With a little help from our friends


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How Friends Groups can make all the difference for their library and community.

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With a little help from our friends

  1. 1. With a Little HelpFrom Our FriendsHow Friends Groups Can MakeAll the Difference forTheir Library and Their Community Why Libraries Have Friends • To raise money for the Library above and beyond its operating budget • To provide additional programming for the Library • To serve as ambassadors for the Library in the community • To build support for the Library • To advocate for the Library 1
  2. 2. What are Friends Groups?• 501-C-3 tax exempt charitable organizations with a specific mission of supporting their Library• Have their own board of directors• Have their own board meetings• Have their own checking account• Have their own treasurerRole of Board Members• Four basic responsibilities of board members – Set policy – Raise money (resource the policy) – Act as an ambassador for the Friends and the Library in the community – Replace yourself with someone better (when the time comes) 2
  3. 3. Role of Board Members• Understand and carry out the mission— which is to support the Library• Take on responsibilities – Chair a committee – Organize an event – Recruit new members/donors for the Friends and the Board – Raise moneyMore About the Board• Should reflect the community your Library serves – Economic, racial, ethnic – Leaders from various segments of the community• Should have people with specific skill sets – Lawyer, Accountant, PR/Marketing, Fund Raiser, Strategic Planner, etc. 3
  4. 4. More About the Board• By-laws should include – Terms of office • How many terms a member can serve – Rotation of board members • Board member classes – Officers and Committee Chairs • Specific job descriptions• Set dues structure for membershipRelationship with Library• Should be one of mutual respect, cooperation and collaboration• Separate boards – No overlap – Friends board members may be future Trustees and Trustees may be future Friends board members, but there should be no overlap between the two • Except when first starting out 4
  5. 5. Relationship with Library• There should be a liaison from the Friends board to the Library board and a liaison from the Library board to the Friends’ board – Each needs to be kept informed of each other’s activities and how they can help each other• Can even have a Memo of UnderstandingRelationship with Library• Friends do not set Library policy but support the Library’s policies• Library board should value the opinions of Friends in setting policy• Friends fundraising is done with the knowledge of the Library Trustees and in coordination with Library Director 5
  6. 6. Relationship with Library• Friends’ fundraising supplements the Library’s operating budget – Provide materials and programs to enhance the Library’s offerings – Should not replace money normally provided for in operating budget• Friends decide how to spend the money after conferring with Library Board and DirectorRelationship with Library• Friends are one of the connecting links between the Library and the community• Be prepared to make connections with local community leaders, opinion leaders, elected officials on behalf of the Library 6
  7. 7. Relationship with Library• Need to maintain open communication so that both parties—Friends and Library—continue to be on the same page• Friends of Southern Nevada Libraries – Messy dispute around audits and disbursements – Library had to sue to get the money from the Friends before they disbanded – Court found in Library’s favor because of Friends’ mission – Lawsuit cost Library $45,000Role of Library Trustees• Set Policy• Resource the policy—pass budget, secure funding• Be an ambassador for the Library in the community• Replace themselves with someone better – Recruit new trustees whether they are elected or appointed 7
  8. 8. Role of Library Trustees• Develops and implements policies that govern library services• Hires Library Director• Works closely with Director in developing and presenting annual budget• Works with Director to plan and set goals• One member serves as a liaison to FriendsRole of Library Trustees• All should be members of Friends• Advocates for the Library• Present Library perspective to elected officials, community leaders, opinion leaders, etc. 8
  9. 9. Where The Two Meet• Making sure the Library has the funds it needs• Representing Library in the community• Be advocates for the Library – Elected officials• Desire to work cooperative with each other• Desire to make the Library the best it can beBuilding Your Friends Group• Brand, Message and Marketing – What is the intersection of what values the Friends stand for in the community and what is important to the community – Find that and you can build your group’s brand, message and marketing from there – Emotional Branding • Love, Hate, Fear, Hope 9
  10. 10. Case Study: Saugerties Public LibrarySpecial Legislative District Public Library, service pop. 19,868• Needed to raise the identity of the Library before asking public to vote on a $6.9 million referendum• SWOT analysis – Library was important but not as important as town recreation activities• Strategy – Triangulate recreation, make it integral to the libraryCase Study: Saugerties PublicLibrary• Rebranded Library – New slogan – New look – New logo 10
  11. 11. Case Study: Saugerties Public LibraryCase Study: Saugerties Public Library 11
  12. 12. Case Study: Saugerties Public LibraryBuilding Your Friends Group• Market the Friends – Make sure your membership materials are at • The Library circulation desk • All your events • At community venues – Friends Newsletter/Library Newsletter• Conduct membership drives – Direct mail – Friend to Friend – Promote in Library and Friends’ newsletter 12
  13. 13. Building Your Friends Group • Marketing Tools • Marketing Tools – Identity Brochure – Annual Reports – Web Site – Displays – Newsletter – PowerPoint – Direct Mail presentation – Advertising: – Speaking • Newspaper engagements • TV – Flyers, Posters • Radio – Campaigns Building Your Friends Group Dues StructureProfessionally produced brochure 13
  14. 14. Building Your Friends Group• Dues Structure – Individual: $30 – Family: $45 – Senior (Age 65+): $20 – Senior Family (Age 65+): $40 – Supporter: $75 – Sustaining: Minimum $10/month pledge – Patron: $100 – Sponsor: $250 – Benefactor: $500Building Your Friends Group• What are the benefits of being a Friend? – Special ticket prices – Members-only night for annual book sale – Meet and greets before author events – Annual holiday thank you party – Advance e-mail notice of events and programs 14
  15. 15. Building Your Friends Group• Have a strategic plan so you know where you are going and your members can “follow” – How you’ll raise money – What types and how many programs – What kind of outreach and advocacyFundraising for Your Friends Group• Direct Mail • Phone Solicitation• On-line Giving • Pledge Program• Special Events • Corporate Support• Workplace Giving • Small Business Support• Honors/Memorial Giving • Honors/Memorial Giving• Program Admission • Capital/Endowment• Grants Campaigns• Planned Giving 15
  16. 16. Fundraising for Your Friends GroupFundraising for Your Friends Group• Basic development activities – Brochure – Online – Direct Mail/Annual Appeal – Newsletter – Special Events – Workplace Giving – Charge for programs 16
  17. 17. Fundraising for Your Friends Group• Develop a case statement – A reason for people to give – Emotional tie to facts, figures and benefits• Have people on your board who “love to raise money!” – Yes, they do exist!• Make sure everyone who is asking directly for money has the case statement – Speaking with one voiceFundraising for Your Friends Group• Build mailing list at every opportunity• Have plans for each activity – How much you want to raise – What you’ll do to reach the goal• Major campaigns—capital/endowment – Community leaders/known names as figureheads – Work with a professional 17
  18. 18. Fundraising for Friends Groups• Always say THANK YOU!• Always ask again – People who give once are more likely to give again• Let your donors know what you’ve done with the money – They give to see action not have the money just sit in the bank collecting interestGetting Them In The Door--Programming• Have a program plan – Just because you have a space doesn’t mean you should hold a program if it’s not going to attract folks• Have a large program committee so that you have lots of ideas and lots of folks to do the work 18
  19. 19. Getting Them In The Door--Programming• Develop programs that are timely and of interest – Community issues – Local authors – Book sales• Make sure you have to do marketing and PR for eventsHow to Keep Them Away!• Poor timing• Poor or no PR/Marketing• Careless organization• Unclear delegation of responsibilities• Not enough volunteers• Uninteresting topic 19
  20. 20. Friends As Advocates• Make sure you and the Library are on the same page• Plan – What’s the goal? What’s the timeline?• Strategy – How will you accomplish your goal? – What resources do you need?Friends As Advocates• Tactics – What tools will you use? • NLS Grassroots Advocacy Network • Postcards and letters • Face to Face meetings • Phone Calls• Organize – Getting the troops together and ready to act 20
  21. 21. Friends As Advocates• Message – What are you saying? – Talking points, one-pager, Q&A – Everyone must be saying the same thing – Who will carry the message? • Can you get community leaders/opinion leaders to work with you • Adds credibilityReaching Out to New Audiences• Consider forming a Teen Friends of the Library – Start them early in their love and commitment to libraries – Can get really good information and program ideas – Great collaboration with Library staff and Friends 21
  22. 22. What Happens When You Get Tired?• All volunteer organizations go through cycles – People get tired, burnt out, bored• Always recruit for new volunteers – Take on new responsibilities – See how well they do – Potential board membersWhat Happens When You Get Tired?• Have a party for the old and new to get juices flowing• Re-evaluate mission, vision, goals and objectives – May be time to fine tune – Friends founded in 1960’s met different needs than what folks want today 22
  23. 23. What Happens When You Get Tired?• Reorganize board – Break down responsibilities – Add positions – Ease the burden• Review membership benefits – Are they in line with community expectations?What Happens When You Get Tired?• Review how you’re reaching out to members – Is a print newsletter no longer needed? – Can you do it all by e-mail?• Membership recruitment should be year round – Not just during “membership drive” time• Don’t forget to say thank you! 23
  24. 24. Being a Good 501-C-3• As a not for profit, tax exempt organization with a 501-C-3 designation from the IRS, you hold the public’s trust and the IRS’ attention• Function as a business even though it’s not about making a “profit”Being a Good 501-C-3• Make sure all board members understand their roles and responsibilities – Board training every two years would be good• Duty of Care• Duty of Loyalty• Duty of Obedience 24
  25. 25. Being a Good 501-C-3• Duty of Care – This is defined as “the amount of care that an ordinarily prudent person would exercise in a like position and under similar circumstances.” In practical application, this means that board members must exercise reasonable care when they make decisions for the organization.Being a Good 501-C-3• Duty of Loyalty – This requires that board members keep the best interests of the organization in mind at all times when making decisions (i.e., avoiding conflicts of interest). 25
  26. 26. Being a Good 501-C-3• Duty of Obedience – This requires that board members’ actions be consistent with the organization’s mission statement, articles of incorporation, bylaws and tax-exemption documentation. In other words, the nonprofit’s central goals must guide all board decisions and in addition, board members must comply with all applicable laws and regulations.Being a Good 501-C-3• Accounting – Must have a treasurer who can keep good books • Receipts must be maintained • Copy all checks before depositing them to keep a record • Petty cash – Needs to be closely tracked – Need receipts • Reconcile bank statements 26
  27. 27. Being a Good 501-C-3• Know how long you need to keep files• Develop a budget for each fiscal year• Be clear about who can and can not sign checks• Yearly audit• File your 990 on time (tax return)• File with state on timeBeing a Good 501-C-3• Make sure your registered with the State Charities Bureau out of the AG’s office – You’ll get a charities registration number• If you hire a fundraising consultant, make sure they are also registered as a vendor – They must send their contracts in to the AGs office – Never work on a percentage, only flat fee for service 27
  28. 28. Questions? 28