Budgets, Funding & Fundraising


Budget in the Crosshairs? Navigating a Challenging Budget Year
This guide will help you prepare and plan for your library’s survival and growth during tough economic times.

cover of OCLC studyFrom Awareness to Funding: A Study of Library Support in America
OCLC was awarded a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to explore attitudes and perceptions about library funding and to evaluate the potential of a large-scale marketing and advocacy campaign to increase public library funding in the U.S. Among the findings from the report:

  • Library funding support is only marginally related to library visitation
  • Perceptions of librarians are an important predictor of library funding support
  • Voters who see the library as a 'transformational' force as opposed to an 'informational' source are more likely to increase taxes in its support

The report suggests that targeting marketing messages to the right segments of the voting public is key to driving increased support for U.S. public libraries.

Frontline Fundraising 
Library fundraising takes place every day and at all levels of complexity. This Frontline Fundraising Toolkit covers the basics of annual funds, memorials and tributes, online giving and planned giving so you can design a fundraising effort that is perfectly suited to your library, your community and the resources of each.

Making Budget Presentations
Tools, examples and perspectives to make presenting a library budget easier, and to help make your budget presentations more compelling.

"Funding Cuts Got You Down? 10 Insider Tactics for Impacting the Funding Debate (for the Better!)" (video on Vimeo)
June 13, 2012 - Are you dealing with funding cuts in your community? At your school? Are you frustrated with council members, legislators, administrators and others who do not understand the value you bring to the community? In this online session you’ll learn 10 insider tactics for effective influence that will increase your library’s perceived value, as well as demonstrate why you are one of the best investments around.

Handouts from the ALA 2010 Annual Conference

Handouts from the ALA 2010 Midwinter Meeting


Online Courses

Stretching Your Library’s E-Books Budget
What is the most effective way to spend your e-book budget? Should you focus on popular items or create a comprehensive collection? Should you join a consortium to increase your library’s buying power? How do you find one? Can you start one in your area? Join Kathy Petlewski, electronic resources librarian at the Plymouth District (Mich.) Library, to get answers to these questions and more. Kathy will share ideas and tips for you to consider when making decisions about how to spend your library's e-book budget. You’ll gain insights on how to spend your budget effectively, where to find free or less expensive e-books, and hear about the pros and cons of starting or joining a consortium. This archived webinar was originally presented April 24, 2012, as the second of four webinars in “Public Librarian’s Guide to E-Books: A PLA Webinar Series” (Spring 2012).

Trustee Academy: The Library's Budget (United for Libraries)
This course will cover understanding library funding, spending decisions, financial reports, and more.

Available from the ALA Store

Grant Money through collaborative partnershipsGrant Money through Collaborative Partnerships
Because libraries are information and research centers, they can support a huge variety of grant funding initiatives outside their own purview. Cultural centers, businesses, and educational institutions are untapped resources for library funds. What's more, many libraries may find that collaborating on a grant application with another organization is preferable to going forward with a time-consuming application of their own. But finding the right collaborative partner and securing a place at its development table can be challenging. Maxwell offers an abundance of practical advice and encouragement for using this novel approach to secure additional funding for libraries.

Book sale how-to guideA Book Sale How-To Guide: More Money, Less Stress
A tried-and-true method to raise funds while engaging the community, library book sales can be a win-win situation—if done correctly. Book sale veterans Ditzler and Dumas point out specific ways to run a sale to ensure maximum financial benefit while building community support. Readers will learn strategies for gathering and processing donations throughout the year, how to organize teams of volunteers to solicit, sort, price, and manage the physical inventory of books, videos, CDs, and records, and the importance of building momentum from one book sale to the next by recruiting a permanent team of volunteers. Case histories from three successful ongoing programs, everything from setup to cleanup, on-site money matters, and financial control is covered. The practical sample forms included will make running a successful book sale that much easier.

Beyond book salesBeyond Book Sales: The Complete Guide to Raising Real Money for Your Library
Your future major donor may not use your library, but is likely somebody you know anyway. Dowd and her team from Library Strategies, a consulting group of the Friends of St. Paul Public Library, share proven strategies that have brought in more than $1 million annually. Believing that private fundraising is a natural for libraries large and small, they start with 12 facts about library fundraising and focus on activities with the highest return.

Winning grantsWinning Grants: A How-To-Do-It Manual For Librarians With Multimedia Tutorials And Grant Development Tools
This multimedia package features three sections. Part I, “The Grant Process Cycle,” presents the full grant process cycle with MacKellar and Gerding sharing invaluable procedural advice that distinguishes proposals that receive sustained funding. Part II, “Library Grant Success Stories,” showcases real-life success stories that demonstrate the process in practice and provide motivational tips from successful library staff. Part III, “The Winning Grants Multimedia Toolkit and DVD,” includes time-saving tools, such as reusable checklists, worksheets, and templates. All of these tools are both in the book and reproduced as Microsoft Word documents on the multimedia DVD so you can make these templates your own and share them with colleagues. You can also use these materials for workshops and training. Winning Grants: A How-To-Do-It Manual For Librarians With Multimedia Tutorials And Grant Development Tools will help you stay on track, keep you organized, and take you through the grant process cycle, starting with your library goals and finishing with a successful grant proposal.

Frugal librarianThe Frugal Librarian: Thriving in Tough Economic Times
Fewer employees, shorter hours, diminished collection budgets, reduced programs and services—all at a time of record library usage. Don’t fret and fritter away scarce resources. Be frugal! In this book, library expert Carol Smallwood demonstrates that despite the obvious downsides, the necessity of doing business differently can be positive, leading to partnering, sharing, and innovating. This collection speaks to universal concerns, presenting creative and resourceful solutions from dozens of librarians representing a wide variety of institutions. This book offers plenty of ideas that can be implemented immediately.

ALA book of library grant moneyThe ALA Book of Library Grant Money, Eighth Edition
Sometimes a grant can make the difference between maintaining or cutting services, especially at a time when no institution is immune from the budget crunch. Completely overhauled since its last edition, this directory of library and school grants remains the gold standard for locating sources of funding. This resource will point you in the right direction.

Say it with dataSay It with Data: A Concise Guide to Making Your Case and Getting Results
Administrators, policy makers, legislators, and the public demand concrete, measurable evidence of the need for libraries and their use. The collection and dissemination of data about library service in a straightforward, convincing manner are integral components of library advocacy in the current economic climate. Addressing frontline librarians lobbying for increased programming or staff, as well as administrators marshalling statistics to stem the tide of budget cuts and prevent library closure, this vital new book explores the whys and hows of using data to build a better picture of library needs and success. Addressing the requirements of a variety of stakeholders, this concise resource lays out an easy-to-follow, systematic way of inspiring action through clear, compelling data.