from the February Meeting @Palenville
FROM THE SESSION:
Funds for operations
should come from a secure and stable source = public vote; very large endowment
only two options.
Fundraising should be
used to fund "extras" or large capital projects.
- Increasing return:
- Don't use the same
letter year after year!
- Be specific about
what you are fundraising for - people like to identify where their money
went and see the results.
- All agreed that enclosing
a return envelope, even if there is no postage on it, increases return.
- Have trustees or
friends add a handwritten note to the letter and hand address envelopes
- the Tivoli Library saw an increase in donations last year when they
- Don't let the appeal
letter be the only communication from the library in the course of a year.
You don't want the only time they hear from you to be when you want something
- Send to non-users.
Many libraries reported that many of their larger donors are not library
users. Don't forget weekenders and seasonal home owners.
- Be strategic about
the timing of the letter. Most libraries send out in the fall or closer
to the end of the year. Helps catch those who are in a giving spirit around
the holidays and those looking for end of the year tax deductions.
- Send thank you notes
promptly and to everyone who donates. This paves the way for a donor to
want to continue their relationship with you.
- Keeping the costs down:
- use a indicia (or
mailing permit imprint)
for reduced postage
- One library shares
the cost of sending out the appeal with their Friends, both the board
president and Friends president sign the letter.
- bundle mailing with
- *don't let your
appeal letter be the only time residents hear from you, make sure
they receive news about the library at other points during the year.
- Most libraries letters
are signed by the board president, others use the Friends as the originators.
Never the director.
- If both the board
and the Friends are fundraising they need to coordinate. One suggestion
was to have a calendar that everyone agrees on so that the community is
not overwhelmed with requests from the library and so things are not scheduled
on top of each other.
- Track donations every
year in a database.
This can help with generating those thank you notes and establishes a track
record of giving to help target larger donors when starting a capital campaign.
- If a donor designates
funds for a very specific purpose be sure your accounting methods allow you
to track those funds so it is easy to show when and how those funds were spent.
- Run by a committee. Greenville's
capital campaign committee was made up of trustees, Friends and citizens who
had specialized skills (a lawyer and grant writer). (This committee later
evolved into the library's Friends Group!)
- Have a timeline with
events and benchmarks. Helps prevent burnout.
- When other organizations
are also doing capital campaigns or other major fundraising, how do libraries
- tap into your users
and past donors
- who knows who? make
personal connections and face-to-face asks for donations
- clearly articulate
through your campaign case statement what the benefits to the community
- speak in terms of
investments for the future, investments in our children, investments in
our community - rarely does and organization serve as broad a cross-section
of the community as the library does
- "Making the Ask"
- Trustees make the
- Even if a consultant
has been hired a trustee should always accompany the consultant when visiting
a potential major donor
- Work to develop event
that people will look forward to year after year.
- word-of-mouth pr
will take care of itself after a few years
- good example - Red
Hook Friends Trivia Event & Hair of the Dog Concert
- Most events shared at
the meeting were run by the library's Friends Group.
Sales (most libraries do these)
- sorting isn't imperative,
many people like to rummage
- Heermance Memorial Library
- Silent Wreath Auction:
decorative wreaths donated, silent auction held in conjunction with community-wide
"Christmas by the River" celebration
- Coxsackie Cuisine:
a version of a moveable feast fundraiser - people volunteer to cook a
gourmet dinner in their homes, tickets are sold (need to know max number
of seats available in the homes) usually 6-8 people per house, $60 per
ticket; start at the library with hors d'oeuvres and find out which home
you are going to, return to the library after dinner for dessert
- Palenville Branch Library
- Musical performances
- donation jar
- Art exhibits at the
library, cut of sales go to the library
- Greenville Public Library
- Tivoli Library
- Book sale piggybacked
with community-wide yard sale
- sell donated
ice cream (Ben & Jerry's; Stewarts) during community events
- Fashion Show, wine
- Philmont Public Library-
- Bus Trip to NYC - breakfast
on the way down baked by Friends, group dropped off in Bryant Park, wine &
cheese on the way home
- Best sources are local
- local banks, local foundations, local charitable trusts, local legislators
- Member items (from NYS
- keep legislators
up-to-date with what is going on at your library, especially about space
constraints and building plans
- request funds early
in the year (January)
- take note of trustees
or Friends who donate to legislator's campaigns
Meeting: Monday, May 19th, 2008
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