December 2, 2015
How to lose that icky post-Black Friday feeling: BINC, a charity for booksellers
by Simon Reichley
Our national retail binge—Black Friday, etc.—is over, and now, perhaps, purged of our desire, we respond to the other impulse that comes on strong at this time of year—charitable giving, and more socially productive uses for our hard-earned cash. As an independent publisher, one who belives strongly in the like mission of independent booksellers, we suggest you channel your charitable inclinations toward BINC, the Book Industry Charitable Foundation.
BINC is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, founded in 1996, that provides financial assistance to booksellers in need, helping them to stay afloat during times of crisis. If you’ve ever worked in a bookstore, you know how slim the takings can be. Making at or near minimum wage in this country is punishing, and it’s damn-near impossible to put anything away for a rainy day or for a sudden, unexpected financial challenge. That’s where BINC steps in.
Established by board members of the now-defunct Borders Group, BINC functions as a community fund, drawn from employee contributions, executive donations, and pledges from the public, that give support to booksellers struggling with financial burdens brought on by natural disasters or personal tragedy.
The Foundation typically assists with needs arising from these qualifying life-event categories:
- Domestic Violence
- Funeral Expenses
- Homelessness Prevention
- Loss of Household Income, due to: death in the household, disability, divorce or separation
- Job loss of spouse or partner
- Emergency child or elder care
- Serious Medical Expenses
- Utility Shut-off Prevention
While Borders Group is now a thing of the past, BINC marches on, supporting booksellers in need, and their end of year fundraising push begins now. From Dec. 1st to the 15th, board members at BINC will match any charitable donation up to $3,500 dollars, doubling the impact of your gift. You can visit them on the web to make your pledge.
Simon Reichley is assistant to the publishers and office manager at Melville House.