Easy Creative Fundraising Ideas for Libraries

library fundraising ideas

8 Creative Library Fundraising Ideas

Looking for some creative library fundraising ideas?

We got 8 unique ones for you right here at Fundraising Zone.

Libraries need our help. They are our greatest public institutions.  Here anyone that can read has access to millions of new ideas at their finger tips. So where else can you get all of this helpful information for free? 

Libraries are so important that they’re protected under the First Amendment.  It guarantees freedom of speech and the press, and the right for people to peacefully assemble.

Easy Library fundraiser ideas – we have the profitable answers.

To be able to compete with the internet,  a library must brainstorm creative ways to generate funding ideas. This includes ideas to raise money for media, collections, staffing, and programming. Actually a public library might look to a library foundation to help set up a capital campaign. Other times the public or school library may choose to find ways to raise money in their local community themselves.

However, before you begin a fundraising campaign, make sure the library director or chief librarian is on board.  If you are at school, then it might be a good idea to run it by the principal and the rest of the faculty. Furthermore, there may be some state regulations on what kind of fundraising you can do at your library. So, it makes sense to find out before you ever get started putting any of these ideas for your library into action.

Creative library fundraisers include:

These ideas can be used for public libraries, as well as a school library. They work magnificently when combined and scheduled with some of our brochure fundraising catalogs throughout the year. Using some of these will be like taking your school fundraising events and putting them on steroids!

We hope you enjoy this essential guide to raising money for libraries.

Wine tasting at the local library.

Here is an idea for library and wine enthusiasts alike.

Just suppose you teamed up with a local winery in your community and had a wine tasting party! This would most certainly be a big hit.

Of course you would have to check for ID to make sure everyone was of the legal drinking age. However, you could also have refreshments for minors. 

So how can you tie in wine tasting with your library?

Think of all of the books on:

  • How to make wine at home.
  • How to cook with wine.
  • Or…How to choose a wine with the food you are serving.
  • And finally…How to plant your own vineyard.

You get the point.

Your library shelves have many book titles based on the wine tasting experience. You can either charge a tasting fee or an entry fee for unlimited tasting. You can take cash or ask the winery owner to use his payment processing system.

Why would the winery be willing to do this?

It is because they will be introduced to brand new customers that can become lifelong visitors to the winery after this tasting event. 

Silent auction fundraiser for libraries

So what if you teamed up with a local travel agent. You could design a trip to an exotic location. For instance, if you live in a cold area during the winter months, you might think of a Caribbean vacation perhaps.

Now you can carry this Caribbean vacation theme throughout your entire library. Look for ways to decorate to get people in the Caribbean mood. Feature library books, movies and videos that have Caribbean themes.

Now let’s talk about event promotion. Be sure to spread the word about your silent auction fundraiser event using social media, texting, email, and good old fashioned word-of-mouth advertising.

Do not overlook old-school ideas like postcards, flyers and posters. Look for ways to team up with other local businesses that might be willing to help you sponsor and advertise your event.

The key with a silent auction is that you want people to bid as high as possible. So you will need to get as many people involved as you can.

Furthermore, another way to do this is by selling raffle tickets. The more tickets you sell, the more money you can raise for your library. If it is a profitable fund raiser, then you can repeat it again next year. Be sure to get plenty of photos of the the prize winner. 

Book club restaurant library fundraiser

The library is a great place to set up a book club. They encourage reading and social interaction among people in the community. However, with a little twist you can add an additional source of income to your library this way. 

Just suppose you contacted the closest local restaurants nearest to the library and ask them what their slowest day of the week is. Don’t be surprised if they tell you it is Tuesday. 

Now ask if they would be willing to pay you a commission for your library book club meeting there once a week. Your library can easily earn 10 to 15% profit this way without doing any work. 

Additionally, you may have several different genres of book clubs. For instance, some libraries have a Teen book club, romance book club, or a classic book club. You can set up restaurant fund raising streams of residual income with each of these.

Sell books via amazon.

Can you think of a time that you read a book that you love you so much that you went out bought it? There are many people just like you that buy books or want to own the movie version for their own personal library at home.

Your school can set up an affiliate account with Amazon. Amazon pays up to 6% commission on all sales made. Just suppose the librarian asked every person returning a book if they liked it. He or she can then offer them a little business card with a QR code link to your Amazon page. In this way your library would earn money for all other purchases made on Amazon that day. This is an easy way to make extra money for your library.

Book Drive and Book Sale.

Lots of libraries take old, donated, or extra copies of books, magazines, or media out of circulation to make room for new books.

Many libraries may not take your donated books to put on their shelves. However, they may be happy to use your book donations to sell on the side for profit. You can scale this idea to fit the size of your library. For example, a small library on Orr’s Island, Maine holds an annual Library Fair where there are:

  • Games for kids
  • A white elephant auction table
  • Petting zoo
  • AND a house full of books that sell for as little as 50 cents, $1, $2, and more.

Are you getting any ideas yet for your library?

Easy Adopt A Book and Book Plate programs

Here is a neat idea to try.

You can invite a local artist to design a beautiful book plate. Display the book plate at the librarian’s desk.  The plate can be used to encourage book sponsorship for individual or gift purchases.

Furthermore, you can include a certificate with the book plate certifying that a book has been dedicated in the patron’s honor. Book plates can be a range of prices to encourage gifting at any level.

And finally, there is no need for expensive bookplates, though they may be appropriate for unique or rare collections.

How do you like our library fundraising ideas so far?

Easy Publish a Wish List library Fundraising Ideas

One of the easiest ways to get what your library needs is to publish a wish list. So, encourage librarians and patrons to brainstorm a list of needs.

For example:

  • Acquiring more New York Times’ best sellers
  • Crayons for the craft room
  • A roll of address stickers for the magazine stacks.

Once you have your wish list, make copies to send home with everyone who visits the library. This way people have the option to donate the money or purchase the items your library needs.

Easy Holiday Fundraising for Libraries

You can count on librarians to tie-in the nearest holiday with books they have on hand. So, why not plan an annual holiday fundraiser during New Year’s, Valentine’s Day, Easter, Fourth of July, Halloween, Thanksgiving, or Christmas?  Ask a starving artist to design a beautiful calendar.

  • Tell the library visitors they can purchase a calendar for themselves or as a gift.
  • Collect payment upfront for the calendar.
  • Remember to get the customer’s contact information..
  • Print the calendars and have the library card holders come in to pick up them up when they are available.
  • The money raised can be used to help pay for the library’s monthly programming costs.

Furthermore, beautiful stationery (perhaps with an artist’s painting of a holiday library scene) can be sold at the circulation desk to encourage people to send holiday cards to their friends and family.

Finally, put up a lovely, pine-scented Christmas tree with colored tags of new book titles and media available for adoption.

In conclusion, the American Library Association has a database of all types of funding sources. They include fundraising ideas for academic and school libraries, book donations, grants, and online funding campaigns. Check them out for more information.

And of course, our friendly staff here at Fundraisingzone.com specializes in fund-raising consulting. We are here to offer you free advice and support with your fundraising ideas.

We hope you found these library fundraising ideas helpful!