Major Donors Pledge Funds to Help Booksellers23-May-2017
ANN ARBOR — Major forces in the bookselling industry have rallied together to provide significant funding for the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation. The industry support will help Binc provide financial assistance to booksellers facing challenges from medical or funeral expenses, loss of household income, domestic violence and more.
Binc Co-Ambassadors Ann Patchett and James Patterson led their respective publishers, HarperCollins and Hachette Book Group, in pledging generous support for Binc. Soon after, they were joined by industry-leading publishers Penguin Random House, Macmillan Publishers and Simon & Schuster.
Long-time Binc supporter, Ingram Content Group and its distribution brands, Ingram Publisher Services, Consortium, Perseus Distribution and PGW also pledged significant support.
Receiving backing from these business leaders is a pivotal moment for Binc, as it demonstrates a collective investment in booksellers across the nation. The practical and psychological importance of the bookseller safety net can’t be overlooked, according to Patchett.
“So often in booksellers’ lives a true disaster can be averted by the gift of a couple thousand dollars. It’s a small amount of money that can keep people in their jobs and in their homes. But more than that, Binc brings peace of mind,” she said. “We’re telling the booksellers, ‘We’re there for you. You matter to us.’ By joining the campaign, publishers are saying the same thing. We’re incredibly grateful for this support.”
Patterson stressed the important role booksellers play in improving the lives of the people who frequent their stores.
"Booksellers are essential to fostering a love for reading – one of the most basic and critical skills a person can have,” he said. “Thanks to the financial assistance provided by Binc, there are more booksellers out there hand-selling, and carefully curating book recommendations for each person who walks through their doors. They’re doing noble, vital work, and I’m happy to acknowledge their contributions.”
The support totals more than $224,000 including annual gifts and multi-year pledges, moving the Foundation closer to its goal of raising $500,000 annually to support bookstore employees and owners. Executives from each industry-leading company commended booksellers on their important work.
“The people who work as professional booksellers in the nation's bookstores are critical players in connecting our authors to their readers,” said Brian Murray, President and CEO of HarperCollins Publishers. “By supporting Binc, HarperCollins is proud to be able to play a part in supporting this important community in times of need.”
“The health and vitality of the book industry and, indeed, literary culture, depends on independent booksellers, the life force that brings readers and books together,” said Michael Pietsch, CEO of Hachette Book Group. “We are very proud to help Binc support booksellers in challenging times, when they need it most.”
Each organization’s contribution will help booksellers when they need it most. Since 1996, Binc has stabilized more than 7,000 households in thousands of communities, and provided higher education and professional development for 724 booksellers. Leaders from each of the other supporting organizations also offered their reasoning for supporting the bookseller safety net.
Penguin Random House CEO Markus Dohle and Carolyn Reidy, President and CEO of Simon & Schuster stressed the value booksellers bring to their customers.
“Our booksellers give so much to their communities, so it is a privilege for Penguin Random House to give back to them through the Book Industry Charitable Foundation,” Dohle said. “This wonderful group has our deepest gratitude for their vital support of booksellers in their time of greatest hardship.”
“Booksellers are the vital cog in bringing authors to readers and providing a home and haven for culture and ideas within our communities, often at great personal sacrifice,” Reidy said. “We are pleased to support the Book Industry Charitable Foundation in its mission to provide important and much-needed emergency assistance for booksellers in times of need and crisis.”
President and CEO of Ingram Content Group Shawn Morin and President of Macmillan Publishers Don Weisberg both stressed their organizations’ pride in supporting booksellers when they need it most.
“We value our association with Binc and its good work on behalf of booksellers. We know that our commitment has direct and positive impact on the community and booksellers,” Morin said. “We are very proud to support Binc’s own mission of providing emergency assistance to this important part of our community.”
"We at Macmillan are proud to join our fellow publishers in supporting Binc and their efforts in helping booksellers across the country," Weisberg said.
The outpouring of support shows how important booksellers are to publishers, and it’s well- timed. Each year, there is a growing need as the Foundation receives more grant requests. With the average assistance also rising, support is as important as ever.
“The Foundation is incredibly grateful for this vital support from our industry’s leaders,” said Binc Executive Director Pam French. “We owe so much to our ambassadors and these publishers for bringing us closer to our goal of sustainability and helping booksellers well into the future”
About The Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation
The Book Industry Charitable Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that coordinates charitable programs to strengthen the bookselling community. Established in 1996, the core program provides assistance to bookstore employees who have a demonstrated financial need arising from severe hardship and/or emergency circumstances. Since its inception, the organization has provided more than $6 million in financial assistance and scholarships to more than 7,000 families. Support for the Foundation’s programs and services come from all sectors of the book industry.
The Book Industry Charitable Foundation’s mission is to strengthen the bookselling community through charitable programs that support employees and their families. The Foundation was imagined and built by booksellers and proudly continues to be their safety net. It is our vision to be a caring community of book people.
Additional information can be found at http://www.bincfoundation.org. Anyone interested in helping the Foundation reach sustainability can join the ongoing Campaign to Sustain, which aims to add 80 new sustaining donors.