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Carla Gray Scholarship Deadline Extended to Oct. 28

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, October 23, 2019


Deadline Extended - Apply by October 28!


The Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Bookseller-Activists is unlike any other scholarship the Binc Foundation has offered. This year-long professional development scholarship is intended to help a bookseller with fewer than five years of experience connect with other booksellers, publishers, and authors and to establish the long-term relationships that keep the book industry thriving.

The scholarship includes funds to attend Winter Institute 2020 and a 2020 fall regional trade show. The bookseller will also be granted funding to support a community outreach project of their own design.

Applications are open now.

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Heads or Tails, every bookseller wins!

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, September 25, 2019

BincAnyone who has attended a regional trade show or the American Booksellers Association's Winter Institute or Children's Institute has had the chance to play "Heads or Tails" -- the popular game/fundraiser the last person standing takes home a $500 prize. If you haven't played, you have at least watched, smiling as your colleagues, adorned with flashing pins, tried to decide whether to put their hands on their heads ("heads") or their rears ("tails"). A coin is flipped, heads or tails is called, and pins are turned off as players guess wrong. Every pin represents a $20 donation to Binc. The more pins a player is wearing, the longer they can stay in the game, but eventually only one person is left, still blinking.

At the SIBA Discovery Show the Binc Heads or Tails Fundraiser is one of the last events of the show -- held on the exhibit floor amid a general air of hilarity as booksellers, exhibitors, and even authors ham it up trying to stay on their feet until the end. The event has proved so popular -- and is for such a good cause -- that many authors in the show program who can't stay for the whole weekend arrange for proxys to stand in for them so they can still play. The lucky winner of this year's contest was Rebecca Kauffman, author of The House on Fripp Island, due out in June of 2020.

The fundraiser, which was sponsored by SIBA, raised approximately $3500.

So what, exactly, were all those folks doing by wearing flashy pins and patting their heads?

They were helping SIBA booksellers in need.

"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." -- Jamie Anderson, Downtown Books & Duck's Cottage, Outer Banks, NC, after Hurricane Florence and Hurricane Michael

Binc exists to be a safety net for booksellers facing a financial crisis. This has special significance for bookstores in SIBA territory, which face severe natural disasters and weather events with increasing rapidity. Rarely does the South make it through a hurricane season without some of our stores being affected -- by flooding, building damage, lost inventory, lost work, lost wages. Here is what Binc has done for SIBA booksellers since 2014:

  • Bookstore Disaster Recovery: 2 grants for a total of $12,073
  • Disaster Relief: 2 grants for a total of $7,975
  • Financial Assistance: 27 grants for a total of $62,678
  • Matching Grants: 5 grants fora total of $10,000

All in all, Binc has provided more than $92,000 in aid to Southern bookstores in the last five years. They have helped booksellers pay their rent, keep the lights on, meet serious medical expenses, and provide immediate disaster assistance.

That means if you have ever played "Heads or Tails" with Binc and didn't win, you still won. Your contribution has strengthened the bookselling community by directly benefiting its booksellers.

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Macmillan Diversity Scholarship Applications Open 6/15

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, June 12, 2019

ABAMacmillan Diversity Scholarship Returns
Nine Scholarships Will be Awarded in 2019

The Macmillan Booksellers Professional Development Scholarship, a program sponsored by the Binc Foundation and Macmillan Publishers, provides the opportunity to attend a regional fall trade show to booksellers who are underrepresented within the book industry. The application period will run from June 15th through July 15th. For full details and eligibility requirements, please see the online application here.

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NC Bookseller Receives Binc Higher Education Scholarship

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, June 4, 2019

Congratulations to Carl Schumer from Sassafras on Sutton Bookstore, who has received a $3500 Binc Higher Education Scholarship to Clemson University. Colin is a National Youth Ambassador for the Tourette Association of America. Being a youth ambassador gives Colin, “the ability to help other kids with Tourette Syndrome who are unable to have a voice of their own.” He plans to pursue an MBA after earning his BA in marketing.

A favorite quote: “It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.” —The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

The Binc Higher Education scholarships can be used for tuition, fees, books, supplies, and room and board. Since 2001 the Foundation has supported the educational goals of more than 700 booksellers, granting over $2 million in awards.
Providing financial assistance to help booksellers’ families achieve their educational and professional dreams is a rewarding part of maintaining the bookseller safety net, according to Binc Executive Director Pam French. “For eighteen years Binc has helped ease the cost of a college education for booksellers’ families. Reading about the scholarship winners and their educational goals is always inspiring,” she said. “A big congratulations to all of the students!”


More info

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2019 Binc Survey: We Want to Hear from You!

Posted By Nicki Leone, Sunday, March 24, 2019

Binc Survey 

The 2019 Survey Binc will be open from March 25th through April 6th.

Bookseller feedback is being sought for the 2019 Binc Survey. Bookseller input is important to the organization and will help the Binc Foundation better serve booksellers across the nation. The survey should take less than 10 minutes to complete.

Participants have the option to be entered to win a $200 gift card to the bookstore of their choice or one of four (4) $50 American Express Gift Cards, To be entered, they must submit their email address. Binc will not contact people for any other reason other than to let them know if they've won (unless you give your permission to be added to our mailing list). Binc will never share information with an outside organization.

Click here to take the survey


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Inspirational Books Publishing Hosts Order Campaign in Support of Binc

Posted By Nicki Leone, Monday, March 18, 2019

Inspirational Books Publishing Hosts Order Campaign in Support of Binc

"We can be beacons of light" --Aimee Cabo Nikolov

Love is the Answer, God is the CureIn order to introduce the new edition their lead title, Love is the Answer, God is the Cure by Aimee Cabo Nikolov, to independent bookstores, Inspiriational Books Publishing seeks to support booksellers via the Book Industry Charitable Foundation in addition to inspiring readers with this powerful memoir.

For every copy of Aimee Cabo Nikolov's book sold until 5/30/2019 Inspirational Books Publishing will donate $5 to Binc, the safety net for booksellers.

Nikolov's memoir offers an important message of hope and resilience for reader, recounting how the author overcame great adversity to ultimately live a fulfilling life.

Love Is the Answer, God Is the Cure is available from wholesalers at regular discount:

Author: Aimee Cabo Nikolov
ISBN: 9780578433868
Format: Paperback
SRP: $15.95
Pub Date: January 1, 2019

More information is available at


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Binc Disaster Relief Pilot Becomes Regular Program

Posted By Nicki Leone, Monday, March 18, 2019



Disaster Relief Program No Longer a Pilot, Now a Regular Program Offering for Bookstores from Binc


Ann Arbor, MI ­– March 18, 2019 – The Binc Foundation announces their bookstore disaster relief program, which was piloted in 2017 and 2018, is now a regular program and is no longer being tested as a pilot. The Binc Foundation board made up of passionate book people, including publishers, booksellers, and Borders’ Alumni, voted at their February board meeting to make Binc’s bookstore disaster relief a program offering going forward.

The goal of the bookstore disaster relief program is to provide assistance to bookstores so they can return to normal operations as quickly as possible following a natural disaster. Binc can now help bookstores pay essential expenses if they have sustained a financial hardship due to disaster. Rent, utilities, certain repairs, and storage of non-damaged furnishings, while repairs are completed, can all be considered for assistance.

In 2017—through the generosity of Binc’s donors—Binc was able to assist six bookstores in disaster recovery from hurricane, wildfire, and flood. In 2018 Binc assisted five bookstores with recovery assistance for hurricanes, wildfires, and flood. Binc has given over $76,000 in disaster recovery assistance to bookstores since 2017.

As the frequency of natural disasters increase (since 1970, the number of disasters worldwide has more than quadrupled to around 400 a year)[1], the Binc board decided it was time to add this vital program to its assistance options. “We believe that the number of bookstores needing this assistance is only going to increase in the coming years. Our bookstore disaster recovery assistance has proven to help booksellers and their communities move forward after a natural disaster, so by changing the bookstore disaster recovery assistance from a pilot to a regular program, we are preparing for the future,” said Binc Executive Director, Pam French.

Binc board member and owner of Bank Square Books/Savoy Bookshop & Café Annie Philbrick said, “When Bank Square Books was flooded by tropical storm Sandy we received a phone call from Kit who told us she was with Binc and wanted to help. We had no idea what this organization could help with, but we quickly learned that they are an amazing team of hard workers. Over the past eight years, Binc has helped many of our employees with major life and medical issues as well. Without Binc, we would not have gotten back on our feet as fast as we did after Sandy.”


More information at:


[1] “Weather-Related Disasters Are Increasing.” The Economist, The Economist Newspaper, 29 Aug. 2017,

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Applications Open for Binc Higher Education Scholarships

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, January 15, 2019


The Binc Foundation’s annual scholarship program is now open for applications. Applications will be accepted through March 5th, 2019. The 2019 scholarship program has been revised to support booksellers’ dependents, spouses, and partners in pursuing their higher education goals. Binc will award seven (7) $3,500 scholarships to the dependents of booksellers and one (1) Karl Pohrt Tribute Scholarship award of $5,000 will be granted to an independent bookseller who has overcome learning adversity or is a non-traditional student.

The Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) Scholarship Program seeks to make a lasting impact in book store employees’ lives and former Borders Group employees’ lives by offering scholarships to their dependents and spouses/partners based on financial need, academic performance, and community involvement – helping to make a college education more affordable for booksellers' families. Scholarships are offered for full- or part-time study at an accredited institution of the student’s choice.

This revised scholarship program reflects a change in eligibility requirements from previous years (booksellers themselves are now only eligible for the Karl Pohrt Memorial Scholarship). This change in eligibility realigns the program with Binc’s mission to strengthen the book industry and support career booksellers and their families. Now, only booksellers' dependents and spouses/partners are eligible for the (7) seven higher education scholarships. The bookseller themselves must be currently employed at a brick and mortar bookstore and have been employed there for at least 90 days for their family members to be eligible for a higher education scholarship.

Changes were made to the scholarship program this year to more closely align the program with Binc’s mission to strengthen the book industry. Binc hopes to support career booksellers by making college education more affordable for their families.

Booksellers wishing to expand their education – and stay in the industry – may apply for a variety of Professional Development Scholarships. Applications are currently being accepted for the newly launched Denver Publishing Institute and applications will open later this year for the second annual Carla Gray Memorial Scholarship for Emerging Bookseller-Activists. The Professional Development Scholarship opportunities Binc offers are expanding and growing. More scholarship opportunities will be announced later this year.

Binc Executive Director, Pam French, commented, “The launch of our annual scholarship program always makes January exciting. Helping booksellers’ families achieve their educational goals and explore possibilities is one of the ways Binc supports booksellers. I encourage all booksellers who are the parents or guardians of students who are pursuing higher education, to apply for a scholarship this year.”

Since 2001, the Binc Foundation has supported the educational goals of over 680 students, awarding $1.9 million dollars in higher education scholarships. Now in its eighteenth year, the scholarship program is focusing on making a positive impact in the lives of bookstore employees and their families.

Scholarship America (Scholarship Management Services) will manage the 2019 scholarship program. The evaluation process will utilize selection criteria including financial need, prior academic achievement and leadership capabilities (including participation in school and community activities) as well as work experience, a statement of career and educational goals and objectives, and unusual personal or family circumstances.

Booksellers can find out more details and apply at Applications are due by March 5th, 2019.

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Disaster Relief

Posted By Nicki Leone, Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Disaster Relief


Are you a bookseller or store owner that has been affected by Hurricane Florence or Michael? Remember that Binc is here for you. Email us at or call 866-733-9064.

Are You Prepared for a Disaster?
Help your store meet the challenge with this checklist.


Staying Open Despite the Hurricane Because of Your Help

The consequences and difficulties that result from a major hurricane don't always take the form of property damage, and stores and their employees do not need to have suffered physical damage to qualify for assistance.

The thoughtful owner of a bookstore in North Carolina did all they could to prepare for the recent Hurricane Florence. They put books and merchandise on high shelves and most major physical damage was avoided because of their precautions and preparation before the storm. However, because of this store's location and a customer base which is in a large part tourists, they are struggling to pay their mortgage and utilities because access to their area is currently restricted to emergency and storm clean up crews. Cleanup is likely going to take several months and foot traffic will be limited to nonexistent for weeks to come. Binc has stepped in to cover mortgage and utilities for a few months, so that when tourists return their favorite local bookstore will still be there – ready to welcome them back.

If you or a bookseller you know is facing an unexpected hardship, contact Binc and we will help you navigate available resources.

If you'd like to help booksellers facing life's emergencies donate here.

We are counting on you to help booksellers and their families.

Thank you,
Kate & The Binc Foundation Team

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Binc: The Southern Bookselling Community Steps Up!

Posted By Nicki Leone, Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Binc: The Southern Bookselling Community Steps Up!


SIBA raised over $3000 for the Book Industry Charitable Foundation at the SIBA Discovery Show last week. Binc is a charitable foundation that provides assistance to bookstore employees who have a demonstrated financial need arising from severe hardship and/or emergency circumstances. The generosity of show attendees was especially in evidence as Hurricane Florence made landfall on the North Carolina coast, threatening friends and colleagues.

"SIBA and her team raised a total of $3,039," said Kathy Bartson of Binc, "thus helping at least one bookseller and family but most likely two booksellers!"

Alesia BollumThe "Heads or Tails" Binc fundraiser has become an established event at the show. A game in which participants buy flashing pins for a chance to win a $500 cash prize, the fundraiser culminates in a fun event on the show floor where everyone who has bought a pin stands, pins blinking, and when the coin is flipped, each person publicly indicates their guess by placing their hands on their “head” (head) or “tail” (backside). Each flip eliminates those who guessed wrong, and they turn off their pin; More pins mean more chances to play and the last person standing wins.

SIBA and Binc sold the pins for $20 each, or 2 for $35. Publishers stepped in to play on behalf of their authors and show presenters who couldn't stay for the event but wanted to support Binc and the many booksellers threatened by the storm.

The winner of the #SIBA18 Heads or Tails contest was Alesia Bollum from The Muse Bookshop in Deland Florida.

Donations to Binc can be made here

If you are a bookseller in need, you can request assistance here:

Booksellers can also email to or call 866-733-9064.

In the words of Binc Executive Director Pam French "We are ready to assist."

*A personal note from Nicki: I sometimes think people don't take the phrase "we are ready to assist" seriously or literally, but I am here to tell you that when Binc says it, they absolutely mean it. It was no secret at this year's SIBA show that I was feeling worried and a little frantic. Hurricane Florence made landfall...well, right in my front yard, frankly. I live just north of Wilmington, NC, on the coast. Needless to say, I was distracted the entire week, unable to get any news about friends or loved ones, not to mention my friend who housesits for me and takes care of my dogs and cats. (Everyone is fine, by the way, as is my house). The day the hurricane hit, the Binc people emailed me, asking if I needed help and letting SIBA know they were ready to help any bookseller in harm's way. Pam and Kathy were both at the show and checked in with me periodically. And as I made my way home (as of this writing I am still en route, all the roads to Wilmington are closed), Binc called me on the phone just to check in and make sure I knew help was available. In fact, one of the most rewarding things I have done post-show was to help Binc compile a list of our member stores that may have been affected and have staff in need. They are that committed to their mission.

Binc is good people, folks. Give if you can. And please, please, ask for help if you need it.

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