Several years ago Horowhenua Library Trust launched a bequest programme encouraging people to remember us in their wills. Now don't go all funny on me and throw your hands up in horror: this is not ghoulish.
We need to raise 15% of our revenue from sources other than rates - thats about $180,000 a year. The more we can raise in sponsorship and donations from those who can afford to 'give' the less we have to charge in rental fees and user charges. Unlike Robin's victims ours seem quite happy with this approach.
A fair few people have significant wealth tied up in assets and while they may not have the ready cash to donate generously to the library during their lifetime they are very pleased to 'give' on their demise. In the scale of an entire estate a $20k donation to the library is often seen as peanuts and I have witnessed the pride exhibited by family members when they discovered that their Dad had left money to the library. It was only $3,000 but it felt really good to them when they delivered it - in person - and it gave us a warm feeling to know that he appreciated us in his lifetime.
Of course some do have the wherewithal to donate in their lifetime and we have 1 lovely person who brings us in a $15,000 or $20,000 cheques every July - just to help us out a bit. The old adage 'don't give until it hurts - give until it feels good' springs to mind whenever I see the monthly automatic payments showing up on our bank statement from a woman wanting to say thank you because we are so kind to her housebound Mum. This 'thank you' sentiment strikes a cord with a good many of our Seniors because every year we manage to raise about $3,000 in $20 donations - in fact people start asking when the promotion will be running because they don't want to miss out!
We receive donations of $1,000 - $5,000 reasonably often, but we have had two $20,000 donations this year and last week we were given a staggering $500,000 towards our new library building. The donor had no children and wanted her money to benefit the kids of the town ... we can do that :)
This approach works for us so don't be shy to try it.
PS If you would to donate to our building project we'd love your support :)