Help Binc Light Up Winter Institute!

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The Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc) will host a “Heads or Tails” game at this year’s Winter Institute, where booksellers can donate to the foundation by buying flashing pins for the opportunity to win a $500 American Express gift card.

Binc logoThe American Booksellers Association recently designated Binc as its featured charity for the 2018 Winter Institute in Memphis, from January 22–25, 2018. As a part of this initiative, “Heads or Tails” is scheduled for the evening of Thursday, January 25, during the Winter Institute Closing Reception.

Binc Executive Director Pamela French said the organization has hosted a “Heads or Tails” game at the SIBA Discovery Show for the past two years, and the proceeds have allowed them to cover multiple grant requests for booksellers.

“This fast-paced, energetic game is sure to bring out the competitive nature of booksellers,” French told Bookselling This Week. “Purchase one (or more) of the crazy flashing pins to participate, then guess the flip of a coin, and you could win a $500 American Express gift card. The last one to correctly guess the coin toss takes home the prize, but everybody wins by helping their fellow booksellers by raising money to support Binc programs.”

Prior to the evening’s game, Binc staff and a selection of volunteers will sell Memphis-themed pins (guitar pins and musical notes, to represent Memphis’ musical roots) at the Ask ABA desk and at Binc’s table at the Consultation Station. A $20 donation gets one flashing pin, which allows the purchaser one chance to play and win, and $35 gets two pins, which equals two chances to win the grand prize. Binc will provide several Square readers to process credit card transactions, but cash purchases are preferred.

Once the game starts, everyone who has bought a pin stands, 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; these people immediately sit down. The last person standing wins.

As awareness of Binc’s services for booksellers continues to grow within the book industry, more booksellers are learning that Binc can help with all sorts of emergencies, from unexpected medical expenses, loss of household income, and elder care expenses. The results of Binc’s year-end #MoreThanEver fundraiser reflects this, with the organization reporting more than $35,000 collected to help booksellers in 2018.

“Requests for assistance more than doubled in 2017 with 106 booksellers helped, while the average assistance grant increased to $2,000 in 2017,” said French. “If all the pins are purchased at Winter Institute, it will help another four booksellers through financial crises. The game takes less than 10 minutes to play, but the money raised will help booksellers for months to come.”

Booksellers who are in need of emergency assistance or who have questions about the “Heads or Tails” game can contact Binc at (866) 733-9064 or