home hospice does not offer 24 hour care. After my mother's passing I needed to take time not only to grieve, but plan her funeral and take care of paperwork and move her belongings from her apartment. This was a very stressful time with my mother's death and then having to take additional unpaid time off I was worried about paying my rent and bills. This is where BINC stepped in and helped me. The woman, Kit, who handled my case at BINC was extremely helpful, compassionate, and kind. She made the process of applying very easy and followed up continually in a timely manner. I was shocked and extremely happy to find out that BINC gave me a grant to pay for two and a half months rent and several bills. She even referred me to another organization called the Karis Group to assist me with my hospital medical bills. I am currently in process of working with them now. This has been a huge blessing for me as now it relieves some of the stress I was going through. I'm still stunned when I think of how much BINC has helped me. I didn't realize it would be so much. I am very grateful for this and will share this information with others in need. A HUGE thank you to BINC and Kit!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

A month and a half ago, I slipped on the ice and fractured my fibula. Unfortunately, my injury necessitated surgery. During my convalescence, I was unable to work for over a week. Additionally, a blizzard hit in our beautiful state of MN and a few days after my return to work, I was unable to leave my apartment due to the fact that I was on crutches. Though I work full-time, my bookselling position does not afford me sick days. Needless to say, my lack of income during that time was very distressing. I applied to BINC and within two days of receiving my application they informed me that they would be covering my lost wages. THIS WAS SO INCREDIBLE! The book industry is not the most lucrative place to work, but organizations like BINC make it possible for independent booksellers to thrive. This is SUCH a necessary organization-- anyone in the bookselling industry can tell you that! I cannot thank BINC enough for the extreme support they have given me. I am so grateful.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

I heard about BINC through the owner of the independent store where i have worked for 12 years. I was diagnosed with breast cancer. Living on an island and getting medical care is difficult. Loss of my salary for over 4 months and traveling off island for medical care created a very difficult fiscal situation for me and my husband. Dealing with BINC and with Pam proved to be a breath of fresh air. They were extremely sensitive to our situation and it resulted in BINC paying a mortgage payment and a utility bill which will enable me to pay for my traveling costs to get the medical care I need. BINC has rescued me from a very difficult situation and will allow me to get on with getting better. What a wonderful organization filled with wonderful people. I am so grateful.

Mary

Client Served

Rating: 5

My husband took a promotion that required going to salary and cutting out all overtime. That resulted in a significant pay cut. The circumstances were such that this pay cut came very quickly before we were really able to prepare or process how big it was. We were robbing Peter to pay Paul and for some time were able to exist this way. However, it hit a point where were not able to do it any longer and were looking at our utilities being cut off and not being able to make rent. BINC helped us with both of those and provided much needed breathing space. We can use the extra time to put some things in place so that we are not in this situation hopefully again. I was treated with respect through the entire process and the process was quick.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

Right before Christmas 2013, I found out I needed urgent back surgery that would require me to be out of work for 6 weeks. At age 36, I had no disability insurance, and was new to my job, so I had limited vacation and sick days available. I am the single mother of 4 kids, and am their sole provider. As a former long-time Borders employee, I reached out to BINC for help. They not only helped me cover basic costs to keep my family with a roof over their head and keep my heat on in Minnesota's biggest deep freeze in 20 years, they did it quickly and with a smile. I worked with Kit, and she was an absolute lifesaver. My family cannot thank BINC enough for their help, as we would be in a terrible position at this point without them. I was able to concentrate on my healing and allow my kids to experience Christmas without their mother worrying about those necessities. I appreciate BINC being there for me in my family's time of need.

Review from Guidestar

Cindy115

Donor

Rating: 5

I donate to BINC because I am a former bookseller who believes that the work they do is much needed. Booksellers and bookshop owners usually aren't in it for the big bucks. They love what they do and don't reap monetary benefits. Because of that, they don't always have extra money for the unexpected. Thanks to BINC, there is someone to turn to when disasters strike, such as ill health or physical disasters. They also have a wonderful scholarship program that helps booksellers achieve their educational goals. They really care!

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I donate to Binc because it is a worthy and well run charitable organization. Binc has a specific focus and vision on helping employees of the bookselling industry, in financial assistance and several other meaningful ways.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer for and donate to Binc because I believe in the importance of bookstores and booksellers. Bookstores have for centuries been one of the primary conduits of enlightenment to many communities. And booksellers have played a primary role in creating interest in the important books of our age and in reading in general. And today, when the problem is too much information, booksellers play just as important a role in helping us find the books we need -- both to understand the problems of the world today, and to take enjoyment by immersing ourselves in a world very different that our own.

Binc is a fabulous organization dedicated to assisting the community of booksellers and bookstore owners. The people behind it all believe in the mission of bookstores, and they understand that most dedicated booksellers choose to toil for wages that won't cover all their bills when times get rough. Both compassionate as to the myriad of problems people can face, and savy in their distribution of funds, Binc has helped thousands of booksellers, both young and old.

Review from Guidestar

1 Anne85

Board Member

Rating: 5

I volunteer for Binc because I am passionate about a thriving and healthy book industry overall, and I know how important bookstores, and booksellers, are to the long-term strength of the industry. I started working in bookselling 25 years ago and have always believed that smart and interesting people are attracted to work in books because they have a passion for connect readers to the written word. But it just isn't the most lucrative industry to be honest. Binc is a critical link in ensuring that booksellers who may face financial difficulties, for a variety of reasons, have a safety net. I have been a donor and supporter of Binc since its inception in 1996 because I believe that we can all help each other in times of need - and we often don't know or can't anticipate when that will be. I know that Binc has changed lives - saved booksellers from financial disaster, or helped them achieve their career goals by attending college. Binc is one of the most critical ways that we can ensure that great people can remain in bookselling. Binc needs help from everyone who is committed to ensuring a stable and healthy book industry. Small gifts add up, so please donate - your time, your expertise, and yes, your money. Because book people need to care for one another - we have to focus on the future of bookselling, and those who connect books and readers. Please give and please share the word about Binc - awareness is everything.
Binc Board Member and long-time supporter

Review from Guidestar

Jim_73

Client Served

Rating: 5

My wife was a bookseller for about 14 years and always paid into BINC. When she started having medical issues in July the hospital bills and doctors bills piled up quickly, but she contacted the Foundation and they were very helpful. Once we had an idea how much we owed, our contact, Kit, submitted our case to the board and gave us the good news the next day. I sent her copies of the bills owed that weekend and she sent out checks on Monday. So fast, so generous, and so helpful. We couldn't say 'thank you' enough, and every time we did Kit just said, "that's what we're here for." Again, thank you.

Review from Guidestar

Client Served

Rating: 5

At the beginning of the year I found myself in a labyrinth of of ever expanding medical issue and the bills to go with it. Stress was setting in. I remembered meeting someone from BINC at a booksellers conference. I called and the woman I talked to was friendly, helpful and totally non-judgmental. My stress level immediately went down. I started to heal and the financial assistance from BINC made it all possible. Thanks!

Donor

Rating: 5

I've been a donor and volunteer with the Foundation for years and have been impressed with the group's integrity, compassion and efficiency. They have helped many clients financially and with advice and direction to other community resources. I encourage you to support their work -- anything you can contribute will be used wisely to help booksellers experiencing financial hardship.

Review from Guidestar

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation is a well run, lean and active charity that puts everything it can into assisting booksellers in need. The people are always looking for new and innovative ways to help, unique ways to raise funds and they process grant requests with speed. A great charity!

Review from Guidestar

Meghan7

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am honored to be involved with such a great organization that provides financial assistance to booksellers in need. I work closely with the full-time Foundation staff members and am continually impressed with their leadership. The team is incredibly committed and focused on finding innovative ways to see the mission of the Foundation through. Having a strong leadership team in place is a key element to running a successful non-profit and I am happy to report the Book Industry Charitable Foundation has this in place.

Review from Guidestar

Joanna3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've seen first hand how the Book Industry Charitable Foundation impacts lives. Whether it's eviction prevention or emergency medical assistance, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation helps booksellers avoid or manage potentially catastrophic life events.

Review from Guidestar