Rapid Response Fund

Make “If I had only known, I would have helped my Library” a thing of the past….

Donate today to make crisis communications more effective for our libraries.

Donate today to make crisis communications more effective for our libraries.

EveryLibrary’s Rapid Response Fund is designed to address the single most significant problem in library advocacy today: no one is funding direct outreach to the public or stakeholders when a crisis hits libraries. Too many times, the urgent and necessary calls-to-action issued by local stakeholders are unable to reach activists and constituents because no one is advertising or marketing those calls-to-action. Whether the stakeholders are a group of staff, the local trustees or Friends, an ad hoc community of advocates, or an established trade or professional association, their legitimate voices for the library need support. We know that our Rapid Response model works for libraries in crisis.

How it Works for Libraries

Our Rapid Response Fund amplifies the voices of local library advocates during a crisis by supporting paid social media ads for outreach and action.  The Fund allows us to drive traffic to their calls-to-action by both new and existing constituents and advocates. 

Criteria for Action

EveryLibrary honors the trust our donors place in our work and the reputation that local stakeholders bring to their advocacy work.  The Rapid Response Fund will engage a 6-part criteria before beginning an issue-ad spend:

1)  Is the issue unexpected or unanticipated? 2)  Does the issue at hand immediately affect funding or operating authority for the library? 3)  Can the current crisis be averted through constituent engagement? 4)  Does the legitimate local advocate group have a  “call-to-action” ready? 5)  Are there at least 100 hours available to push out the call-to-actions? 6) We will not help you twice.  You will learn how to build an actionable network of your own.

The local legitimate stakeholders in library advocacy are well defined.  From the staff, trustees and commissioners, and Friends who form the core of each local library’s advocacy infrastructure, to state and national associations and professional groups, there is no shortage of voices. But in the last 100 hours of a crisis communications campaign, our voices for the library and librarians must be heard. We believe that the Rapid Response Fund will be a game-changer for library advocacy.  It will strengthen the entire library advocacy ecosystem by building our visibility and reinforcing the legitimacy of local stakeholder organizations and groups.

Contact EveryLibrary for Assistance

EveryLibrary wants to hear from you as soon as possible.  We want to have a conversation about how we can best help your library in the face of a crisis.  If we cannot help, we will tell you that honestly.  But we also know a lot of folks across the library advocacy ecosystem.   Call us:  312-574-0316 or email John Chrastka at john.chrastka@everylibrary.org to get us engaged.

Example Success Stories

– Lafourche Parish, LA. where the chair of the Parish board put the library on the ballot, and a Yes vote would have defunded the library 50% to build a jail. We had 7 days to stop him. Our Rapid Response was a combination of paid social media ads and quick, targeted outreach to traditional media outlets (regional and national) that helped turn the tide to No. Laura Sanders, director of the Lafourche Parish (LA) Library, talks about how EveryLibrary helped defeat the “worst library election of 2013” through a Rapid Response approach to voter communications. See more about EveryLibrary’s work for Lafourche.
– Macedon, NY. where the library requested a 5% budget increase for FY 2018. This increase would have let the library keep staff, programming, collections, and services that are so needed in this small town. When we started this petition, the town board was only willing to fund the library at a 2% increase which would not have covered the current budget deficit or the increasing cost of funding the library next year.
– Monroeville, PA. where both the Republicans and the Democrats in town came out against the library referendum. We had a week to respond before the election on social media and the Fund made it possible.
– Pomona, CA. where the California Association of Realtors sent “NO on Measure L” mailings to voters across town the week before the election. It’s hard to answer an Any Tax is a Bad Tax message,but we helped turn around a YES answer very quickly through paid social media ads.
– Plainfield, IL. where the Koch Brothers funded “Americans for Prosperity” mega PAC did robo-calls and direct mail against the library building referendum on Thursday, Saturday and Monday before their Tuesday election in 2016. We had the ads ready to go in 8 hours. We could have used a lot more funding to reach voters….

– In September 2013, the Mayor of Miami-Dade County unexpectedly threatened a significant cut to the library budget in the last few weeks of the budget negotiation cycle. EveryLibrary backed a grassroots group of advocates in Miami-Dade County in an effort to put political pressure on members on the County Commission to reverse those cuts.  In the final days leading up to the Budget Committee hearing, EveryLibrary put out a series of targeted Facebook ads to promote the calls-to-action by the Save Miami-Dade County Libraries group. Several hundred citizens responded with emails, calls, and in-person visits to Commission members.  The awareness we built secured $7 million in stop-gap funding for FY2014.  The community there continues to work on the long-term fix for their budget. EveryLibrary’s Rapid Response work gave them the time they needed to secure and stabilize their library funding.

Donate Today to Build the Fund

EveryLibrary is completely supported by our donors.  If you believe – like we do – that putting smart money to work on advertising and outreach in times of crisis makes sense, donate today to build the Rapid Response Fund.   We will use it to buy ads on Facebook, sponsor tweets on Twitter, run ads on local media sites and networks, and fund Google Ad Words that quickly and effectively deliver the message for local library advocates in crisis.  Your $20 dollar donation buys a lot of eyeballs.  A $10 a month reoccurring contribution is thousands of ad impressions.  Together, we can make a difference for libraries.