Since the pandemic began shutting down parts of the U.S. economy earlier in the year, Humble Bundle has been an indispensable fund-raising platform for book-related and pandemic nonprofits. Under the Humble Bundle model, consumers can pay what they wish for DRM-free digital content, with some of the proceeds going to nonprofits.
In partnership with the Book Industry Charitable Foundation (Binc), Humble Bundle has helped raise more than $450,000 to support independent booksellers and comics retailers since the beginning of 2020. In addition, Humble Bundle has helped raise more than $70,000 over the same period for the Hero Initiative, a fund that supports comics creators in need, as well as more than $40,000 for EveryLibrary, a political action committee that supports initiatives related to library funding.
Kelley Allen, Humble Bundle’s director of books, said that, though the site has partnered with Binc for the past three years, the past four months have been "record breaking.” She adds, “It’s been inspiring for us to work together with Binc to help pull the industry through this period.”
And there’s more Humble Bundle support for Binc and the Hero Initiative to come. On July 1, the site launched the Humble Bundle Image Comics Showcase, which offers a variety of DRM-free Image comics titles.
In April, with the help of e-book and graphic novel publishers, Humble Bundle raised more than $6.5 million via its Conquer Covid bundle to support those affected by and responding to the pandemic. And in the wake of the death of George Floyd at the hands of the Minneapolis police on May 25, Humble Bundle has raised more than $4.3 million via its Fight for Racial Justice bundle, with all proceeds going to three organizations: the Bail Project, the NAACP Legal Defense Fund, and Race Forward.
Since early April, Humble Bundle has launched seven bundles aimed at raising funds for the book industry and for victims of the pandemic. Among the publishers that have supported these bundles with e-book content are Abrams, Adams Media, Frog God Games, IDW, Image Comics, John Wiley & Sons, Mango Media, Morgan & Claypool, No Starch Press, and Quarto.
Allen also said that noted comics writer Gail Simone, who has written for DC, Dynamite, Image, Marvel, and many others, is teaming up with culture journalist Karama Horne; Mikki Kendal, author of Hood Feminism; and L.L. McKinney, author of the A Blade So Black trilogy, to launch a new bundle in support of Black Lives Matter nonprofits. Allen said this new bundle will likely launch in early July.
Allen noted that it’s unusual for Humble Bundle to offer two major fund-raising bundles such as Conquer Covid and Fight for Social Justice, in which all the funds raised go to nonprofits, in one year. “We’re in a period of huge social movements, and the need is there,” she said.