The Book Industry Charitable Foundation has launched its third annual Campaign to Sustain. Binc reported that to date, more than 170 contributors have pledged to become monthly sustaining donors and help "this ongoing funding [that] has ensured emergency financial assistance to help booksellers overcome challenges such as serious medical expenses, domestic violence, homelessness prevention and funeral expenses will continue to be provided by the foundation."
Binc has set the goal of adding another 80 sustaining donors during the month of May. Executive director Pam French said, "Our goal is to expand our funding so we will be able to assist an additional bookseller a month, every month of the year. If 80 new sustaining donors join with a contribution of $20 a month, we can strengthen our bookseller safety net immensely. When the literary community comes together, the combined contributions can make a huge difference."
In 2016, the addition of Ann Patchett and James Patterson as co-ambassadors for Binc helped spur a nearly 50% increase over 2015. Last year the foundation was able to assist 36 booksellers and their families with more than $81,000 in financial assistance. Binc's scholarship program provided higher education scholarships to 44 booksellers or their family members totaling $117,000. More than $125,000 was donated by book lovers, ranging from publishers to readers, to ensure booksellers in need have a place to turn. Thus far in 2017, 10 booksellers have received grants totaling just over $20,000.
To kick off this year's campaign, a pair of incentives has been added. Longtime sustaining corporate donor Basil Software will make a one-time $10 matching contribution for each of the company's customers who becomes a sustaining donor with a minimum gift of $20/month. And Ann Patchett will offer the first 80 people who join as a sustaining donor with a minimum gift of a $20/month an autographed hardcover copy of her novel Commonwealth.