Annette Birdsall is the Director at Ulysses Philomathic Library, a nonprofit educational and cultural resource center that aims to provide community residents with informative, creative, and leisure needs.
According to Annette, their primary focus and where they see the most success is with establishing annual memberships and building a library community, which she attributes to the “shared vision within a shared community”.
Ulysses Philomathic Library participated in a local Giving Day, Giving is Gorges 2016, a 24-hour fundraising event for Tompkins and Cortland Counties that brought in over $100K to 105 local nonprofit organizations.
They also ran a separate campaign on GiveGab called Light Up Your Library to raise funds to contribute to the library’s solar power project. For this campaign, Annette provided us with some details on what made this campaign successful for them!
Reaching out to donors for their support with this campaign meant inviting them to a solar open house, which proved to be a great way to get community members more involved and eager to contribute. The library’s regular engagement with donors involves a combination of direct mail, emails, social media, and in-person interactions.
When we asked Annette how she recruited people to act as fundraisers on behalf of the library, we were given a unique response: “It goes with the job description for our phenomenal trustees.”
Their campaign also made terrific use of the donation tiers or “Giving Levels” option, providing an image and description for each donation amount, giving donors the power to choose where their donations would be spent.
Although they were happy with the campaign results overall, Annette expressed that in hindsight she would have started the campaign sooner.
Her final campaign advice to other nonprofits is this:
“Successful campaigns are ongoing, integrated, and easy to use.”