BECOME A SUSTAINING SUPPORTER
Buffalo Street Books is asking you to become a sustaining Supporter by pledging a yearly or semi-
yearly contribution to the fiscal life of the bookstore. As we have discovered in recent years, book
sales alone cannot support the store’s operations. Each year we have a $30-45,000 gap to close. This
is a critical need we must address through philanthropy. We know we can do this with your help!
We are conscious of the fact that we waited too long to reach out to you. This will not happen again.
In order to avoid this kind of crisis in the future, the Board has created a Plan for Sustainability.
The first step in our Plan for Sustainability is to create a Sustaining Supporter Program that
would support the store with annual and semi-annual donations. Sustaining Supporters offer a
meaningful and dependable source of income that is unaffected by the fluctuations of book buying
in the town of Ithaca. They also prevent us from having to run constant pledge drives that may or
may not generate enough secondary income to keep the store alive and flourishing.
These Supporters would be separate from the original $250 ownership stock you might have
purchased to become a voting member of the store’s cooperative, but they would be just as essential
for our future moving forward. Donations in the form of a Sustaining Supporters would offer the
store a sign of Ithaca’s dedication to their independent bookstore even during the slower seasons
when regular customers and walk-ins are less likely to buy books.
Buffalo Street Books has always counted on Ithaca to support the mission of a cooperative
bookstore, and our emergency meeting showed us just how much Ithaca counts on the store to be a
community gathering space, a site for readings by the country’s most important and ground-breaking
authors, an employer that pays a fair wage, a resource for our college students and professors, and,
most of all, a place to buy books in a fully-stocked store that are chosen for you by members of your
community. Sustaining Supporters ensure that we will can provide all these services to a city
of legendary readers and writers. Just as you would contribute to a local theater or art museum,
we hope you will think of this as a contribution to the cultural life of the city. You came out and
spoke in enormous numbers saying that you wanted to save your bookstore—now here is your
Your Sustaining Support can be purchased online or at the store in any amount. All you need is a credit
card. Names of Sustaining Supporters will be permanently listed (unless you choose to remain an
anonymous donor) on the website and in the regular correspondences with our owner/friend base.
To reach our goal of 30k additional revenue each year, with more substantial needs in 2017 for
handling our debt, we have provided some suggested levels of support below along with the number
of people from whom we hope to receive commitments.
2,000 a year - 5 people ($10,000)
1,000 a year - 5 people ($5,000)
500 a year - 10 people ($5,000)
250 a year - 20 people ($5,000)
100 a year - 50 people ($5,000)
Can you make a commitment of $1,000 a year to the bookstore? We need just 5 people in this
category! Can you make a commitment of $100 a year or something in between? Each and every
commitment we receive is valued and necessary. We need you all!
Benefits for Sustaining Supporters are in the works, and while we cannot return to regular discount
models of the past, we anticipate very special perks for those of you making this kind of
contribution. These may include: first-look shopping on a specialty Supporter day during the holiday
sales; reserved signed-copies of major new releases; tickets for fundraising concerts and events;
discounts with local businesses; dinners with visiting and local authors; and many more.
We hope you will join us in ushering in a new era, with a fuller store in every sense of the word, and
the security of a truly community-owned business.
The Executive Board and Staff of Buffalo Street Books
Rob Vanderlan (Chair), Associate Director in the Center for Teaching Innovation, Cornell
Alex Skutt (Treasurer), Publisher McBooks Press
Leann Kanda (Secretary), Associate Professor and Chair of Biology, Ithaca College
Dianne Dietrich, Digital Projects Librarian, Digital Scholarship and Preservation Services, Cornell Library
Eleanor Henderson, Novelist and Associate Professor of Writing, Ithaca College
Chris Holmes, Associate Professor of English Literature, Ithaca College
Michelle Nolan, Principal of Alternative Education, TCT BOCES
Lesley Williamson, Executive Director of the Saltonstall Foundation for the Arts
Sharon Yntema, Author and Bookseller