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Tips and Tricks for Fundraising During a Pandemic Dec 2022.pdf

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Tips and Tricks for Fundraising During a Pandemic Dec 2022.pdf

  1. 1. Tips and Tricks for Fundraising During a Pandemic Laura England-Biggs, Library Director & Linda McClain, Library Board President Keene Memorial Library, Fremont NE NCompass Live December 7, 2022
  2. 2. Keene Memorial Library Expansion Project Background • 1980’s – Local philanthropist Hazel Keene leaves funds to allow for expansion, complete with sunset provision in 2021 • 2004 – Library Director Ann Stephens commissions first of three space needs studies • 2017 – Third space needs study goes to City Council; $2 million bond campaign approved • 2018 – Voters approve bond referendum by 67%
  3. 3. The fundraising journey begins! • The 2018 Bond vote was seen as a mandate from the voters • Community leaders were tapped to lead a fundraising committee • Those leaders worked side-by-side with Director to set up donor cultivation events hosted at the library as well as personal residences • The Friends up separate Expansion Fund at Fremont Area Community Foundation • Hired a professional fundraiser to assist with the process
  4. 4. And then… • Historic flooding in 2019 • Covid Pandemic in 2020 • Subsequent resignations of Capital Campaign chair, Library Director
  5. 5. 2.0 • April 28, 2021 fundraising dinner at Fremont Golf Club • Sponsored by two members of the Steering Committee • Invited over 60 individuals – attendance was about 40 due to lingering Covid concerns • Netted donations from multiple attendees in excess of any costs
  6. 6. Making the Tough Calls • Made the decision to discontinue relationship with professional fundraiser in July 2021 • Took digital possession of the materials created during their contract period • Began the hard work on our own
  7. 7. Telling Our Story • Social Media Posts for project highlights, updates • Started an Expansion Project Blog • Created a Fundraising Video • Big Give Video • Utilize local media contacts often
  8. 8. Show me the money! • Library Director and Library Board President are the fundraising/grant writing “committee” • Together we’ve written over 20 grants – 15 of which have been successful • But it hasn’t always been easy!
  9. 9. Getting Started • Know your deadlines! • Get prequalified if necessary (letter of intent) • Know who can apply – public entity (library/city) versus 501(c)3 • Make the right ask as far as the number • Is there a match required? – Leverage that match • Secure local support first
  10. 10. Leveraging Local Supporters • FACF first donor in for $100,000 which laid the groundwork for future asks
  11. 11. Leveraging Local Supporters • Wholestone Farms - local business support for $500,000 (Computer Lab Sponsor)
  12. 12. Leveraging Local Supporters • Summer Reading Program challenge/sponsorship • Local banks and charitable donations • Service clubs (Rotary, Kiwanis, Cosmopolitan) • Commemorative brick campaign • Utilize Social Media and tags
  13. 13. Getting Your Foot in the Door • It’s important to make your application easy to read – and in your voice • Use a standard font • Use paragraph breaks to your advantage • Write for 8th grade or lower • Keep working relationships, building relationships • Maintain contact, be persistent (not pushy) • Send updates regularly
  14. 14. Staying on Their Radar • Timing is important • Urgency gets their attention • Making connections with their interests (research your funders and their key areas of impact) • Websites • News articles • Foundation Resource Directory from NebraskaChildren.org
  15. 15. Making Connections • Contrary to popular belief, longer messages work better • Longer doesn’t mean flowery unnecessary ramblings • “Libraries as an institutional hub and pillar of society”
  16. 16. Getting It Right • Grammar and punctuation definitely count! • Proofread, proofread, proofread! • Make sure the numbers add up and are consistent • Answer all the questions • If you can’t, tell them why
  17. 17. Know the Funder’s Preferences • Make it about the donor, not about you • Give them a clear call to action and repeat it throughout your message • Tell them what their donation can do • Naming Opportunities – know who likes public recognition, who doesn’t • Some you still need to acknowledge but not disclose amounts
  18. 18. Show Your Gratitude • You can’t say thank you enough • Letters upon receipt of donation • Holiday cards • In-person follow-up • Recognition at events
  19. 19. Professional Promotional Pieces (whenever Possible) • Invitation to April 28
  20. 20. Professional Promotional Pieces (whenever Possible) • Case Study
  21. 21. Professional Promotional Pieces (whenever Possible) • Case Study
  22. 22. Keep It Simple • Original Letter of Intent New Donor Commitment Form
  23. 23. Professional Promotional Pieces (whenever Possible) • Groundbreaking
  24. 24. Useful Reading • The Fundraiser’s Guide to Irresistible Communications: Real-World Field- Tested Strategies for Raising More Money by Jeff Brooks (9781889102023) ($33.95 on Amazon)
  25. 25. Questions? • Laura England-Biggs, laura.biggs@fremontne.gov, 402-727-2694 or 402-459-2073

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