How to Create New Revenue Streams for your Library with Ed Rossman

Webinar archive from Sept. 12, 2016 presented by ALA Editions. 1 hour. Handouts: Money Matrix and Product Categories

Based on books 40+ New Revenue Sources for Libraries & Nonprofits  

Make money not excuses – using the public broadcasting model to learn to be self-supportive.

Traditional steps of sponsorship:

  1. Discovery – Staff brainstorms for prospects and sees where there are personal connections for introductions and relationship-building.
  2. Cultivation – Can we come back and ‘really’ talk?
  3. Solicitation – Here’s what we can do! (The ASK)
  4. Stewardship – Acknowledge their support and keep connected.

and Broadcasting model and revenue through ads processes discussed. Product categories to be used with ReferenceUSA to find potential sponsors organized by Dewey Decimal.

Establish value to the sponsors – be careful not to undervalue what you have to offer.  CPM – cost of exposing 1000 audience members to a message, dividing the total cost by audience.  $500 sign cost, 30,000 patrons drive by = 16 cpm.  Compare to cpms in other mediums in your market.

Examples of naming rights, maintenance clauses, and other legalities, including contracts with elements confirmed of who, what, how, etc. Logistics, copy confirmation, billing, deposits, implementation.

Promotion of Chapter 7 – use annual report to make an engaging promotional package. Features and benefits exercise, used with subtlety, can help frame things in a user-friendly way.

Crowdfunding used by 2nd graders – made more than selling lemonade!  Example of Early Literacy Storytime Nook.  Used IndieGoGo, pitched early literacy, included a video as their graphic, provided incentives (gift ladder), and provided a goal along with full campaign with timelines and connecting it with summer reading.

Grants and partnerships – National suppliers with deeper pockets – co-op advertising…approach local Ace hardware to then get to CubCadet.

Money Matrix for brainstorming. A way to evaluate an idea for a new revenue stream, like room rental or a 50-50 raffle.

Question about non-profit not making a profit. Depends on the state – look for grant partners for seed money and help sustaining a grant-funded program.

Five Fast Track Methods

1. 50/50 raffle from mid-oct to mid-dec ($400 by year end) – Our Friends have a small games of chance license, so they can cooperate with us on these. Legally bound to announce winner or can they remain anonymous?

2. Online gift shop – Friends are selling books on ebay.  We can sell mugs…what else? Example to use CafePress to allow gifting of items with our brand on them.  No up front cost except time. Option B to start with.

3. Naming Rights – Own-a-Day – celebrate a person’s name by putting the name on the library’s promotional channels (newsletter, fb page, tv, receipts, etc.) to commemorate retirements, birthdays, congrats, etc. James V. Brown library in Williamsport, PA have a calendar marking the $100 per name/gift and has online form.  Look at impressions – no long descriptions needed. For a new method, ask who, what, when, where, how, and why? Ex: Separate rates for public/business? Text only or also an image? Calendar system to book it and a due date for payment. Determine all locations and make a checklist. Procedures for copy and deadlines. Advertising or just ack. language?  Brown won a Cengage award in 2015 for this program.

4. Sell a holiday recipe book – IngramSpark self-publishing calculator to determine revenue that may be generated to help with decision making. The Friends published Voices of the Valley history book they sell for $20.

5. Crowd-funding to utilize the 2nd ask and year-end write-off tactics. Incentives based on a gift ladder; a cup for a $25 donation, hat for #30,  etc. Possible way to augment Annual Appeal?  Use other methods to help generate cash to buy incentives. Works best if we have been good stewards of prior donors.

Contact info: facebook.com/rev4lib with current examples

Q/A – Competition with other nonprofits? Start with a media audit – see what’s been run in the past and find an open timeframe. Find ways to work them them, partner to achieve a wider audience.  Create synergy.

How do you ask for general operating fund donations? Talk about scope of mission of the library to the community.  Tie message to the fundraising method. Raising money without raising taxes, while still providing a service (and maybe a product like a mug).  Emphasize value of the library if not making a specific ask.

Exceptional coporate support examples: Thank you to our sponsor page to praise summer reading sponsors, for example. Denver public library, for example.

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