Le Lézard
Classified in: Covid-19 virus
Subject: Corporate Social Responsibility

Ingram and Industry Leaders Donate $1M to Kick-Off "Survive to Thrive" Initiative to Help Independent Booksellers Recover Post-COVID

The Book Industry Charity Foundation (Binc) announced today the establishment of the Survive to Thrive bookstore grant program. Founded with initial support from Ingram Charities and Ingram Content Group, the program will quickly provide grants to independent bookstores and comic shops affected by COVID-19.

With a leading gift of $500k jointly from Ingram Charities and Ingram Content Group, $250k from Bookshop.org, and an additional $250k total from Hachette, Harper Collins, Macmillan Publishers, and Penguin Random House, the Survive to Thrive initiative has raised the first million dollars of its $2 million goal.

"As we all turn our attention toward getting to the other side of the pandemic, I want to be sure local bookstores ? gems of their communities ? have a chance to not only survive, but thrive," said John R. Ingram, Chairman of Ingram Industries and Ingram Content Group. "Our intent was to make an initial gift to quickly start the Survive to Thrive grant program and to set it up as a matching grant ? hoping it will inspire others to join us in supporting local independent booksellers. Bookstores are the lifeblood of local communities ? their success is our success."

"We can't thank John Ingram enough for his visionary gift in support of independent bookstores and comic shops, and for his hands-on advocacy in reaching out to other industry leaders," said Pamela French, Binc's Executive Director. "We are also grateful to the five additional companies that joined Ingram to kick-off the Survive to Thrive grant program."

"Bookstores should not be worried about staying in business if they have one bad season, an unforeseen major expense, or even a global pandemic. Bookshop.org is grateful to Binc for creating this resource and proud to help make it possible," said Andy Hunter, Founder & CEO of Bookshop.org.

Hachette Book Group CEO Michael Pietsch said, "Binc's mission to support the independent booksellers through difficult times is more important than ever, and we are grateful to Ingram for spearheading this major fundraising initiative. Hachette is a longtime supporter of Binc and the independent booksellers who are so essential to books, authors, and reading, and we're proud to be part of Binc's Survive to Thrive initiative in this urgent moment."

"One of the lessons of the pandemic will be the role that books and authors played in helping the public get through very difficult times and the aid and comfort local bookstores provided to their communities in bringing authors and readers together. There are thousands of examples of how the nation's independent booksellers quickly rallied, developed new ways of doing business and were beacons of hope for better times. Now is a critical time for independent booksellers and we are so proud to support Binc's Survive to Thrive Initiative which will play a crucial role in helping Independents to retain a solid footing in their communities, as well as extending and refining the many innovative ways of bookselling that have arisen out of necessity during the last year," said Josh Marwell, Harper Collins President of Sales.

"The independent bookstores of America are critical to our bookselling environment, and now more than ever we all need to rely on each other," said Don Weisberg, CEO, Macmillan Publishers. "Macmillan is proud to partner with Binc and play our part in this worthy campaign."

"It is a privilege for Penguin Random House, with our contribution, to acknowledge and to join in advancing the indispensable contributions of Binc to the independent bookstore and comic shop community. In this time when the availability of wide-ranging information and ideas is more necessary than ever to the future of society, Binc's support of our authors and their books, by their heroic sustaining of a healthy small-business bookselling ecosystem, is cheering and inspiring," said Jaci Updike, President of Sales, Penguin Random House U.S.

The Survive to Thrive grant program will provide substantial support to as many as 200 brick-and-mortar bookstores and comic shops in the U.S. that have a strong foundation in their community but are facing financial challenges due to the impacts of the pandemic.

"Our goal is to raise an additional million dollars for a campaign total of $2 million by the end of May," French said. "It's an ambitious goal, but thanks to Ingram and several industry leaders, we are halfway there."

With $2 million, the Survive to Thrive initiative could make grants of up to $10,000 to 200 independent bookstores and comic shops.

Grants will be made via a juried review process designed to provide grants to stabilize stores and help them thrive, retaining the many and varied benefits local bookstores and comic shops provide to their communities. The Survive to Thrive jury of reviewers will be made of industry leaders who love book and comic shops and have the knowledge and expertise to review the grant applications. The Survive to Thrive applications are expected to open in mid-April, with grants to be distributed in early June.

Survive to Thrive is relying on industry and community support. All gifts to Binc in support of the Survive to Thrive grant program will make a difference for independent bookstores and comic shops that, with some help, can continue to be vital Main Street anchors, community gathering spots and the backbone of the book and comics industries. Visit https://secure.donationpay.org/bincfoundation/survive2thrive.php to donate today.

In 2020, Binc distributed $2.9 million to help more than 2,200 bookstores, comic shops and individual store owners and employees. In eight weeks beginning in late March 2020, Binc distributed more aid than in the prior eight years combined.

"Ingram and these five industry leading companies have made amazing gifts," said Binc's Pamela French. "The way to meet this campaign's goal ? and help as many stores as possible ? is for everyone who can to get involved. Share the word with your friends. Every gift will make a difference."

About The Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation

The Book Industry Charitable (Binc) Foundation is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that coordinates charitable programs to strengthen the bookselling and comic retailing communities. Established in 1996, the core program provides assistance to bookstore and comic shop owners and their employees who have a demonstrated financial need arising from severe hardship and/or emergency circumstances. Since its inception, the organization has provided over $9 million in financial assistance and scholarships to more than 9000+ families. Support for the Foundation's programs and services come from all sectors of the book and comic industries. The Book Industry Charitable Foundation's mission is to strengthen the bookselling and comic retail community through charitable programs that support employees and their families. The Foundation was imagined and built by booksellers and proudly continues to be their safety net. It is our vision to be a caring community of book and comic people. Additional information can be found at http://www.bincfoundation.org.

About Ingram Charities

Ingram Charities provides grants for nonprofit organizations on behalf of Ingram Industries Inc., the parent company of Ingram Content Group. Funding typically focuses on programs that enrich communities through the arts, education, and health and human services. Learn more at www.ingramcharities.com.

About Ingram Content Group | www.ingramcontent.com

The world is reading, and Ingram Content Group ("Ingram") connects people with content in all forms. Providing comprehensive services for publishers, retailers, libraries and educators, Ingram makes these services seamless and accessible through technology, innovation and creativity. With an expansive global network of offices and facilities, Ingram's services include digital and physical book distribution, print-on-demand, and digital learning. Ingram Content Group is a part of Ingram Industries Inc. and includes Ingram Book Group LLC, Ingram Publisher Services LLC, Lightning Source LLC, VitalSource Technologies LLC, Ingram Library Services LLC, and Tennessee Book Company LLC.

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