Fund Your Library: Tools and Tactics for Getting to Yes!

June 7 & 21, 2018

Live Interactive Sessions on Thursdays from 2–4 PM ET: June 7 & 21
Bridged with Homework, Online Workshops, Resources, and Discussions.
Certificate of Completion Provided.

Also available On Demand! Can’t make a live session? All sessions will be available to you ‘on demand’ following the initial broadcast.

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Whether you’re going to voters, city councils, school boards, college board of directors, or any other funder, the fundamental issues are the same: how do you convince the stewards of a limited budget that the library is their best investment?

In this workshop, you’ll gain a thorough understanding of how to best pitch your library to stakeholders and members of your community in order to get your library fully funded. Topics will include deep community engagement, finding your impact, identifying and activating your target audience, grant funding, and more.

As a participant in the course, you will view live sessions and join the conversation via live chat. (All sessions are recorded for on demand access.) Most important, you’ll work with a dedicated adviser in an online coaching environment to gather resources and best practices and connect with peers from across North America (and beyond).

When you attend this interactive online course, you’ll learn from experienced industry leaders how to:

  • Align your strategic plan, outreach, and marketing with community goals
  • Gain visibility in your city and connect deeply with community members and stakeholders
  • Develop a strong message in support of why library funding matters to the whole community and learn how to effectively convey it to decision makers
  • Tell your library’s story to bolster your fundraising efforts
  • Find and access alternative forms of fundraising, including grants
  • Create compelling marketing materials
  • Identify and activate your target audience, mobilizing them to campaign on behalf of your library
  • Cultivate a transparent and authentic approach to fundraising

The course features live guest speakers in interactive sessions with Q&A. You’ll work in small groups with facilitators experienced in fundraising to complete assignments and field research in your library that will fuel your fundraising ideas.

Group discounts are available!

Register in groups for a unique team-building experience and get everyone working together. Contact us to learn more.

Who should take this course?

Any library leader—whether high level manager, trustee, friend or foundation member, or passionate staff—who needs to learn how to more effectively advocate for funding their library. Whether you are facing a referenda on the ballot or line items in the boardroom, this course can help you find the funds to come back from recession cuts, increase staffing levels and salaries, make capital improvements, and grow needed hours and services.

Online Course Features

  • Instructor-led online courses feature personalized interaction over three weeks
  • Real-time guest speakers and conversation via live webcast (with recordings available afterward)
  • Homework assignments to help you make progress on your goals
  • Individualized attention from course facilitators who work with you in a coaching environment to help sort out challenges
  • Ongoing group conversation via discussion forums
  • Articles, videos and other resources
  • Access all course content for 6 months after the course ends

Inspiring Live Guest Speakers + Project-Based Learning

Engage with presenters via live video stream, visual presentations, and chats, and workshop practical ideas in groups, with guidance from an advisor, to map out your own fundraising plan.


Guest speakers share their experience in presentations, delivered live via webcast (with recordings available afterward); you can join in the conversation via instant message chat for Q&A.

Course Schedule

Week 1: Thursday, June 7, 2018

Session 1: Deep Community Engagement

2:00-2:45 PM ET

An integral element of getting your library funded is aligning with community goals and shifting the conversation from what the library wants to what the city and its residents want and how the library can help. In this session you’ll learn how to gain visibility in your city and connect deeply with community members and stakeholders of all kinds, adding value by integrating the library into their efforts to achieve their own goals. You’ll learn about what it takes to build a fundraising approach that is driven by the community.


Lance Werner
Lance Werner, Executive Director, Kent District Library (MI)


2:45-3:00 PM ET

Session 2: Finding Your Impact

3:00-3:45 PM ET

Telling your library’s story effectively is essential to convincing funders (whether elected officials or their constituents), that scarce resources spent on you will yield a strong return on investment. Beginning with data gathering to surface cumulative impact and individual user stories, you can establish a robust campaign that involves your patron’s voices to represent the role of your library in your community. This session will also cover creating effective materials and infographics. utilizing your friends group.


Tina Sabol
Tina Sabol, Community Engagement Manager, Medina County District Library (OH); Library Journal‘s 2017 Marketer of the Year

Special Session: Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Engaging and Activating Your Audience

2:00-3:00 PM ET

Expert John Chrastka will share the ins and outs of identifying your key target audience, reaching them effectively, and activating them to advocacy on your behalf. He’ll discuss how you can advocate for your library while remaining a neutral source of information in your community and stay nonpartisan in a world of polarization. He’ll also share ideas for how to disarm your critics with openness to feedback, cultivate transparency about mistakes and how to fix them, and share your authentic fundraising process with stakeholders in a way that draws them in—as well as how to share the potential consequences of defeat. The session will also cover how to campaign but not compete with other essential services in an environment of scarcity.


John Chrastka
John Chrastka, Executive Director, EveryLibrary

Week 2: Thursday, June 21, 2018

Session 1: To Be Announced

2:00-2:45 PM ET

Description to be announced.


2:45-3:00 PM ET

Session 2: Getting to Fully-Funded: Grants and Other Approaches to Fundraising

3:00-3:45 PM ET

This session will delve deep into channels for fundraising beyond city and state budgets – including grants and philanthropic fundraising – in order to diversify your funding streams and be less vulnerable to a hiccup in any one source. By planning well – considering what your library’s needs are, how much time you have, and what personnel will be involved – you can find the grants that will work for you and help fund pilot programs and stretch services not covered by the core operating budget. We’ll share key tools to seek out available grants, as well as tips for navigating the sometimes complex terrain around grant funding your library.