EveryLibrary was founded on the belief that “Any library ballot measure anywhere matters to every library everywhere”. We took a calculated risk setting up EveryLibrary as a Political Action Committee (PAC) rather than as a charity, a non-profit, or a membership association. It was a risk because a PAC is a new way of doing advocacy in an ecosystem that views itself as apolitical. We are working to reset that self-image by emphasizing the ‘action’ needed to preserve and extend funding for libraries. It was also a risk creating EveryLibrary as a PAC because many of the funding sources for library advocacy are based in charitable giving or grantmaking. The individual, corporate, and foundation sources for our funding are not accustomed to political action for libraries. But we promised our donors a significant return for libraries on their investment in us.
In 2014, our donors saw our impact. We are happy to report a successful year in meeting our goals. Our funders and the broader library advocacy community know that we continue to positively impact the outcome of ballot measures. Our donors saw a $1 : $1600 ROI as we helped 14 of 18 campaigns win over $31.2 million in stable tax revenue last year. Our work with library communities on town/city/county budget negotiations turned around several local funding issues. We tested new outreach channels to the public about libraries and librarians in print, at events, and online. Our board members spoke at dozens of library conferences and symposia about political action and campaign success. And most significantly, we grew our funding through new and renewed individual and corporate donations.
Our ambition for 2015 is to diversify and increase our funding streams to provide for full-time staffing and expand our capacity to engage voters for libraries. We are proud to have a strong base of support from our individual donors. It is important to note that we have been successful in maintaining our average level of individual support near $50 per donation. Our corporate contributors have identified EveryLibrary as a legitimate and effective organization focused on library budgets. Their contributions averaged $2,800 and are the base on which we will continue to scale up our work.
In 2015, EveryLibrary plans to impact at least 25 library communities at the ballot box and through budget negotiations in towns/cities/counties across the country. Your support is key to EveryLibrary’s success. As an individual hoping to help libraries and librarians have the funding needed to grow and serve, or as a vendor interested in stabilizing collections, programs, services, and staffing budgets, your donations matter. Please give today at rally.org/everylibrary or contact our Executive Director John Chrastka to talk about high-impact ways to leverage your donation for libraries.
Read the full 2014 Annual Report (pdf)
2014 Campaigns and Library Funding
- Worked with 18 campaigns, winning 14 for a total of $31.2 million in stable tax funding for those libraries.
- Our smallest was Georgetown, CA. with an $80,000 parcel tax.
- Our biggest was Kent District Library (MI) with a must-pass $15 million renewal of 100% of their funding.
- In Northvale, NJ. we helped them win funding to start a library.
- We supported the Coalition to Save Miami-Dade Libraries negotiations to reverse massive cuts and added $8 million in new funding for the library.
2014 Strategic Initiatives
- Set up the Rapid Response Fund to help libraries with “crisis communications” during budget negotiations.
- Piloted outreach about the value of libraries and librarians to technology and startup communities around SxSW Interactive.
- Spoke or keynoted at 21 library conferences and guest lectured for 3 MLS/MLIS programs about political action and libraries.
- All our work is pro-bono. It is 100% supported by our donors. Donate at rally.org/everylibrary.
Thank you to our corporate donors
2014 Executive Summary – Annual Report in PDF (2 pages)
EveryLibrary_2014_Annual_Report in PDF (16 pages printed)
2015 Strategic Goals (Info Graphic – web)
2015 Strategic Goals (Info Graphic – JPG to share)