Library Foundations Can Make Your Community Hyper-Philanthropic™

Libraries are often public-private partnerships, combining tax dollars with private philanthropy to generate a Hyper-Philanthropic™ response that benefits the entire community. Hyper-Philanthropy is all about the acceleration of giving through joy, and there are four pillars to creating that type of environment in your own community. 

In over thirty years of practice and working with dozens of libraries, we have found that those communities that have cultivated powerful libraries through the establishment of a Foundation tend to be Hyper-Philanthropic™ ones that can then benefit the entire community’s non-profit ecosystem.

Libraries serve as a critical resource for cities, towns, and neighborhoods across the country, often called the “living room” of a community. They are one of the only facilities that are 100% free to a public that can rely on the library to provide educational resources, meeting space, internet access, and more. Beyond assisting patrons with finding a good book, librarians provide computer and internet training, assist with job applications and resume writing, and help patrons fill out government forms, including tax and health insurance paperwork. Additionally, the Institute of Museum and Library Services found that almost one-fifth of libraries bring in healthcare providers to offer free limited screening services, and approximately one-fourth of libraries provide free fitness classes to patrons. But this kind of support is only possible when a library is able to build sustainable income through Hyper-Philanthropy™.

While many libraries have “Friends of” organizations that conduct book sales and other meaningful community initiatives, fewer can depend on the philanthropic infrastructure that a foundation brings with it. Notably, one of the most important roles of a Library Foundation is to set up a way to accept gifts in multiple formats (bequests, stocks, property, etc.). This allows the library to establish an endowment for ongoing sustainability, creates financial flexibility to pursue program enhancements and, importantly, capital improvements. Other benefits of establishing a Library Foundation include: increased visibility for the library through foundation-financed programs and events; eligibility for grants that are only open to qualified nonprofits; and an expanded base of potential donors.

The Hodge Group has worked with over thirty libraries, helping multiple organizations establish foundations. We’ve learned how impactful developing one can be to creating a Hyper-Philanthropic™ environment to transform an entire community, and we’d love to talk to you about how to bring Hyper-Philanthropy™ to your neighborhood next. 

Contact us today to see how we can help you get hyper about philanthropy.