Why libraries need to embrace fundraising. #11: 2013
Fundraising, for all its pluses and negatives is truly a reality in 2013 libraryland. But ironically it is not popular because: it’s tough, labour intensive, requires seed money, embodies a certain level of risk, requires specific expertise and is a long term commitment. The library board also has to be on side, agreeing and supporting fundraising initiatives.
But, in the current economic environment we find ourselves in, fundraising is nothing short of essential because:
- The taxpayers can no longer afford all the needs of a relevant, contemporary public library.
- The competition for shrinking tax dollars continues to escalate. More and more organizations are trying to tap into the public purse, which is not bottomless as we have seen with tax cap communities in the US.
- There is a sector of the community that believes libraries are no longer relevant, with the proliferation of the internet and eBooks. Many non-readers believe the library is dying, but with a successful fundraising event, it is a tough argument for them to make!
- Libraries need to be relevant and current. Fundraising is another way to tell the community that we are important, changing and essential.
- We need as many friends as we can get and fundraising events are a great way to make friends, build support and engage the community in a very positive way.
- Fundraising offers volunteers valuable experience and opportunities to work with library staff… particularly if they are thinking of a career in library science.
- Successful fundraising increases the library’s community profile and keeps us “front of mind” with our customers and supporters.
- Fundraising is a long-term board and staff team building effort. As folks work together towards a common goal they begin to understand each other better and create a common bond. And learn the real value of team work.
But, most importantly, successful library fundraising empowers our friends and customers to stand up and support their library. It builds a two way dialogue that the library can use to share our story and the impact we make on the community every single day.
In 2013 LIBRARY fundraising is a good thing!
Kitty Pope #11 March 2013