Consultant aiding library fund drive

Sherry Hamilton - Posted on Nov 16, 2011 - 03:36 PM

A consultant has been hired to guide Friends of the Mathews Memorial Library through the process of raising funds to renovate an adjacent former store building to provide additional space for library patrons and staff.

Mary Ellen Stumpf of Stumpf & Associates told members of the organization at a meeting on Tuesday that they need to market the library renovation project by focusing on distinctions, collaborations, and partnerships, and by building friends. She said strong leadership would be needed, there would have to be sustained communications, and that the Friends need to get ideas by looking at how other non-profits and libraries have raised funds for their projects.

Stumpf said that, after interviewing 24 people and reviewing library documents, she had determined that Mathews Memorial Library is considered to be "the heart of the county," that it’s a gathering place for the community, and that its facilities and collections are first rate. She said the Friends face fundraising challenges that include economic uncertainty and competing with other fundraising campaigns in the community.

To address these challenges, said Stumpf, volunteers need to be advocates for the library, engage residents in the project, and encourage support wherever possible. She suggested that a fundraising steering committee be appointed to guide the process.