The annual fall campaign remains the cornerstone on which strong fundraising efforts are built. Yet, sending out more or less the same direct mail letter year after year can get stale. Here are 10 ideas for ways to put some new life into your annual fund campaign this fall: 1. Secure a matching gift for…

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Corporations and businesses can be great supporters and contributors to your Library and fundraising efforts. Today, corporate giving is taking on some new directions and fundraisers are shifting the approach to businesses. Traditionally, many larger corporations have foundations with active philanthropic giving, often with specified areas of focus targeted at community needs. More local businesses…

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1. Diversify activities beyond book sales, into such area as special events, advocacy, PR, etc. 2. Get social – hold “friend-raising” events for different targeted age groups (i.e., the local brewpub) 3. Activate professional development training for your board 4. Increase the “ask” and expectations of your Friends and foundation 5. Move beyond the Library…

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How often do you hear these words: Lobbying is illegal for a non-profit organization?  It’s amazing how many well-informed people have that mindset, so let’s set the record straight right now. It is totally legal for a non-profit to lobby! In fact the IRS has set up rules and regulations to help non-profits understand the…

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There is one type of fundraising that virtually every Friends or Library Foundation should be doing: it’s called the Annual Fund and it is truly the cornerstone of all fundraising activities. The concept is simple. The Annual Fund is a letter writing appeal to your members and donors (individuals; not corporations) requesting a contribution to…

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When a Friends or Foundation board looks for new directors, it can be tempting to prioritize deep pockets over all else. It’s an understandable impulse. After all, fundraising is a major part of our “raison d’être.” Moreover, as we’ve said before, you should strive for a 100 percent Board donor rate. Even so, board donations…

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Nearly 85 percent of employed Millennials (age 18-34) donated to a charitable cause last year, according to a recent Millennial Impact Report. That’s impressive in itself – and doubly so when you factor in that America’s youngest working generation is also its largest. Eighty-five percent of Millennials translates to something like 67 million donors! Furthermore,…

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Friends and foundations need a plan as much as the library does. All too often, however, these organizations operate from year to year with no direction or plan in place. So, it’s time to think about development planning! Development planning is strategic planning for the support organizations that raise funds for their libraries. A development…

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Across the country, Friends of the Library groups of all sizes are reporting declining memberships. This is troubling in and of itself, and doubly so because the number of active members willing to take on vital volunteer responsibilities core to the operation is also dwindling. At a high level, this trend is no mystery. In…

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Partnerships have great potential to expand your library’s capacity to offer more, reach broader audiences, and leverage your resources. As libraries continually seek new ways to stretch their budgets, partnering is a valuable option to consider. There are several natural partnerships that many libraries have formed: 1) Literacy Partnerships. Partner with your local literacy organization…

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