2011 Evy Nordley Winner: Building it. Together.

One Friends committee Building It. Together.

nordley-award-winners.jpgBuilding It. Together. is the Evy Nordley award winning Friends project for 2011.

The Building it. Together. project came about as a new civic building, encompassing a library, senior center and city offices, was beginning construction in 2010.

Friends of the St. Michael – Albertville – Hanover Library had in mind to raise $50,000 to replace items from the city’s original building budget.

What was the outcome? The committee – Friends of the Library, Crow River Senior Center and STMA Rotary – have raised just under $80,000 in completed and deferred payment donations. Library furniture, tables, shelving, benches, multimedia and other furnishings are the result.

How did they do it? A top-down effort with a focus on local businesses and organizations. Volunteer solicitors actively approached potential donors during a six-month period. The Central  Minnesota Community Foundation administered funds.

Committee members used a variety of print collateral to inform and motivate donors and generate community excitement. They created ‘sales’  binders outlining the library’s history; advantages and features of the new building; specific needs for fundraising; and levels of recognition, such as meeting room sponsorship opportunities. Solicitation brochures were designed. Cards were handed out at community event and parades. Print advertising, press coverage and a website – BuildingItTogether.org – also supported the Friends-led fundraising effort.

Donors of $500 or more received desktop recognition plaques; elegant VIP invitations to the building’s grand opening; and recognition on ribbon-cutting day. The event may be over and the building is being actively used, but the Friends work continues. Friends are presently providing members with updates on how donations are being used.

How did the committee come up with the name? According to Howie Burke, Friends president, and Tom Zander, past president, the group came up with Building It. Together.

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