$1000 cash prize and recognition plaque to winner; $250 cash prize and Certificate of Recognition for two other finalist projects. (See sidebar for rules and applications.)
Given annually at the state library association conference, this award recognizes the importance of Friends of the Library projects with impact. The 2012 award includes a $1000 cash prize and recognition plaque to the winner, and a $250 cash accompanied by a Certificate of Recognition. Applications are accepted during the spring and summer months (see current application for details) and the winner is selected by a panel of judges.
“Help Someone Become the Next Andrew Carnegie,” The Friends of the Ramsey County Libraries
The Friends of the Ramsey County Libraries’ Evy Nordley Award-winning program takes as its inspiration the career philanthropy of turn-of-the-century American entrepreneur and industrialist Andrew Carnegie. Between 1883 and 1929, seed money put forward by Carnegie made possible the construction of 1689 libraries throughout the United States. Carnegie is considered by many to be a truly one-of-a-kind library advocate.
Even so, Nancy Guerino, Sue Gehrz, and their colleagues at The Friends of the Ramsey County Libraries had a hunch – supported by secondary research – that that great spirit of generosity survived Carnegie himself and lives on to this day.
It all came down to this: There are many financial channels through which Library Friends can support libraries, but these are not intuitively obvious to most donors. They include straightforward practices, like naming your library of choice as a beneficiary in wills, IRAs and standard CDs, plus complex endeavors – such as creating a trust for legacy funding.
The trick was to make that information known to (and understood by) would-be Carnegies. To this end, the team took a two-pronged approach.
First, they crafted promotional literature explaining and exploring all of the available routes. They supplemented this with convention booth accessories, including an eye-catching collapsible banner.
Next, they targeted an important – but far from obvious – demographic: Minnesota’s community of lawyers. The logic was as simple as it was effective. Better than anyone else, lawyers are in an excellent place to make their clientele aware of library philanthropy options. Guerino, Gehrz and company took their show ‘on the road,’ as it were, and set up their booth in the concourse at popular lawyer conventions.
The program’s success is perhaps best evinced in an anecdote the Ramsey presenters told during the "10 Minutes to Win It" Evy Nordley panel at the MLA conference. At a recent regional convention attended by lawyers, “Nine out of ten lawyers who heard us out said: ‘That’s a great idea! I never thought of that!’” (or some variation thereof) and “promised to mention it to clients.”
Marie Goss/Evy Nordley Grant Program
(See sidebar for rules and applications)
This fund provides grants to help defray the expenses of creating new Friends groups in public, academic or special libraries. Grants of up to $1000 are available. Applications are accepted throughout the year and reviewed by MALF board members at their regularly-scheduled meetings. Contribute to the grant program here!
Raymond Birr Award
This fund provides grants to help defray the expenses of creating new Friends groups in school media centers. Grants of $100 are available. Applications are accepted throughout the year and reviewed by MALF board members at their regularly-scheduled meetings.