Other Funding Sources

As funding needs increase, many libraries seek grants from foundations, corporations, endowments and government agencies. Local businesses are another option. Boards can solicit funds from these businesses directly or determine if the business has a community support program. The Board might also want to explore partnerships with civic organizations for special products or fund-raising activities. Possible groups include the Kiwanis, Rotary Club, Jaycees, Lions, League of Women Voters and local youth groups.

Another consideration for the Board is to encourage endowments from individuals or memorials in the form of gifts to the library. Some Montana libraries have gone a step further and established their own foundations. A library foundation functions as a separate entity and can attain nonprofit tax status from the Internal Revenue Service, so that gifts are tax deductible for the donors. Establishing a library foundation also opens up the potential of funds from other foundations that do not give grants to tax-supported agencies. (See Community Partners.)

Valuable resources for Boards seeking information on grant funds are materials produced by the Foundation Center. This is a national service organization founded and supported by foundations to provide information on foundation and corporate giving. Among its primary activities are publishing reference books and offering online searchable databases on grants.

There are five Foundation Center libraries in the United States. These are located in New York, Washington, D.C., Atlanta, Cleveland and San Francisco. In addition, Foundation Center Cooperating Collections are located in each state to provide a core reference collection of Foundation Center publications, other materials and services useful to grant seekers.