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Recently Anne and David Bromer, proprietors of Bromer Booksellers in Boston, made a $10,000 stock gift to the Antiquarian Booksellers’ Benevolent Fund. It hasn’t been my practice to single out contributors to our charitable funds for public thanks — but this gift is important on several levels and should be recognized publicly.

First of all, I should point out the extraordinary generosity of a donation this size. The Bromer’s gift is among the largest single bequests ever made to the Fund, and it adds significantly to its reserve. This is important: for much of the past decade, grants made from the ABBF slightly exceeded incoming donations. That trend has now begun to reverse, and with gifts such as this one we can now begin confidently to speak of a long-term goal of building a self-sustaining Benevolent Trust that will function in perpetuity.

The Bromer’s gift is also unprecedented in another way: until now, the ABBF had been set up only to accept gifts of cash; with this gift we can announce that the ABBF can, for the first time, accept gifts of stock as well. This has certain tangible benefits for both the Fund and for donors, especially those wishing to make larger gifts. If you’d like more information on how to make a gift of stock, please contact Susan Benne.

I’m consistently amazed and humbled by the generosity our members have displayed, year-in, year-out, in their support of our Association’s various benevolent activities. Whether through donations to the Antiquarian Booksellers' Benevolent Fund, the Elisabeth Woodburn Fund, or through unrestricted gifts that can be used to advance our other outreach programs, these members have clearly embraced the ABAA’s overarching mission “…to support educational programs and research into the study of rare books, and to facilitate collegial relations between booksellers, librarians, scholars, and collectors.” 

The vast majority of our donations still come from a rather small percentage of our members. This needn’t be the case. Any gift, however small, contributes to the long-term health of our charitable funds, moving us closer to that goal of long-term sustainability. If you share this vision, please consider making a gift (follow the links) to the Benevolent Fund or Woodburn Funds this holiday season.

Please accept my best wishes for a joyous and prosperous holiday season, and, once again, join me in thanking Anne and David Bromer for their extraordinary generosity.