The Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation has released its third industry-wide survey, following earlier surveys from 2014 and 2016. This year's survey collated responses from 696 people—67% of whom were frontline booksellers, managers, and bookstore owner—and found that 22% off people encountered situations in the past two years where they could have used financial assistance. And yet less than half of those in need applied to Binc, assuming their request was too minor or would be rejected.
Industry-wide, awareness of Binc has risen, with just 16% of those responding to the survey saying they were unfamiliar with the organization's activities, down from 28% of respondents in 2016. and 38% in 2014. Awareness is being driven by regional organizations, the American Booksellers Association and trade magazines.
In a press release, BINC noted that it has been the busiest year for the foundation since 2011 and there has been a 38% increase in year-over-year approved grants. At present, they are continuing to help booksellers impacted by the California wildfires and blackouts in 2018 and 2019. In 2018, Binc provided financial assistance to 73 bookstore employees and their families giving $155,000 in personal grants
As the year comes towards a close, the group is working with Penguin Random House and Ingram annual on their Year-End fundraising campaign to replenish the coffers for the year. Nearly one-third of those surveyed said they had contributed to Binc in the past, and nearly everyone — 91% surveyed — said financial assistance for booksellers should take priority over other areas, such as scholarships for trade events and professional development.