Funding Development

In an era of tight public money and increased demand for services, there is a growing need to diversify funding sources beyond municipal and provincial government contributions.  Some public libraries are hiring staff with fundraising experience and expertise to coordinate funding development programs.  In other cases, the library CEO and board engage in funding development activities in collaboration with volunteers such as Friends of the Library groups, library foundations and fundraising committees. 

Last updated: July 24, 2014


Competency:  Demonstrates expertise in different types of fundraising methods and corresponding processes

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:      

  • Identifies grant sources for funding and writes compelling grant applications/proposals that support the library's strategic directions
  • Pursues appropriate corporate partnerships
  • Knows how to develop and implement a successful direct mail campaign
  • Identifies and qualifies potential gifts and donors
  • Understands the role of major gift and planned giving campaigns and uses them appropriately 
  • Plans special events that are aligned with the library’s mission and strategic plan
  • Ensures appropriate meaningful recognition of donations and sponsorships
  • Stewards relationships with donors to strengthen their levels of support. 


Competency: Manages a fundraising program that generates revenue for library projects

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:      

  • Involves the library’s management/leadership and library board in establishing fundraising goals that support the library’s strategic directions
  • Designs a program to achieve the fundraising goals, selecting suitable fundraising methods and strategies
  • Takes the lead role on prospect research, identification, cultivation and solicitation strategies
  • Implements the fundraising program, managing campaigns and special events
  • Designs and executes a marketing and communication strategy to support the fundraising program
  • Engages media to increase community awareness of the program and the library’s needs 
  • Acts as primary representative of the library handling all donation or sponsorship inquiries
  • Evaluates the plan in terms of revenue generated and whether targets were met
  • Ensures thorough stewardship, including tax receipts, follow-through on the gift implementation, administration of the funds and related expenditures.


Competency:  Cultivates a healthy working relationship with the Friends of the Library, Library Foundation and/or Fundraising Committee

Associated Knowledge, Skills and Abilities:      

  • Works with the Friends/ Foundation/ Fundraising Committee members to develop clear documentation that clarifies roles, responsibilities and relationship between the Library and the Friends or Foundation
  • Uses the agreements in the group’s documentation to resolve misunderstandings as they arise and create win-win solutions
  • Recognizes the value of the contribution made by the Friends/ Foundation or Fundraising Committee 
  • Develops and commits to regular two–way communication with the Friends/ Foundation/ Fundraising Committee
  • Inspires the Friends/ Foundation/ Fundraising Committee to believe in the library’s mission and work hard on behalf of the library
  • Engages the Friends/Foundation/ Committee members in shaping and, subsequently, endorsing the library’s vision and strategic directions
  • Informs the Friends/Foundation/ Fundraising Committee of suitable grants and funding opportunities
  • Recognizes, publicly and personally, the contribution of the Friends, Foundation or Fundraising Committee.


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