United for Libraries Learning Live, Nov. 9: Virtual and Hybrid Fundraising

All Nebraska public libraries are members of United for Libraries through the Statewide Group Membership purchased by the Nebraska Library Commission. The Commission provides this membership to ensure that public library staff members, Friends, Trustees, and Foundations can take advantage of United for Libraries’ services to enhance fundraising, advocacy, and public awareness.

United for Libraries’ monthly virtual series, Learning Live, will continue with “Virtual and Hybrid Fundraising” Tues., Nov. 9 at 2 p.m. Eastern. The Learning Live program is presented free to United for Libraries  members and those with statewide training access.

Learn about virtual and hybrid fundraising through examples of successful campaigns across the country. Presenters Reed Davaz McGowan (Eugene [Ore.] Public Library Foundation) and Kerry Barnes (Tomkins County [N.Y.] Public Library Foundation) will walk attendees through the planning processes of their respective campaigns, including Eugene Public Library Foundation’s Imagination Library Luncheon and Tomkins County Public Library Foundation’s 2021 Readathon and “Hold On, Let Me Ask a Librarian” program. A Q&A session will follow the presentation. Register for “Virtual and Hybrid Fundraising”

Reed Davaz McGowan is the executive director of Eugene Public Library Foundation. As an executive director of organizations in San Francisco and Philadelphia, she focused on increasing access to and funding for innovative arts, leadership development, and educational programming for underserved and often marginalized youth and communities.

Kerry A. Barnes serves as the assistant director for the Tompkins County Public Library Foundation. An avid swimmer, aspiring novelist, voracious reader, and intermediate knitter, she has more than 20 years’ experience fundraising for nonprofit organizations.

Eugene Public Library Foundation’s Imagination Library Luncheon Over the past 18 months, Eugene Public Library Foundation has been meeting the challenges faced by raising funds and stewarding donors during the pandemic. In the wake of canceling its annual gala for 2020 (and then 2021), the Foundation transitioned to online events and fundraising drives as well as increased virtual programming and outreach through a lot of experimentation and pivoting. In partnership with the Friends of Eugene Public Library, the Foundation raised funds for WiFi hotspots, which have emerged as an urgent community need. Additionally, the Foundation has virtually hosted two fundraising “luncheons” with different models, quarterly trivia nights, and a monthly lecture series. The virtual luncheons exceeded net revenue expectations and even out-performed the previous in-person luncheons to date.

Tompkins County Public Library Foundation’s Readathon started in 2013 as a 24-hour reading challenge and has evolved into an all-day signature fundraising event. In 2020, the Readathon had to pivot to a virtual format at almost the last minute, due to New York State’s shutdown response to the pandemic.  A virtual format was necessary for the 2021 Readathon as well, but allowed the Foundation to realize a new set of opportunities that will be part of the event in years to come, regardless of the state of world health. Kerry will share lessons learned (from being both an event organizer and participant), advice for making the most of peer-to-peer fundraising events, and how to help your biggest library lovers become library supporters.

Hold On, Let Me Ask a Librarian Based on a board member’s observation that the best Zoom events were a lot like old-time radio programs, they created their own version of NPR’s quiz show, Wait Wait…Don’t Tell Me, titled Hold On, Let Me Ask a Librarian. Featuring a panel of local notables answering questions about TCPL while the audience played along at home online, the event broke new ground for virtual fundraising programming and actively engaging an audience more than a little tired of staring at a screen. Kerry will share what went into creating the event, what challenges the Foundation faced, and what they might do differently the next time around.

United for Libraries Learning Live sessions take place on the fourth Tuesday of each month at 2 p.m. Eastern Time. Each month’s session will cover a hot topic of interest to Trustees, Friends and/or Foundations, followed by a Q&A and/or discussions. Sessions are open to all personal and group members of United for Libraries.

United for Libraries: The Association of Library Trustees, Advocates, Friends and Foundations, is a division of the American Library Association with approximately 4,000 personal and group members representing hundreds of thousands of library supporters. United for Libraries supports those who govern, promote, advocate, and fundraise for libraries, and brings together library trustees, advocates, friends, and foundations into a partnership that creates a powerful force for libraries in the 21st century. For more information, visit www.ala.org/united/ or call 312-280-2160.

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