Nine Easy Ways to Increase Your Library’s Fundraising Success Over Time
The best advice is often the most obvious but also the hardest to implement: Focus on implementing one fundraising strategy at a time. Once you develop and can maintain a healthy rhythm for fundraising, you can begin incorporating more strategies over time based on your library’s capacity. Before you know it, you’ll have built several sustainable streams of revenue your library can count on.
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Do These Important Tasks BEFORE Every Fundraising Event for Your Library
It’s important to learn how to properly plan for a successful library fundraiser before launching your first event. Here are some cost-effective ways to make sure you’re maximizing reach and driving donations.
Recruit your fundraising team
Make a plan to communicate with everyone who will help run your library fundraiser. This includes staff members, volunteers, board members, and anyone else who will be involved. Once you have your fundraising team, view them as your lifeline. In other words, stay connected to them! Make sure everyone knows what they are responsible for and when they are expected to do it.
Check for competing events
As you’re planning your next library fundraiser, check local calendars and national holidays to ensure the date you’ve chosen isn’t competing against another large event in the area. It’s going to be impossible to find a day that everyone is available on, but avoiding national holidays and competing events will increase your chances of high attendance.
Create a simple marketing plan
How will you tell people about your event? You can promote your library fundraising event through email, social media, printed publications—whatever you choose, let people know event details at least one week in advance. All of the marketing materials created should have a consistent design and use consistent language, so people can quickly identify your library’s branding.
Reach out to media outlets for coverage
Local media outlets are more likely to give your library fundraiser coverage if it feels “newsworthy.” What does this mean? Demonstrate how your event (and the library in general) benefits the entire community.
Plan for photographs
Even if you can’t secure professional media coverage, have a plan to document your event. Taking pictures of your event will help you build momentum for future events.
Submit your fundraiser to local events calendars
Include need-to-know information (time, date, location, etc.) to post your library fundraiser on multiple local events calendars. This can be done online or by requesting to hang up flyers onto community bulletin boards. In most cases, it’s free to submit an event—you just need to receive approval to post.
Do These Simple Tasks AFTER Every Fundraising Event for Your Library
Following these best practices every time you plan a fundraiser will set you up for fundraising success before – and after your event even starts. No matter which library fundraising strategy you choose to go with, you should conclude every fundraising event with these best practices to ensure future fundraising events will be just as (if not more!) successful:
Share how much was raised, how many people participated, and any other success metric that will help you begin building excitement for your next library fundraiser. You can use emails, social media platforms, or direct mail newsletters to celebrate your fundraising success.
Say thank you
Thank everyone who volunteered, contributed, or participated in any way! Showing appreciation is a crucial part of supporter retention. You can thank people personally over the phone or through segmented direct mail letters or emails. You can also demonstrate public gratitude over social media.
Review the data
Gather as much supporter data as you can to inform future events. Be sure to collect contact information from attendees, so you can reach out to them in the following weeks to share upcoming events and more ways they can get involved. You can use a CRM platform or create a simple spreadsheet to store supporter data and contact information.