Thursday, February 26, 2009

Fundraising For Libraries 25 Proven Ways To Get More Money For Your Library by James Swan

Fundraising For Libraries 25 Proven Ways To Get More Money For Your Library by James Swan

This book is about how to raise money for your library. There are numerous tips lists on extra things you can do in each chapter in this book. I found many of the tips useful. This book covers many other subjects than just grants.

The sections on capital campaigns, bond issues, and legislation were interesting. They talked about how to raise very large amounts of money. The book also covered LSTA (Library Systems and Technology Act) grants. We recently had a bond issued to improve the condition of the building.

For me, the most useful and immediate ideas that came out of reading this book were the idea of a renewal campaign contacting previous donors and creating a memorial giving brochure. These seemed like appropriate activities that our library might do.

There was a bit on direct mail campaigns for funds. I am not sure that this would be a great idea. I have mixed feelings about having lots of letters sent out to people requesting money. Some people might think this is junk mail.

We do many of the things listed in this book, but not as fundraisers. We have an art exhibition running in our library every month from the Westchester Arts Council. We do regular poetry (now it is called spoken word) open microphones. We have a Friends group that does regular booksales. The money from the booksales usually goes to pay for library programs.

There were a variety of events suggested, book fairs, book sales, garden fairs, fashion shows, poetry nights, flea markets, dinners, and auctions. They did not suggest a few things which are run in our area. The literary tea seems to be a favorite around here.

Opening a store in our library would be quite hard. However, providing premiums for donations like a giving tree, plaques, or personalized bricks might work. We currently have bookplates in many of our books with patrons names on them. Also, some of our rooms are named after people with small plaques.

The section on corporate giving reminded me to look up the major employers in our city and identify the foundations attached to them. We have a brochure with all the major employers in the county. Corporations often do matching gifts. The Gannett Foundation is a local foundation.

We are working on a family literacy grant. However, right now, I am more interested in things like individual donors.

I did not realize that the American Library Association had a Fundraising and Financial Development Section

This book was quite comprehensive with lots of suggestions. It could have used some more illustrations. There is an index and a bibliography. The information on creating donation buttons on websites is a bit dated. It gave me a number of ideas worth looking at.

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Brilliant article, I've really enjoyed reading this. I have recently discovered Tony Charalambides fundraising blog, you should check it out.