Creative Fundraising Ideas for Libraries

Library fundraising ideas

Library Fundraising Ideas

Libraries are our greatest public institutions.  Here, anyone that can read has access to millions of new ideas at their finger tips. Where else can you get all of this helpful information for free? Libraries are so important that they’re protected under the First Amendment.  It guarantees freedom of speech and the press, and the right for people to peacefully assemble. Library fundraising ideas – we have the profitable answers.

To be able to compete with the internet,  a library must brainstorm creative ways to generate funding ideas. This includes ideas to raise money for media, collections, staffing, and programming. However, before you begin a fundraising campaign, make sure the library director or chief librarian is on board.  There may be some state regulations on what kind of fundraising you can do at your library. So, it makes sense to find out before you ever get started.

Common library fundraisers include:

Book Drive and Book Sale. Lots of libraries take old, donated, or extra copies of books, magazines, or media out of circulation to make room for new books. Many libraries may not take your donated books to put on their shelves. However, they may be happy to use your book donations to sell on the side for profit. You can scale this idea to fit the size of your library. For example, a small library on Orr’s Island, Maine, holds an annual Library Fair where there are:

  • Games for kids
  • A white elephant auction table
  • Petting zoo
  • AND a house full of books that sell for as little as  50 cents, $1, $2, and more.

Are you getting any ideas yet for your libarry?

Adopt A Book and Book Plate programs

Here is a neat idea to try. You can invite a local artist, to design a beautiful book plate. Display the book plate at the librarians desk.  The plate can be used to encourage book sponsorship for individual or gift purchases.Furthermore, you can include a certificate with the book plate certifying that a book has been dedicated in the patron’s honor. Book plates can be a range of prices to encourage gifting at any level. Finally, there is no need for expensive bookplates, though they may be appropriate for unique or rare collections.

How do you like our library fundraising ideas so far?

Publish a Wish List

One of the easiest ways to get what your library needs is to publish a wish list. So, encourage librarians and patrons to brainstorm a list of needs. For example:

  • Acquiring more New York Times’ best sellers
  • Crayons for the craft room
  • A roll of address stickers for the magazine stacks.

Once you have your wish,make copies to send home with everyone who visits the library. This way people have the option to donate the money or purchase the items your library needs.

Holiday Fundraising for Libraries

You can count on librarians to tie-in the nearest holiday with books they have on hand. So, why not plan an annual holiday fundraiser during New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas?  Ask a starving artist to design a beautiful calendar.

  • Tell the library visitors they can purchase a calendar for themself, or as a gift.
  • Collect payment upfront for the calendar.
  • Remember to get the customers contact information..
  • Print the calendars and have the library card holders come in to pick up them up when they are available.
  • The money raised can be used to help pay for the library’s monthly programming costs.

Furthermore, beautiful stationery (perhaps with an artist’s painting of a holiday library scene) can be sold at the circulation desk to encourage people to send holiday cards to their friends and family. Finally, put up a lovely, pine-scented Christmas tree with colored tags of new book titles and media available for adoption.

In conclusion, the American Library Association (ww.ALA.org) has a database of all types of funding sources. They include fundraising ideas for academic and school libraries, book donations, grants, and online funding campaigns. Check them out for more information. And of course, our friendly staff here at Fundraisingzone.com is here to offer you free advice and support with your fundraising ideas. We hope you found these library fundraising ideas helpful.