Hello Book Thing Supporters!
We’re a month into our hibernation, and it’s time for some updates.
Here are some of the things that have been keeping us busy:
- We’re about half way through our overdue 2016-18 tax paperwork. Filing these returns is one of the requirements for getting our nonprofit status back.
- The Board is making progress on administrative tasks ranging from improved documentation to formalized policies and procedures.
- Operating at a bare skeleton staff is allowing us to save up a small financial buffer to cover the fees associated with nonprofit reinstatement.
- Our first general public volunteer event and new volunteer orientation was a success! On Jan. 26, more than thirty people turned out to contribute nearly 90 hours of labor.
- We’ve been working to reconnect with long-time volunteers. We hope they will form the base of a core group who can operate almost autonomously supervising their own tasks and orienting newer volunteers. This would allow us to expand volunteer hours in the future.
- We’re finally restocking the bookshelves for our friends across the street at Peabody Heights Brewery, after several months’ hiatus in 2019. Stop by Peabody when the taproom is open to support a neighborhood business and maybe pick up a few books.
Most excitingly, the shelves are getting full. We’ve been processing and sorting from our huge backlog of books. We need you to come give them new homes and make room for more on the shelves!
▶▶▶We will be opening for special public hours on ONE DAY ONLY next Saturday, February 15 from 9a-5pm.◀◀◀
Come take lots of books! See our Events page for more information.
Please note that we are still NOT accepting book donations, so we will NOT be taking any books on the 15th. We apologize for the restriction. We realize that it’s frustrating. But we want to assure you that it is absolutely necessary. Why? First, we’re less than halfway through our half-million book backlog (although we’re very happy about the progress we’ve made — and a huge thank you to the volunteers who’ve made that happen!!). Second, this is a special event that will be almost 100% volunteer run, so we won’t have staff to man the donation window or process incoming books. Third, we may need to implement an inventory tracking system, which is something we’ve never done before and aren’t ready to launch yet.
There has always been a sign-out sheet for patrons to tally the books they’re taking, but you’ll notice a manned sign-out on the 15th. Don’t worry, all the books are still free, and we don’t need to look at titles or collect any personal information from you — just a zip code and a book count. Please be patient if there is a line to exit, though hopefully everyone was using the sign-out sheets already, right?
In the next month, we will continue to work on the nonprofit reinstatement and on Board matters. We plan to file our overdue tax returns and our application for nonprofit reinstatement well before April 15. After that, we’ll be waiting for an IRS ruling, but we don’t know how long that might take. We cannot yet say when we’ll be ready to reopen fully, but we do hope to have at least one public day per month during hibernation. We also intend to set up more volunteer days and trainings.
What can you do?
- Come volunteer when we announce volunteer hours. Please see our volunteer page for more information.
- If you can, please donate. Your financial support will help us to pay for professional tax/legal advice.
- If you have fundraising or grant writing expertise, we’d love to hear from you via the Contact form. Even before our nonprofit status is reinstated, we can be the beneficiary of a fundraiser. What’s more, we want to be ready to seek out appropriate levels of nonprofit sponsorship as soon as we’re eligible to do so.
- If you have prior Board experience and/or relevant expertise, please reach out. We will be expanding our Board of Directors soon to strengthen our strategic decision-making. Experience with non-profit management, accounting, fundraising, legal counsel, and the like is particularly valuable.
- Help us find ways to connect better with the local community and other Baltimore organizations.
- Please stay tuned. We will continue to use our website and social media to keep all of you informed of our progress.
Please direct all inquiries about this statement to the Board of Directors via the Contact form on our website.
To donate, you can:
Mail a check to:
The Book Thing
3001 Vineyard Lane
Baltimore, MD 21218
Please Note: Due to the revocation of our nonprofit status, donations made after 5/15/19 may not be tax-deductible. Please consult a tax professional.