CRPL Foundation Wins National Fundraising Award

Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation receives Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award

CHICAGO– The Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation is the winner of the prestigious Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award.  The award is presented annually to a library organization for exhibiting meritorious achievement in carrying out a project to secure new funding resources for a public or academic library.

Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation developed and is leading Library 3.0, a capital campaign to raise the private funds necessary to build a vibrant, new downtown library in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, after the existing building was destroyed by the devastating flood of 2008.  The secondary goal of the campaign is to strengthen the library’s endowment by at least $1 million.

The Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation has already exceeded its goal by raising $7.1 million and fundraising continues in support of the endowment.  The Library Foundation developed and implemented a program that is a model for other libraries.  With help from consulting firm ME&V Fundraising Advisers, it carried out a feasibility study, established clear building project and fundraising goals, recruited strong volunteer leaders and implemented the campaign by starting with a successful leadership and major gifts phase, followed by a general gifts phase.  Its strategies for public engagement (kickoff and groundbreaking celebrations, use of a website and Facebook, newspaper ads and direct mail, conversations in the Downtown Market and with community groups like Rotary and Kiwanis), are to be commended.

“The volunteers deserve all the credit for the success of this historic campaign,” says Library Foundation Executive Director Katie Geiken. “As Library 3.0 fundraising continues, our entire community is looking forward to opening day (summer of 2013).”

This project is also noteworthy for the success gained through collaborations. The new library was designed as a LEED building, attracting the Cedar Rapids Garden Club, which wished to contribute to the new library’s green roof.  In addition to their direct monetary contributions, the Library Foundation and Garden Club partnered to make application to the Garden Club of America’s Founders Fund.

This strategic fundraising effort can boast of a wide range of funding sources from individuals to organizations, corporations to foundations.  And the number of gifts continues to grow.  While the official evaluation phase planned for the campaign will not take place until later this year, the 2012 Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award jury applauds the Cedar Rapids Public Library for its achievement to secure new funding resources for both a new building and to strengthen its endowment, exceeding its campaign goal.

Members of the 2012 Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award jury were Liz Bishoff, chair, The Bishoff Group LLC; Deborah Dancik, Willamette University; Eva Poole, Denton (Texas) Public Library; Neely Tang, Cornell University; Jane Tuten, University of South Carolina Aiken.

The Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Aware will be presented at the ALAAward Ceremony and Reception, Sunday June 24 at the ALA Annual Conference in Anaheim, Calif .

More information about the Gale Cengage Learning Financial Development Award, including how to submit a nomination, is available on the ALA website.

For more information on the Cedar Rapids Public Library Foundation Library 3.0 Campaign, visit www.crlibrarycampaign.org or call (319) 739-0411.

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