Mary Jo Ketchum

A library trustee and development consultant for over twenty years, Ms. Ketchum is currently the president of the Elma Public Library's Board of Trustees in the Buffalo-Erie Library System. Serving as president of the New York State Association of Library Boards (NYSALB) for three years, she is in her ninth and final year of service on that board of directors. She has taken time out of a very busy schedule to contribute to the e fundraising forum Project's Forum on Trustees & Fundraising.
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Interview with Mary Joe Ketchum
August 2000
Why did you become (and stay on as) a library trustee?
Do public library trustees have a responsibility to fundraise?
Should all board members be fundraisers or just those good at it?
Who determines fundraising skills, or non-skills, of board members?
Throughout your tenure as a public library trustee and as a member of NYSALB, have you seen a shift in trustees' attitudes towards fundraising for libraries?
What type of fundraising do you see as the most effective for public libraries?
How does a library board know when they need professional fundraising help?
How does one justify to the community paying for a consultant? In other words, how does one make the public comfortable about this decision and get them behind it? After all, somebody will have a friend who has a cousin who is retired who will do it for next to nothing, right?
As you have been involved with the New York Library Association's (NYLA's) current capital campaign, the Vitality Fund, what have been some of the difficulties of organizing a campaign with a diverse group of collaborators? What have been the positives in the process?
How does a library begin to institute an annual appeal and what kinds of fundraising should that entail?
TIMING: What happens when you fall short of your fund-raising goal? How do you keep the momentum rolling? What is the ideal time frame? How long should it last?

Case Study
252 Hudson Avenue