Featured Expert   
Susan Love
August 2000

How should money be handled?

"First of all, say 'Thank you, thank you!' to all of your donors. You can't thank people enough! When you receive a gift, send out a letter within 24 hours from your chairperson and say 'thank you'. The contact person for that constituency who went out and solicited that gift should say 'thank you', and maybe even the director of the library should call up and say 'thank you.' If the donation is a major gift for the children's section, take a picture of the children standing in front of the library waving and looking happy, saying 'thank you!' You really can't thank people enough. It sounds a little silly, but no one has ever been embarrassed by being thanked too much.

Now that you've reached your goal, you will not have all the money [in hand] right away. Most of this type of fundraising is done through pledge forms, over a certain number of years. (You want to make sure that the lawyer on your board [has determined] that the pledge form is phrased correctly so that it is legally binding.)

At some banks, you can use your pledge forms as collateral to borrow the money you are going to need until the rest of the pledge money comes in. You should also set up a separate account for your campaign donation money. Put together a cash flow projection. Your costs are going to come in at a certain point and your money is going to come in little by little. So, you have to put all that on a spreadsheet, and see if you are going to come up short. You may need a bridge loan.

You may have to float a municipal bond.

Remember that you don't want to mix up your campaign finances with the library's yearly budget."


Return to Main Page