Sunday, January 8, 2017

Fundraising and advocacy

Why is fundraising important? 

  • Reduction of traditional sources of funding 
  • Useful for improving or enhancing library facilities or a special project 
    • e.g. computer suites 
  • Large libraries often have development officers who primary role is to raise funds for the library
  • Must be an integral part of library planning 

Libraries most likely involved

  • Academic 
  • Public 
    • Buildings
    • Services 
  • School
    • Trips 
  • Some special if mandate is to serve the public 
    • Rare 

Where to start 

  • Project a positive image of the library
  • Be proud of what you do and strive for improvement 
  • Be involved as part of the entire operation (e.g. school, university, city)
  • Choose goals for fundraising (one or two high profile projects) 


9 Cardinal principals of fundraising*


  • Institutional or organizational objectives must be established 
    • Why is it important and why is it needed?
  • Development objectives must be established to meet institutional goals
    • What’s in it for them? Make people see how they would benefit 
  • The kinds of support needed determine the kinds of fundraising programmes
  • The institutions must start with natural prospects
  • The case for the program must reflect the importance of the institution
  • Involvement is the key to leadership and support 
  • Prospect research must be thorough and realistic
  • Cultivation is the key to successful solicitation 
    • Develop relationships
  • Solicitation is successful only if primary principles are followed 

*Harstock, Robert F. “Why People Give and Why People Don’t.” Resource Development for Libraries. p. 12.

Types of fundraising

  • Annual giving campaigns 
  • Special events 
  • Retail operations 
    • New libraries have gift shops, profits go towards library
  • Major gifts Annual giving 
  • Adopt-a-book or journal o Have new books on display with label saying “Adopt me” 
    • Have people donate new books or journals to library
    • Instill book plates to recognise donor(s) 
  • Retail sails 
  • Bequests and memorial donations 


Retail operations

  • Library merchandise
  • Coffee shop 
  • Selling recipe books
  • Necessitates thinking about having a cash register at the circulation desk or accepting credit card payments
  • Online shopping 

Special events

  • Book and bake sales
  • Author readings where people pay 
  • Walk-a-thons
  • Auctions
  •  Note that these are very labour intensive 
    • May not raise a lot of funds, but may be invaluable for raising awareness of libraries 

Major gifts 

  • Foundations (Gates, Winnipeg Library Foundation)
  • Corporations o Watch out for strings attached to agreement 
    • Make sure you have a policy that sets out parameters of relationships
    • Ethical dilemmas can result
    • Will they donate equipment or services? 
  • Individuals 
    • 80-90% of charitable giving is from individuals
    • 5 steps* 
      • Identify
      • Cultivate 
      • Solicit 
      • Nurture
      • Resolicit
        * Denham, Rudi. “Fundraising for Small and Medium-Sized Public Libraries” Feliciter 44 (November/December 1988): 28 
    • Five C’s of ideal donor 
      • Current 
        • Support/use
      • Close
        • Location/attachment 
      • Committed 
        • Always loyal
      • Capable
        • Do they have the money?
      • Compatible 
        • Do their interests match the library’s?
          * Bergan, Helen. “Where the Money is: How to Add Names to Your Prospect List.” Library Administration and Management 7 (Summer 1993): 40 
  • Parent organization 
    • Never forget that your parent organization provides you with major fund
    • Cultivate and nurture this body as well 


Some Canadian success stories 

  • Oakville
  • Calgary 
  • University of Victoria
  • University of Toronto 
  • Vancouver Public Library 

Library advocacy

  • What is it? 
  • Key strategies of ALA campaign 
    • Mobilize network of library advocates to speak out for libraries o Increase federal support for libraries o Initiate media campaign 
  • This campaign included Academic, Public, and School libraries 


Goals of ALA campaign

  • Shatter myth that libraries are frills
  • State urgency and scope of public’s need for libraries
  • Position libraries as central to America’s information superhighway
  • Inspire more Americans to use and support libraries 

ALA’s role 


Advocacy for special libraries



Library advocacy in Canada 

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