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Old 11-13-2013, 11:33 AM   #1
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Help Please-Fundraising Ideas for Library

I was appointed head of the fund raising committee for my local library. My library is small, in a village of 7000, but is in a consortium with other, larger libraries. We have a summer book sale, which is donated books, and is the largest fund raiser. I am stumped. All I can think of is a bake sale, but we would be lucky to raise $300 with that. Everything is free--I suggested doing a bake sale in addition to the holiday walk, but I was told the tradition was free treats. I suggested some kind of hands-on Christmas project, but that was shot down, too.

I have dusted off my ego, and am pleading for help -- what kind of fund raisers can a library have?

I promise not to shoot down any suggestions. Thanks, Debra
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Old 11-13-2013, 12:25 PM   #2
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A few very random thoughts/ideas...


Just because free treats are the tradition doesn't mean you have to continue that tradition. Alternately a donation/tip jar set up where the treats are served might be of some use.

Perhaps an end of year letter to library patrons and local businesses soliciting donations. In the letter include a donation form that allows patrons to express the kinds of books or other media and genres they prefer to see their donations used for. Also perhaps a breakdown with the average costs of hardcovers, paperbacks etc. that the library buys.

There are various grants libraries can apply for...
http://librarygrants.blogspot.com/

Sell bricks with donor names on them to be included in some way to the library grounds

Setup something with some local businesses where you pay them X amount for coupons worth Y amount and sell coupon books. Kind of a very localized Groupon.

A wine, beer, chocolate, food tasting event. Where you organize and promote in conjunction with a local business and get a percentage of that nights take.

A Read-A-Thon

Silent Auction

Quilt Raffle

A community cookbook



Unfortunately I find most of the time the problem becomes that everyone thinks fundraising a great idea until there is a need for people to help with putting the event on or selling the raffle tickets/cookbooks/coupons etc.

Last edited by AnemicOak; 11-13-2013 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 11-13-2013, 01:19 PM   #3
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How about a huge pot luck with a silent auction. Have everyone bring an item or talent to be auctioned off. Painter could bring a picture or two, carver a toy or something, tradesmen offer repairs, house painter offer a room or two etc. It allows anyone interested to be a part of it.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:01 PM   #4
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We're approaching Christmas : how about a wrapping table in the library ? We did this once at a Borders for Pet Rescue and it was quite popular. People would dump off stacks of stuff to be wrapped while they browsed, or would buy - drop off for wrapping -browse more.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:25 PM   #5
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A raffle. In conjunction with that, if you can do it very cheaply, produce a pamphlet / sheet of paper highlighting the value of a library in the community. Emphasize children. Parents spend money on their children. Even if they don't read, they want their children to read.
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Old 11-13-2013, 02:52 PM   #6
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"Sponsor a shelf" or "Sponsor a section" - allow individuals or businesses to 'sponsor' a shelf or section of books - with the lure of a discreet sign - for an annual fee?

Kind of like the "Adopt a highway" program?
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:06 PM   #7
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One idea I saw in a small town I visited was a local chapter of the Lions Club sponsoring a jazz concert with admission and refreshments by donation with all proceeds to go to the local library. Perhaps one of your local organizations could do something similar with local musicians or church choirs or school glee clubs, maybe even a talent show - well, you get the idea. Good luck!

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Old 11-13-2013, 04:07 PM   #8
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If you need money to get some new books into the library, then it might be an idea to not ask people for the money, but for a book. If they donate a book (by paying for it), then they get their names written onto the title page. "Kindly donated by: $name".

I for one would do something like that much quicker than just giving money or buying cakes, especially if I could choose the books myself.
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Old 11-13-2013, 04:48 PM   #9
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How about selling DVDs burned with collections of PD books, reading apps for all the major platforms, and Calibre? The cheaper DVDs featuring single genres and the top of the line bearing a whole Gutenberg or Black Mask library. Plus whatever else the likes of us can point you to. The sheer numbers should draw attention. It'll promote reading. And ebooks, too.

A lot of people don't know the stuff exists and other than the blank DVDs and Labels the costs are nil. (Might as well put your Mobileread expertise to use. )

A raffle for a few eink readers and a tablet. (DITTO.)

Otherwise, I suppose you could sell Kindle- and Kobo-shaped cookies.
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Old 11-13-2013, 08:55 PM   #10
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Something that seems to work well and is pretty low work is cutouts that are placed on a board or windows with the donators name.

Also pennies have been pretty well phased out in Canada (not sure about Chicago) but banks still take them. Lot of people who wold be glad to get rid of their pennies without being sneered at Perhaps a pain to roll, but a bank or business with a coin rolling machine might do it free for a good cause, or you could have a penny rolling contest at the end of the drive.

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Old 11-14-2013, 01:44 AM   #11
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What do you mean by "roll", Helen?
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Old 11-14-2013, 01:59 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
If you need money to get some new books into the library, then it might be an idea to not ask people for the money, but for a book. If they donate a book (by paying for it), then they get their names written onto the title page. "Kindly donated by: $name".

I for one would do something like that much quicker than just giving money or buying cakes, especially if I could choose the books myself.
This is a nice idea that could be expanded to a sort of "What do you think people in our community ought to read?"

This kind of appeals to people's egos without being blatant. A small brass plaque on the front with "Suggested reading by: XXX NNN", all for the small sum of $200.
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Old 11-14-2013, 02:01 AM   #13
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What do you mean by "roll", Helen?
To make it easier to turn coins into the bank, there are papers that you use to fill with the required amount of coins. Pennies are usually done in 50 cent rolls.
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Old 11-14-2013, 02:20 AM   #14
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How about cloth book bags with the libraries name on them? My own local library sells such for around $10.00 a piece at the main desk. Or collect recipes from patrons and then have them put together in book form to sell copies for say $5.00 a book.
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Old 11-14-2013, 02:22 AM   #15
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To make it easier to turn coins into the bank, there are papers that you use to fill with the required amount of coins. Pennies are usually done in 50 cent rolls.
Yep, and quarters are done in $5.00 rolls. I sometimes get some rolls of quarters from the bank for doing laundry.
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