Ideas & Inspiration

Library Giving Day Ideas and Inspiration

We’ve provided a great fundraising toolkit, various #LibraryGivingDay logos and sample marketing materials  and now, we’re pleased to provide you with ideas and inspiration to help make your fundraising efforts a big success.

Case Studies

Fundraising Goal


Total $ Raised


Our $20,000 #LibraryGivingDay Matching Gift

We began with one $5,000 matching gift. When that was matched within a few days, we returned to the same donor who tripled the match to $15,000! As we were nearing $15,000, we reached out to another donor who gave us an additional $5,000 match gift, for a total of $20,000 match from two donors! We met the match, dollar-for-dollar.

Anne Marie Mackler

Development Director, Sedona Public Library

“This was by far the biggest and most successful campaign we have ever had. We believe that its success was due to the matching gift and the ease of the sell. Library Giving Day makes quick and easy sense to our donors and patrons.”

Planning Time

2–4 weeks prior to #LibraryGivingDay

Fundraising Audience

Current donors, prospects, cardholders, patrons

Campaign Components

Email, social media, library website, library displays (posters, flyers, etc.) and wearable items like buttons, hats and t-shirts. Campaign was announced at all events and programs.

Email, Web and Social Media

Five email efforts were sent to our contact list.

A special #LibraryGivingDay button and banner were added to our homepage. Our donation landing page and online giving form were also updated with #LibraryGivingDay branding.

We made good use of Facebook to reach out to and engage our social media followers.

Our Amazing Community

A patron and artist provided beautiful hand-painted bookmarks which were sent to donors who contributed $50 or more. We sent out a total of 100 bookmarks in acknowledgment letters.

We had a table set up at the entry way with balloons, chocolates, bookmarks and more. The Development Director and board members greeted everyone who came in. We raised $400 from a donation box on that table, including 50 cents from an eleven-year-old girl who told us, “I love to read books and I’m happy to support this place that I love so much.”

Fundraising Goal


Total $ Raised


How We Approached #LibraryGivingDay

We originally intended to mail a spring annual appeal piece to hopefully pick up the $5,000 we were short after our fall End of Year campaign. Then we learned about #LibraryGivingDay and decided to give it a try instead. We do not have a very active donor base so we weren’t sure if we would even be able to make up the $5,000 shortfall.

Working with the Library’s Collection Development Department, we came up with a reason for giving — an online shopping cart filled with children’s books and the goal of $25,000 to pay for it. We used the library circulation and collection statistics along with early childhood literacy statistics to create urgency and lend importance to the campaign.

Shannon Priddy

Development Coordinator, Library Endowment Trust

“We set an internal goal of $5,000.00 to make up for the shortfall in our annual appeal campaign. We ended up being blown away by the total we raised!”

Campaign Theme

Importance of building and replenishing the children’s book collection.

Fundraising Audience

Current donors, prospects, patrons

Campaign Components

Direct mail, email, Library Endowment Trust Website, library website, social media

Our #LibraryGivingDay Campaign

Direct Mail
Direct mail was sent to previous donors who received the FY19 Annual End of Year Appeal mailing but had not yet donated.

A week before the campaign, we sent an email informing our list that #LibraryGivingDay was approaching. On the day itself, we sent three additional emails encouraging donations. Midday and evening emails provided fundraising goal updates. A final email was sent the day after Library Giving Day thanking everyone and stating the amount raised at that point. We received another $1000 following the campaign!

Special #LibraryGivingDay branded banner art and donation page were published on the Library Endowment Trust Website. The donation page included information about the campaign, the fundraising goal and statistics on the importance of early childhood reading.

Over the course of the day, we posted a fundraising thermometer of a bookshelf filling up with books to show the progress of the campaign. We also made sure the campaign was prominently featured on our website.

Social Media
The Endowment made a few posts on our events Instagram feed and the Library posted a few times on their Facebook and Twitter accounts.

Fundraising Goal


Total $ Raised


75 Years Serving Our Community

Before #LibraryGivingDay was established, Whatcom County Library Foundation’s biggest annual fundraising event was also held in April. As a result, our time and energy for #LibraryGivingDay was limited.

Plus, we had never conducted an on-line giving campaign, and had only done two direct mail campaigns in past years. Because it was our Library System’s 75th Anniversary, we set a goal of $7,500.00. We were overjoyed with the response! Of the 170 people who made #LibraryGivingDay donations, 141 were brand new donors!

We are so thrilled with the results, and plan to do it bigger and better next year!

Jennifer Rick

Development Director, Whatcom County Library Foundation

“We have never conducted an on-line giving campaign, and had only done two direct mail campaigns in past years. Because it’s our Library System’s 75th Anniversary, we set a goal of $7,500.00. We were overjoyed with the response!”

Planning Time

4–6 weeks prior to #LibraryGivingDay

Fundraising Audience

Patrons, staff

Campaign Components

Email, social media, library website, video slide on monitors in branches, earned media (news or op-eds)

Email, Web, Social Media and Press

Three email efforts were sent to our contact list.

Both the Library and Foundation homepages contained rotating slider graphics promoting #LibraryGivingDay and linking to a #LibraryGivingDay branded donation form.

We created a YouTube video and used Facebook to reach out to engage our social media followers.

A press release was also sent to area newspapers. 

A Culture of Philanthropy at the Library

We gathered a team of 10 administrators and board members to match staff gifts — 75 cents for every staff gift of $7.50 or more. (Due to our 75th anniversary.) We had a 47% participation rate, with staff contributing more than $3,700!

Library Giving Day logo

Together, we can make it a success!