40+ New Revenue Sources for Libraries and Nonprofits

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In recent years, levies, grants, and other traditional sources of library funding have stagnated or even been scaled back. But as they've already done in other areas, libraries can take an innovative, proactive approach to funding. Change creates opportunities, and the ability to see and exploit opportunities is what creates new revenue streams, which can help maintain and enhance library services. Offering step-by-step guidance, in this book Rossman shares more than 40 revenue-generating methods to bolster the library's bottom line. Through plentiful examples, interviews, and implementation exercises this book

  • discusses the current context of funding for libraries and non-profits, using the history of Public Broadcasting as a positive role model for libraries;
  • examines how general market features from the worlds of advertising and broadcasting, such as location, traffic, the right cluster of skills, and technology, apply to the library environment;
  • demonstrates how to utilize these market features in the most professional and efficient manner to build new revenue streams;
  • walks readers through numerous plans for raising revenue from memorial considerations, one-time events like art shows and athletic competitions, naming rights and sponsorships for permanent resources such as buildings and rooms, location specific promotions, online crowd-funding, establishing passport services, and many more;
  • provides guidelines of how to establish value, craft board policies, and write comprehensive contracts using a toolkit approach that will make the sales process more efficient; and
  • shows library boards and management how to address sensitive issues such as name changes, unforeseen bankruptcy or "disgraceful" situations with a sponsor, community concerns about "selling out," and the use of technology for appeals.

Libraries can use this book's to-the-point guidance to quickly develop plans that support financial stability and better library service.







Part I: Foundational Chapters

Chapter 1    Current Context of Library Funding Issues and Problems
Chapter 2    Nonprofit Lessons from Public Broadcasting
Chapter 3    Borrowing from Broadcasting: Definitions and Concepts for Generating Revenue
Chapter 4     Establishing Value, Statistical Reports, and Targeting Prospects
Chapter 5    Legal and Board Policy Considerations
Chapter 6    Contracts and Procedures
Chapter 7    Promotions: Getting the Word Out
Chapter 8    Impact of Technology: Internet and Social Media
Chapter 9    Grants and Community Partnerships





Part II: Revenue-Generating Methods Mini-Chapters

Advertising, Acknowledgments, and Underwriting––General Concepts




1.    Advertising in Newsletters
2.    Advertising on Websites
3.    Advertising in Podcasts and Other Internet Streaming Technology
4.    Advertising in Program Rebroadcasts and Cable Streaming
5.    Advertising in Calendars and Special Publications
6.    Advertisig on Carousel Screens (Digital Signage)
7.    Art Show—Sales
8.    Athletic Competitions
9.    Author Sales

Books and Materials—General Concepts



10.    Book and Resource Plates
11.    Book Sales—Community
12.    Book Sales—Third Party
13.    Cell Tower Leasing
14.    Charging Stations
15.    Crowdfunding
16.    Equipment Rental
17.    Event and Program Sponsorship
18.    Facility or Room Rental
19.    50-50 Raffles
20.    Gift Shop Sales
21.    Matching Grants and Donation Challenges
22.    Medical Services Partnerships
23.    Meeting Services

Naming Rights—General Concepts



24.    Naming Rights—Building
25.    Naming Rights—Collection Areas
26.    Naming Rights—Furniture
27.    Naming Rights—Materials
28.    Naming Rights—Rooms
29.    Naming Rights—Own a Day
30.    Passports
31.    Publishing
32.    Receipts
33.    Recycling
34.    Software Application Development

Sponsorships—General Concepts



35.    Sponsorship—Collection Areas
36.    Sponsorship—Furniture
37.    Sponsorship—Materials
38.    Sponsorship—Rooms
39.    Third-Party Products and Services
40.    Tutoring
41.    Vending Machines
42.    Vendor Shows

Appendix—The Money Matrix


Edmund A. Rossman III

Edmund A. Rossman III has been involved with libraries and broadcasting since 1980.  Now retired, he was an Adult Service Librarian in Shaker Heights, Ohio and chair of the Business Reference in Public Libraries committee of BRASS. His book Castles Against Ignorance: How to Make Libraries Great Educational Environments is in over 70 libraries and consortia throughout the world. He has taught courses on the internet and mass media for the Kent State School of Journalism, and is currently teaching online courses on Business Writing for libraries at Kent State. As a business manager of radio stations in two major markets, he coordinated dozens of sponsorship campaigns, as well as produced over 200 hours of sponsored, specialty programming.

"In several chapters, he guides librarians through the challenges of fundraising with today's economic realities, providing usable solutions, case studies, and thought-provoking exercises to facilitate strategic decision making for all stakeholders. Significantly, the author focuses on ideas that establish and communicate the value of library or nonprofit collateral, whether measured in the impact of advertising space, public programming, or educational outreach … This solid how-to guide functions as a workbook for anyone involved in library and nonprofit fundraising."
— Library Journal

"Each chapter is short but comprehensive, making what might be an overwhelming resource very approachable for even the most inexperienced library or fundraiser … Will be a most helpful guide for those looking to get the most bang for their buck. Highly recommended."
— The Voice for America's Libraries

"Will prove to be an enduringly valued, practical, and effective resource."
— Library Bookwatch

"The first set of chapters ... lays the foundation for specific discussions about sources. Rossman covers why libraries might need more than what their traditional funding bases offer ... and how to establish and leverage value to secure new sources."
— American Libraries