Library Reform Group

February 3, 2008

What Do YOU Think PPL Should Do to Raise Money?

Filed under: Fundraising — Patricia @ 1:35 pm

PPL’s current financial woes are as much a result of falling revenue as of rising expenditures.According to the Library’s Annual Reports, “unrestricted program grants” fell from $647,724 in 2006 to $595,369 in 2007 and “restricted grants” fell a whopping $376,204 between 2006 and 2007. In addition, the annual appeal declined by nearly $60,000 between 2006 and 2007.

The two budget busters for the coming fiscal year are the large increases in pension payments ($500,000 for the next 5 years) mandated by the federal government and the continued employment of the children’s specialists whose elimination would gut children’s services at the branches.

Both the loss of corporate and individual support and the increased expenses are occurring at the same time that the city and state governments are undergoing financial meltdowns. Therefore, PPL is going to have to use its own resources and do a dramatically better job of fund-raising to get through the next few years.

What advice do YOU have for PPL? How can this organization turn itself around and start raising more money? Should the library hire more development staff? Should the PPL administration and trustees operate differently than they have done recently? Are there fund-raising events and strategies that you think might yield more revenue for the Library? Suggestions from patrons that are posted on this blog will be compiled and presented to members of the Library Partnership Advisory Committee, which reports directly to the PPL Board of Trustees and the top administrators.



  1. Find out if PPL can be listed on the Federal Employees donation list Once a year generally in the fall the list goes around and employees can choose who to give to during the year an amount is then deducted from the pay checks at the employees request in any amount.

    United Way designated donor list

    East Side Marketplace has a program where they give a percentage back on grocery receipts that are collected by various organizations

    Whole foods will have days when a percentage of total sales for the day are given to an organization.

    Using the model that Borders has open a coffee shop and bookstore adjacent to the library for income generation.

    Offer people an opportunity to make a monthly automatic donation through their bank. 10 a month adds up to 120 a year and many people who would not have 120 in pocket might want to do this.

    Maintain transparency about the budget and allow public access to all records to rebuild trust.

    Comment by Lisa Niebels — February 5, 2008 @ 11:21 pm | Reply

  2. 1) Put the change boxes back by the checkout counter. When patrons pay a fine, they are likely to drop change and even bills into the box. This will add up.

    2) Stop passing the buck to the public. The responsibility for fundraising is in the hands of the Library Administration. It seems as if the spiral is downward… “We have no money and we have no future plans because we have no money”… This seems like more of the same.

    3) If the library administration wants to justify its existence and salaries, then perhaps they could do a little inspirational dreaming and planning rather than being alarmist and cutting vital services.

    4) Don’t shy away from big ticket fundraisers — but don’t cut urgent services and expect people to pony up.

    Comment by Mark Binder — February 6, 2008 @ 8:07 pm | Reply

  3. I think PPL should set up a registry at Borders and on Amazon, with a wish list of books people could buy to donate to PPL. PPL could then encourage patrons to Give a Book to the Library on their birthday or on holidays.

    Comment by Mount Pleasant Friend — February 9, 2008 @ 2:19 pm | Reply

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