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Library Fundraising Ideas

Updated on August 22, 2015

Save Our Libraries

Great bumpersticker for the Friends of the Library to sell to raise funds.
Great bumpersticker for the Friends of the Library to sell to raise funds. | Source

Ways to Raise Money for Libraries

Whether you're a library staff member or a volunteer, you are always looking for ways to help with library funding. Public libraries are routinely underfunded and Friends of the Library groups devote much of their effort to raising funds to help the institution they love.

During my library career, I saw many successful fundraising activities put on by Friends groups or by librarians. I've also combed the Internet for additional ideas to help you and your library raise the money needed for crucial services to the public.


Ideas for Library Fundraising

  1. Selling coupon booklets
  2. Raffle off gift baskets
  3. Run a used bookstore or hold annual book sales with donated books and books withdrawn from the collection.
  4. Stage a mini-golf event in the library.

Ways That Libraries Raise Money - Videos about fundraisers

Getting the Money: How to Succeed in Fundraising for Public and Nonprofit Libraries

Getting the Money: How to Succeed in Fundraising for Public and Nonprofit Libraries
Getting the Money: How to Succeed in Fundraising for Public and Nonprofit Libraries

Are you a library volunteer or Board/staff member? Don't try to re-invent the wheel on fundraising. The author of this book has already done all the work on pulling together ideas for fundraising for your library.

 

Where Would You Be Without Your Library?

Library Mini-Golf - "Caddy Stacks" at the Lawrence Public Library in Kansas

Learn More about Fundraising for Libraries - Books available from Amazon

Even more books on library fundraising available from Amazon--indispensable resources for community members who value their library or library staffers tasked with leading a fundraising effort.

Hold a Book Sale

The Springvale Library in Maine holds an annual 2-day book sale on their lawn. Volunteers help collect, price and sell the books. They also sell canvas bags with the library's logo on it.
The Springvale Library in Maine holds an annual 2-day book sale on their lawn. Volunteers help collect, price and sell the books. They also sell canvas bags with the library's logo on it. | Source

Two Ideas for Library Fundraisers

The library holds this annual art in the library raffle. People buy tickets to win the art that is donated by local artists.
The library holds this annual art in the library raffle. People buy tickets to win the art that is donated by local artists. | Source
Being in New Hampshire, this library makes use of a local resource to make wreaths to sell.
Being in New Hampshire, this library makes use of a local resource to make wreaths to sell. | Source

101+ Great Ideas for Libraries and Friends

101+ Great Ideas for Libraries and Friends: Marketing, Fundraising, Friends Development, and More
101+ Great Ideas for Libraries and Friends: Marketing, Fundraising, Friends Development, and More

This book (available from Amazon) is loaded with marketing, fundraising, and tips for developing the friends group.

 

Has Your Library Tried One Of These Fundraisers?

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Need More Ideas? Read This Book: Library Fundraising: Models for Success

© 2012 Virginia Allain

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    • Virginia Allain profile image
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      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @anonymous: Libraries get many donated books that end up in their book sale. Some of these can be rare books signed by the author. We had one that was a limited edition western biography that book dealers were selling for $150.

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      anonymous 4 years ago

      @mrducksmrnot: Not to nay-say, but most people are unwilling to buy stamped up, glued on, and/or stickered up library books for more that 25 cents. Ebaying these actually cost more in staff time than you'd make.

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @mrducksmrnot: I like to see libraries reselling donations and discards on Amazon or eBay. That can be quite a bit of work, but pays off in the long run.

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      mrducksmrnot 4 years ago

      All of those books being discarded for one reason or another should be put on e-bay with today's technology and the buyer pays the shipping and handling. I hate to see a book heading for the landfill. So much wonderful info being lost.

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      anonymous 5 years ago

      I always enjoy volunteering during our library book sales here in Little Rock