An analysis of fundraising, endowment management, and governance/disclosure practices of public library foundations.

  • Library fundraising foundations are an important tool for public libraries.
  • This report shares insights on the benefits and costs of using a separate foundation.
  • It also includes an analysis of the New York City public library system.

Public libraries have evolved into organizations that provide expanded services to the local community. They go beyond just books and often act  as an anchor in the community, providing a full array of educational and social services. As local budget cuts continue to loom, public libraries need to broaden their revenue sources beyond local government support and build robust fundraising plans. Library fundraising foundations are an important tool for public libraries, and they should be focused on a diversified fundraising plan that also includes strategies around major gifts, planned giving, legacy societies, and a strategic technology plan. Government grants at the state and federal level are also an important source of funds.

This research study was conducted in 2013 and all data is relevant as of that year, unless otherwise noted. If you have any questions about this study, please do not hesitate to contact the author directly. Please see important disclosures at the end of the article.

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