Grassroots Fundraising Strategies That Support Your Library

You’ll want to make sure your grassroots fundraising efforts, regardless of the method you choose, include each of the following elements to successfully raise support for your library!

You’ll want to make sure your grassroots fundraising efforts, regardless of the method you choose, include each of the following elements to successfully raise support for your library!

TWO FREE On-Demand Webinars for Library Giving Day 2021 #LibraryGivingDay:

Webinar 1: Getting the Most Out of Library Giving Day: From Fundraising to Friendraising, a Quick Start Guide to Making the Most of a Development Campaign.

Webinar 2: Library Giving Day: An Opportunity to Cultivate Major Donors

It Fosters Community

Make sure your grassroots fundraising efforts foster a sense of unity, or a little friendly competition, among fundraisers. The people who are donating or fundraising on your behalf should feel like they’re connected to something greater—they’re not just supporting your library but benefiting the surrounding community as a whole.

It Feels Personal

Donors want to be seen, understood, and appreciated. Even though you’re reaching a large number of people through grassroots fundraising, make sure you’re taking the time to personalize your “asks” to resonate with donors. You can do this through segmenting donors based on their past involvement with your library, what values they hold most dear (education, arts, supporting local, etc.), or the communication channels they prefer.

It Contains Powerful Storytelling

One of the reasons libraries are so valuable to their surrounding community is the opportunity they give people to discover and become a part of grander narratives! The same should be true when they decide to support your library. Invite participants into your library’s narrative to show exactly how their support will impact the community. Likewise, you should find ways to make your library a crucial part of their own narrative. It’s not just about inviting them into your world but being invited into theirs! Fortunately, as a library you have the opportunity to appeal to donors on an intellectual and emotional level. What story is going to resonate most with them?

It Makes Donating Effortless

You want donors’ experience to be as seamless as possible. This means an intuitive and user-friendly way to support your library. This means giving peer-to-peer fundraisers everything they need to successfully fundraise on your behalf (images, social media copy, email templates, etc.). There should be nothing that stands in the way of supporters joining your cause.

It Includes Compelling Visuals

Compelling visuals (images, videos, infographics, etc.) can help catch people's attention, keep them engaged longer, and become more memorable. It’s easier to imagine how their donation will make a difference in the community when they’re surrounded by visuals that illustrate it for them!

It Creates A Sense Of Urgency

Use concrete incentives, such as a fundraising deadline or a specific goal amount, to motivate people to participate. Urgency is such a persuasive factor for most people. Let them know now is the time to support your library and now is their chance to be a part of something greater than themselves.

It Supports Mobile

Successful grassroots fundraising now goes beyond just having a great website. Your fundraising efforts also need to be mobile-friendly! More than half of people who visit your website, interact with you on social, AND donate to your library will do so on a mobile device. Half! By incorporating mobile-responsive design to your website alone, you can increase your donations by 126% (on average).

Your donations help us secure funding for libraries in the United States.

It Ebbs And Flows Organically

Hearing ask after ask is exhausting for supporters. Through grassroots fundraising, make sure you’re mixing advocacy within your donation appeals. Make sure donors feel inspired and know how their previous donation has made a real-life impact before asking them to give again. This could also mean that you’re mixing up your CTAs; making a financial contribution is not the only way donors can support your library. Change it up by offering volunteer opportunities or sharing a wishlist for in-kind donations. Look at your grassroots fundraising efforts on a yearly level to see when you will be making your largest asks. Then, you will know when you should be focusing on the inspiration surrounding those appeals.

It Includes Multiple Donor Touchpoints

Don’t limit yourself to one channel. Even if you’re focusing on one method of grassroots fundraising, think about all of the different communication channels that can complement your efforts. This also includes understanding supporters’ preferences and reaching them in ways that resonate with them the most.

As you can see, there are lots of grassroots fundraising methods and strategies you can implore to raise support for your library, incorporate one at a time to build a steady flow of support for your library through grassroots fundraising.