There are only two weeks left to donate to the Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation’s annual year-end fundraising campaign, for which the Foundation is partnering with Penguin Random House to double every donation made through December 31, 2019.
During the campaign, which kicked off November 30, Penguin Random House is matching all donations and giving $1 for every social media post on Instagram and Twitter using hashtag #BookstoresAreHolidays, up to a total of $15,000. With this, PRH’s contribution serves to double the impact of individual donations through the end of the year.
According to Binc, while the Foundation is currently more than halfway to reaching their campaign fundraising goal, they are still looking for new donors in order to meet Penguin Random House’s match; donations to Binc can be made on the foundation website.
As revealed in the Foundation’s 2019 survey this November, one in five booksellers has experienced a financial emergency in the last two years. While the need for assistance in the bookselling community continues to grow, the Foundation has also reported an approximately 30 percent increase in grant requests this year.
The staff at Binc recently created a short video titled “A Bookseller’s Story” to demonstrate the difference a donation near the end of the year can make. Here, Binc’s Kate Weiss describes the circumstances that led the bookseller featured in the video to ask for Binc’s help:
“Early spring in the upper Midwest is no time to be without heat when temperatures continue to dip to near freezing in early May. After a roommate moved away unexpectedly, a bookseller tried to manage household expenses on their own but fell behind on their utility bills. When there isn’t enough money to go around, difficult choices must be made and people find themselves choosing between medicine, shelter, food, and utilities. In spite of taking on additional work hours and a second job, they could not make up the entire balance owed to the utility company and shut-off was threatened as the bills piled up. Most states have laws and regulations in place that determine when an electric, gas, water, or utility company may disconnect a customer’s service. One effect of these regulations is a flood of shut-off notices in the fall and the spring of each year leaving people without the ability to heat and cool their homes, keep their food from spoiling in the fridge, and use their ovens and stoves to cook meals. This is exactly the situation that this bookseller faced. They put their limited income towards rent and groceries and were trying hard to catch up on the utility bill when they were convinced by a thoughtful co-worker and friend to call Binc for help. Because of your donations and support, Binc paid the $700 balance to keep the gas on for this hard-working bookseller, allowing them to keep warm on freezing early spring nights. Having this bill paid not only gave them warmth, but also the breathing room and time to plan for the future.”
Donations to Binc’s year-end campaign can be made now; companies that would like to support the Foundation can visit the Binc website or call Director of Development Kathy Bartson at (734) 471-0201.