Fundraising Ideas - Community Sponsors

Fundraising for Libraries – Part 4 (because you asked for it ☺ )
Seeking community sponsorship – Community Groups

You became a librarian because you like books, or you like organizing things, or for any other of a dozen reasons. Ten to one, you didn’t become a librarian because you wanted to sell things. Seeking community sponsorships can feel a bit like “selling” but that’s no reason to be intimidated. Community sponsorships can be a very beneficial thing, both for the library, and for the sponsor.

When you first consider looking into community sponsorships there are a few things to consider:
• What is it that you need?
o Money?
o Food?
o Giveaway items? Etc.
• How much do you need?
• When do you need it?
• What can you offer in return?

Food and giveaway items are a bit easier, and I’ll address those in the next installment. The big question as usual, is Money. There are a number of community groups out there that can sponsor different events if you pitch it to them and give them the opportunity.

The Rotary Club is an organization that is near and dear to my heart. From their website “The mission of The Rotary Foundation is to enable Rotarians to advance world understanding, goodwill, and peace through the improvement of health, the support of education, and the alleviation of poverty.” Local chapters are made up of business owners and professionals within the community. Find out if you have a local chapter, and see if they are willing to sponsor an educational program at the library. It is likely that you will have to make a presentation at one of their weekly meetings.

The Kiwanis This is another organization similar in concept to Rotary. They focus on volunteerism, high ideals, justice, patriotism, righteousness, and goodwill. They primarily work to serve and improve the lives of children and the community. One of the libraries that we work with in Arizona was able to apply for and use their educational scholarship to bring in a workshop. You can look on their website to locate a chapter near you.

Lions Clubs International - Similar to the two mentioned above, their core belief is that “community is what we make it” According to their website, one of their 4 main areas of service is supporting youth. Here is a link to their foundation website

Optimist International: They are dedicated to “Bringing out the Best in Kids” I don’t know much about them, but they seem to do a lot of volunteer projects to help kids.

Community Arts Council – Find out if you have one in your area. A surprising number of small towns have an arts council of some sort, and many of them are happy to partner with the library to sponsor programs that enhance the cultural opportunities in the community. Most community arts councils meet once a month, so you’ll need to plan ahead if you want to speak or present at one of their meetings.

Asking for funding from local businesses: This will entirely depend on what’s available in your area. Usually you will want to speak to the owner, or the manager of the business. You should call ahead and schedule an appointment if possible. Their time is as valuable as yours, so come prepared with what you want to say, and how much money, or what type of donation you need.

Sending out sponsorship letters: Infopeople has some great examples of sponsorship letters as well as tips for sending them out.

Somehow these posts are always longer than I anticipate. If you have other groups that you have used for community sponsorship programs, please let me know, and I’ll add them here. Email the information to me l

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Fundraising Ideas - Communmity Sponsorship Continued